WWI Centenary Marked at Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden marks the WWI centenary by sharing staff family stories and the Garden’s own stories. The Garden’s stories shared include the remarkable fact that all of the Garden’s men returned uninjured. The Garden was visited by war poets Siegfried Sassoon, Osbert Sitwell and Wilfred Owen. Owen spent one of his last afternoons in England in the Garden, before returning to the front where he died just three months later.
We are also welcoming Chelsea Pensioners into the Garden, to mark the fact that the Garden was opened to soldiers in local military hospitals for ‘rest and recuperation’ from 1916.
Chelsea Pensioners Jim Anderson and Gordon ‘Sandy’ Sanders visited the Garden in August, wearing their iconic scarlet uniforms. They shared some of their own WWI family stories with our Marketing & PR Assistant, Lily Middleton. Jim’s maternal grandfather was a Black Watch soldier while his paternal grandfather was in the Naval Division. Sandy shared the story of his grandfather who was originally put into a ‘pals battalion’ with his mining colleagues. However he became a tunneller with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and returned home to find all his fellow miners in the ‘pals battalion’ had been killed. Read Sandy and Jim’s full stories on our website.