The recent Soldiers’ Charity photography competition has found a series of inspirational images offering a unique and stirring insight into Army life. The winning entries, judged by veteran correspondents Kate Aide and Michael Buerke along with Chief of the General Staff General Sir Nick Carter will be featured on the 2017 ABF The Soldiers’ Charity calendar.
A bomb disposal dog cradled in the arms of its handler; the sun glistening through the rifle of an Army sniper; an artillery shell leaving a Light Gun after being fired – these are just a few of the winning photographs to the 2017 calendar competition which has just been announced by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. The Soldiers’ Charity is the National Charity of the British Army.
The competition, which was open to the public and soldiers alike, saw hundreds of Army themed entries. The shortlist was judged by BBC journalists Michael Buerk and Kate Adie, the Chief of General Staff, General Sir Nick Carter KCB, CBE, DSO, ADC, Rob Cook of Canon UK, and Andy Taylor of WEX Photographic.
Trevor Sheehan, from Hexam in Northumberland, whose picture ‘Dog Days’ was the overall winner for the calendar commented: “I saw this soldier and his loyal dog training and it was clear that they had a very close and special bond. I crouched down to dog height and took the shot. The dog remained very calm even with a camera so close, it was very professional.
“I have never entered a photography competition before, so it was beginner’s luck for me! I am thrilled that this photograph was chosen by The Soldier’s Charity for their 2017 calendar. I have seen myself the unique support to soldiers and their immediate families that they provide and if this photograph helps in any way to raise funds for their work then that’s all the job satisfaction I will ever need.”
On the entries, Kate Adie commented: “The Army is a way of life. You need images from battlefields to individual moments, to show this. Whether they are on parade or on patrol, much of this way of life is demonstrated in these photographs.” Michael Buerk added: “Judging was not easy as it became a matter of weighing virtues, rather than picking holes. There’s obviously another career beckoning if some ever get tired of soldiering!”
Major General (Ret’d) Martin Rutledge, Chief Executive ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, comments: “We wanted the calendar to capture people’s imagination of what the Army means to them. There were some outstanding entries, and the final images really demonstrate the wide variety of elements that make up the modern British Army.”
Canon UK and WEX Photographic generously sponsored the competition, donating three top camera prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. The calendar goes on sale in September and will be available via the Charity’s online shop with all proceeds going directly to support soldiers, veterans and their immediate families.