War hero calls for Chelsea Hos­pi­tal in Manch­ester

Sale & Altrincham Advertiser - - NEWS - HE­LEN JOHN­SON he­len.john­son@men­media.co.uk @he­len­j83MEN

ASEC­OND World War hero is call­ing for a Chelsea Hos­pi­tal-style home for el­derly sol­diers to be built in Manch­ester.

John Clarke MBE wants the com­mu­nity, politi­cians and vet­er­ans’ or­gan­i­sa­tions to get be­hind his cam­paign to have the Royal Hos­pi­tal Chelsea, the home of the Chelsea Pen­sion­ers, repli­cated in the north west.

Wid­ower John, from Al­der­mary Road, Chorl­ton, says the home he en­vis­ages would be in ad­di­tion to and dif­fer­ent from ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties for vet­er­ans in the north west, such as Broughton House in Sal­ford and the new armed forces com­mu­nity vil­lage pro­posed for Wi­gan.

Chelsea Pen­sion­ers, known by their dis­tinc­tive uni­form, for­feit their pen­sions in ex­change for a place at the home.

John, who served in North Africa, Italy, Greece and Pales­tine and was awarded the MBE for ser­vices to vet­er­ans seven years ago, said: “I was once in a pub in Chelsea, and when two pen­sion­ers came in, ev­ery­one got up and asked them what they wanted to drink.

“Peo­ple look at them with pride and they are part of the com­mu­nity.

“A vet­eran’s home in the north would give peo­ple here a chance to show their pride and make vet­er­ans feel part of the com­mu­nity.”

John has gained the sup­port of his MP John Leech, who has writ­ten to the Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans, Anna Soubry, and pledged to help him if re­elected.

The 91-year-old is also set to meet with the As­so­ci­a­tion of Greater Manch­ester Au­thor­i­ties later this month, in a bid to gain the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s sup­port.

But John says he can’t bring his dream to fruition on his own and is call­ing on the public to back him.

He added: “We want peo­ple to back this and make it worth­while

“I’m a Manc and I’m very proud of that fact.

“I’m also Bri­tish proud of our his­tory.

“There are lots of VCs in the north west and peo­ple don’t know who they are.

“The vet­er­ans of Manch­ester have never got the trib­utes they are en­ti­tled to.

John is a mem­ber of the Monte Cassino Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion has pre­vi­ously called on the sup­port of MEN read­ers, who suc­cess­fully helped him fund a trip to take vet­er­ans on a last trip to Monte Cassino, the scene of one the most sav­age bat­tles of the Sec­ond World War.

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