Heart-breakers, life-takers and history-makers.

Over the last couple of years I've been privileged to be asked to provide the photographs for quite a few military events - mostly related to my old regiment, the Scots Guards. Each time, my chest swells with pride as I prepare my kit - cleaning cameras & lenses, charging batteries, ironing shirts & trousers, polishing shoes and packing bags in a way that'll ensure my essential kit is immediately to hand so that everything goes smoothly - much the same way as the soldiers who are about to step in front of my lens (not to mention me and my comrades in days gone past) would be shining their boots & buttons, whitening buff-belts, brushing their World-famous Bearskin hats (or polishing the peaks of their forage-caps) and cleaning their weapons. But this is only part of the story of this elite fighting unit, for it is just that - an elite fighting unit. The same preparation goes one when they pack their bergens and webbing to head off to Afghanistan - boots cleaned, spare socks packed, weapon cleaned, magazines loaded.
Whilst other regiments see a fully-trained soldier offer only 8 weeks, The Guards don't see a Guardsman until 6 months (26 weeks) after he begins. Where the public see 'toy-soldiers' at Buckingham Palace in London, the Guards see the fighting men who earned the British Army's first battle honour, first Victoria Cross and who turned the tide of events at Waterloo (an act which saw the Scots Guards being allowed to be the first to wear those ceremonial bearskins). The men see their Brothers with whom they share their lives, the highs and lows, the guys they abuse verbally for the slightest mistake but will stand side-by-side with when faced with ANY foe! These are the men who have faced Napoleon, Hitler, The Argentinians, the terrorists of Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. They have lost Brothers and, when needed, they have deprived families of theirs. Throughout 371 years of history, the Scots Guards have proven to be a regiment which delivers the highest of standards consistently. Whether guarding Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace (don't forget, the Guards ARE her personal troops), showing off to the World at Trooping The Colour, honouring their fallen or putting their lives on the line - they have earned the right to say (as we do, so often) "I am not a soldier - I am a Guardsman!"
I have been honoured to photograph these events for the Regiment and will always be proud to call myself that which others revere - a Guardsman.


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