Fred Rook with the Lord Mayor
A Second World War veteran joined the Lord Mayor of Westminster to sell poppies next to Trafalgar Square today.
Fred Rook, 91, a Chelsea Pensioner, proved a tourist attraction along with Councillor Ian Adams who was wearing his full mayoral robes.
The pair posed for photographs and collected money for poppies.
Mr Rook served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers posted to the 1st Anti-Aircraft Workshops where he repaired London’s anti-aircraft guns.
He left in 1947 and joined the Metropolitan Police.
A well wisher bought a poppy from the pair and asked for a photo
Mr Rook, a grandfather-of-seven, said: “Although I was a soldier I never actually fired a gun. I was a Hampshire boy, brought up in the countryside. I joined army in 1941 and they sent me to London. I was in the REME. I was attached to the anti-aircraft gun sites.
“We would come into London each day doing the repairs. I was fortunate they didn’t send me abroad at all – especially as I was courting a London girl.”
Mr Rook has lived at the Royal Hospital Chelsea for almost four years and added: “It’s the best way to end up. It’s like an upmarket care home. They look after us.”
Mr Rook and Cllr Adams next to Trafalgar Square