Chelsea Pensioners hosted by Cookstown friend

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Two Chelsea Pensioners received a warm welcome during a recent trip to Cookstown.

Seventy-seven-year-old William Frazier and 88-year-old David Wright were hosted by local man Tom McKinney, who described their visit as “very successful.”

A Chelsea Pensioner, or In-Pensioner, is a resident at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a retirement home and nursing home for former members of the British Army in London.

The pair, who have almost 50 years of service in the Army between them, were given a tour of Cookstown and Northern Ireland during their week long stay.

William served for 22 years in the Royal Irish Rangers, while David was a member of Royal Engineers for 25 years.

They visited Cookstown High School and the local Primary School as well as various local landmarks and memorials in the district.

The Chelsea Pensioners enjoyed a tour of the Causeway Coast taking in Bushmills, Portstewart and Portrush where they were entertained by locals.

They also visited Stormont and Titanic Belfast and given a tour of the city. They were also shown around the Enniskillen area. William Frazier was awarded the BEM some years ago for his military service while David Wright saw service in Malta, Korea, where 18 of his comrades were killed, and Cyprus.

Last weekend the Cookstown man travelled over to St Helier in the Channel Islands where he laid a wreath at the memorial there on behalf of the Royal Irish Regiment.