The Army Carol Service has returned to the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Welcoming back the congregation, who attended in person for the first time since 2019, to the glorious 1691 Wren Chapel in the heart of the Royal Hospital,
General Sir Patrick Sanders KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff led soldiers drawn from the full range of ranks and diversity in today’s Army, in a traditional service of eight lessons and carols in the Wren Chapel, the British Army's parish church.
During the candlelit service, the carols were led by the renowned Chapel Choir and accompanied by Household Division trumpeters.
The Chief of the General Staff spoke movingly about those soldiers separated from their loved ones over Christmas, and those families “that will have an empty chair at their Christmas table.
Service often involves separation and this Christmas we have soldiers unable to be with their families because they were either committed to helping others in the UK or deployed overseas . . . they represent the strength of our Army and our nation – we should all be extremely proud of them.” General Sir Patrick Sanders KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff
Service often involves separation and this Christmas we have soldiers unable to be with their families because they were either committed to helping others in the UK or deployed overseas.”
He expressed his gratitude and pride “for the sacrifice that those soldiers and families make; they represent the strength of our Army and our nation – we should all be extremely proud of them.”
He paid tribute to the work of the ABF, The Army’s National Charity, for working “tirelessly to protect our serving soldiers, families and veterans from hardship and also paid tribute to Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II: “ Her life of duty was an example to us all, as was her unwavering devotion to Her Army and its families.”
Among those who gave readings was Major Sam Wesley, Scots Guards.
For the last two years he has commanded F Company Scots Guards, the Regiment’s Public Duties Incremental Company, who took part in this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and the funeral of Her Late Majesty The Queen.
The company has recently deployed soldiers on exercises and operations in Gibraltar, Estonia, Poland, the Falkland Islands, Kazakhstan, Macedonia and Uganda.
Major Wesley read the Seventh Lesson Matthew 2 verses 1-11
General Sir Patrick Sanders KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff read the final lesson from John 1, verses 1-14.
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity was founded in 1944 and is the Army’s national charity, helping thousands of soldiers, veterans and their families each year.