The winners of the 2015 Army Photographic Competition have been announced during a ceremony held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The annual competition highlights the work of professional and amateur British Army photographers. Sergeant Rupert Frere, who transferred from a role in bomb disposal to become a photographer in the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), won no fewer than five of the professional categories.
A new category was introduced this year to reflect the professional photographers' work in Afghanistan during a decade of Operation Herrick. Frere's portfolio was judged the best, and he also claimed the best Op Herrick portrait and runner-up Op Herrick portfolio with images from three separate tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Frere said: "I spent three tours on Op Herrick from 2009 to 2012-13. I had lots of friends there and unfortunately lost some friends there, too. So, to have these images that remind people of what we went through out there, it means a lot to me, personally, that they've chosen my photos."
The best professional portrait award went to 30-year-old Corporal Paul Shaw, RLC, for his image of Sgt John S Kabia a Sierra Leonean soldier, taken during the height of the Ebola crisis. Shaw, who deployed as a member of a Combat Camera Team, said: "I'm pretty chuffed to win, especially as it was the first portrait I took in Sierra Leone. A lot of these guys have been in the army out there their whole life, and will have lived and served and probably fought through the civil war they had. Who knows what they've been through? They sit there and stare into that lens with everything they've got because they're not hiding anything."
The Amateur Portrait Category was won by Private Rebecca Brown, a Combat Medical Technician of 4 Armoured Medical Regiment, based at Aldershot. Her image of a father holding a photograph of his eldest son holding a photograph of his younger brother was judged the best image. "It's amazing to win. It's a big shock," said Rebecca.
Command Master Photographer WO1 Will Craig said: "As the organiser of the Army Photographic Competition this year I am very pleased with the high standard of entries showing a diverse range of soldiers doing their day-to-day jobs." IBTimes UK shares some of the winning images.
This article was first published on October 28, 2015