This post will be picture heavy as it is my favourite images from all the jobs I have been on as a British Army Photographer this year (2015).
This is my first year as a 'media' photographer since leaving the Defence School of Photography (DSOP) as I spent the first two years as a photographer instructing photography to Tri-Service personnel. I started at the Army Press Office Wales and West Midlands in March this year. I cover all aspects of Army life in the West Midlands and its soldiers whether it be training in the UK or abroad.
This was my 2015.
Scroll down and enjoy!
This was my first job at AMC WMIDS. It was a VC stone unveiling at the National Memorial Arboretum in Stafford. Pictures is Sgt Johnson Beharry VC with Bill Speakman VC waiting for the Prime Minister David Cameron to arrive.
A week later I was at HQ Land to do some refresher training. Whilst I was there we went along to the Combined Arms Demonstration on Salisbury Plain. In other words it was a capability demo.
Whilst the Brecon phot was in BATUS (Canada) I was tasked on a few jobs to cover for him. This is Thomson’s Battery The Royal Gibraltar Regiment fired the 21-Gun Salute at Cardiff Castle to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
I spent a few weekends at Swynerton and Nescliffe training areas covering Exercise GRIFFIN SPANNER for the REME. I was up to my knees in mud at some points but got some great shots from the exercise.
This shot is from a service or remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum for those who lost their lives on duty.
11th Signal & West Midlands Brigade posted a reception of local civilian dignitaries, military VIPs and Brigade personalities at the officers mess on Venning barracks.
Another trip down to Wales, this time to the Millennium stadium in Cardiff for the presentation of the new colours the The Royal Welsh.
Prince George with his Dad, Mum and Grandparents.
One of the highlights of the year was photographing The Queen's Birthday parade in London. I was positioned on the QVM right outside of Buckingham Palace.
Another job in Wales to cover a community covenant tasking for 160 Brigade. This was at St Faggins, a lovely stately home with beautiful gardens.
I spent one Sunday afternoon at Leek training area. My time there lasted 20 minutes. at the end of the first serial I fell over in a river and submerged my Nikon D4 and 24-70mm. They went in a bag of rice and got sent back for repair. I was back to using a D3 again after that.
For Armed Forces day I was tasked to take pictures of Reserves in their workplace in uniform. BAE Systems was only down the road and a willing volunteer I was good to go with this shot of Crafstman Luci Smitheman.
Uniform to work day was renamed to 'Reserves day' this year. The event was in the Council buildings in Birmingham city centre. Members of the public offered a taste of Army life from presentations to team building activities outdoors.
Another Job for 160X. I was at The Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells. Here is The Band of The Royal welsh getting to playing live on radio.
Another trip back to The National Memorial Arboretum this time with over 200 Army Chaplains for the dedication of their new memorial.
Another Job in Wales this time for the Army in Scotland, where 2 Scots were carrying out their final exercise before deploying to Afghanistan for OP TORAL.
Three Soldiers chilling out on the Hesco
The CO. I like the lighting on this image, It was all natural lighting as well. Just the right time of the day I gues
This was the final part of the training. A simulated public order serial where the soldiers had to deal with a RTC in a highly populated area typically found in Kabul.
This was a good job. I was covering for Army East Midlands for the homecoming of 1 Royal Anglian from OP TORAL in Afghanistan.
It was great to see all the loved ones welcoming the soldiers home.
I entered this image into the Army Phot comp for the online category. It came in at second place.
This job was at Europe's biggest Hindu temple, The Shri Venkateswara Balaji Temple in Birmingham.
My next job was to head off to Croatia to cover 4 MERCIAN on EX SAVA STAR 15
Another job for The Army in Scotland 4 Scots were off to Cyprus for OP TOSCA. They were in Nescliffe taking part in public order training.
EX FLYING FALCON on Salisbury plain. It was the biggest Royal Signals exercise in years. I do miss driving these things.
Another overseas trip, this time to Gibraltar covering 202 Field Hospital who are based all over the West Midlands. This shot was deep inside the rock where the soldiers were training.
The Soldiers preparing to go into the village on the final assault.
Two soldiers giving covering fire during the FIBUA phase of the EX
Whilst I was there the APTC football team were training. I thought it would be rude not to grab a few shots.
Back in the UK and it was for Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited MOD Stafford.
The Band of The Royal Signals.
Cambrian Patrol was next on my list of tasks to do.
This is one of my favourite images from the exercise. Got a nice double page spread of images in Soldier magazine with this.
Lieutenant General James Everard, Commander Land Forces, places the wreath at Pte Lewis' grave.
A quick job in London to help out the LONDIST Phot Rupert Frere for Poppy Day.
The Penultimate job of the year was the first 11 Signal and West Midlands Brigades Christmas cake competition.
I started off the year with a VC stone unveiling and finished off with one. This time it was in Birmingham and HRH The Duke of Cambridge was in attendance.
The Duke of Cambridge at the stones.
The Duke of Cambridge signs the guest book.
This was an interesting story that I picked up on there. This gentleman had the front page of The Daily Mirror dated Feb 19th 1919. On the front page was his second cousin who was a posthumous recipient of the VC.
Not a bad year to be had to be honest!
Onwards and upwards to next year which is looking like a trip to Brunei for a few weeks. I'm sure I will tell you all about that when I am back!
Till then have a good time over the holidays!
(All images crown copyright 2015)