Chelsea Pensioners - Once a Soldier - BBC4 8.30pm

For those that missed the first couple of episodes the Beeb spent a year with these fine blokes. Episode 3 is on BBC4 tonight. :p

'On Parade' - Thursday 19th April
All leave is cancelled as all 300 Chelsea Pensioners at The Royal Hospital Chelsea are ordered to the parade ground for one very special day when Her Majesty the Queen takes the salute on Founder's Day. But in the hottest June since records began how will the massed ranks of the Pensioners cope?

'Comrades In Arms' - Thursday 26th April
Frank Chambers, aged 90, and Joe Britton, aged 95, first became mates as Royal Fusiliers in India in 1936 - then lost touch. After nearly seventy years they meet again as Chelsea Pensioners and rekindle their friendship. Dougie Huxley, aged 86, and Don Smith met on their first day as new recruits at The Royal Hospital Chelsea and became inseperable. Is their past as soldiers the reason their bonds of friendship are so strong?

'Soldiering On' - Thursday 3rd May
The Royal Hospital Chelsea needs to raise serious money to pay for maintaining its Grade 1 listed building and construction of a new £25 million Infirmary. The Hospital becomes the backdrop to a Bollywood movie and a period drama, but the old soldiers also need to rely on friends in high places to fund a long-term survival plan. Increasingly infirm Chelsea Pensioner 'Windy' Gale needs nursing care and is moving berth and clearing out 60 years of memories.

'Ladies In Waiting' - Thursday 10th May
Women are coming to The Royal Hospital Chelsea. It's a case of when, not if. But is this all male bastion prepared for the first women in scarlet? Ex-Regimental Sergeant Major Agnes Doig (aged 75), Second World War girl-gunner Barbara Wetherall (aged 81) and Warrant Officer Winifred Phillips (aged 80) visit - and put the Hospital and the men through their paces to see if life at The Royal Hospital Chelsea could be for them.

'Not Forgotten' - Thursday 17th May
At The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Armistice Day approaches. Memories of the wars the men fought remain vivid and painful. To honour their fallen comrades a dozen Chelsea Pensioners hope to be passed fit enough to walk down the steps of the Royal Albert Hall's Festival of Remembrance and to march past the Cenotaph. But at the Hospital, the poppy collection box is stolen, the culprit is caught on CCTV. If they catch him, what style of justice will he receive at the hands of the old soldiers?

'Changing The Guard' - Thursday 24th May
The Royal Hospital Chelsea has been told it needs to shape up for the 21st Century. But how do a group of old soldiers, whose average age is 83, cope with the changes? From cyber cafes and a gym, to revolutionary discussions about whether to have en-suite bathrooms in the Grade 1 listed berths, the Pensioners make clear their views to the modernising new top brass. Arnhem veteran Vic Massingham, aged 81, is unfazed by the upheaval, determined only to retain his bowls club crown.
I watched the first two eipsodes...........I would commend it to all.....

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