Monthly Archives: June 2011

Happy the Soldier Home

Polzeath, Cornwall

You’ll be seeing more of these guys on here soon enough – I hope.

They stand as the foundations to a rather precarious and seemingly inexhaustible project – the most of which will be comprised of images. The adopted working title is ‘Happy the Soldier Home’.

The more I study the images taken, the more I seem to lose my cognitive ability to analyse them for what they are; a group of mates heading to Cornwall to surf, drink and talk talk. But it’s more than that. They are pictures of blokes, but blokes affected by war with limbs lost and eyes scorched – or simply shot.

They are members of the Royal Marines rehabilitation unit based in Plymouth.

Whoever or whatever they are, seem to be, or other, they tolerated me, my camera and my civvy ways and for that, I am immensely appreciative.

It was an extraordinary adventure and lasted for three jaeger drenched nights and four surf sodden days.

It was necessarily great, so meet this band of blokes

Gibbo has just left the marines due to his injuries. His mates bought him a 'mini-marine' to remind him that he'd always be a bootneck

Doc's pickled eggs were a favourite

Bear lost his left leg and right arm

Gibbo lost his left leg - and some arm, and little more leg

The toasts

Jack was shot in the back and has lost a fair size of lung

Jonah is blind in right eye

Wind was passed - regularly

Matt hasn't lost his right leg - only most of his left

Doc

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Wootton Bassett

Sam and Claire Alexander are good family friends.

And Sam was a Royal Marine in 42 Commando. On 27 May this year, he and his commander, Lt Ollie Augustin, were both killed in an IED blast. They were on foot patrol in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province.

On his first tour of Afghanistan in 2009, Sam was awarded the Military Cross for saving a wounded mate. He leaves his wife, Claire, and a son yet to celebrate his first birthday.

When fallen soldiers return to England, many friends, family and well-wishers gather in Wootten Bassett to pay their respects…

…I was one of them.

Friends of Marine Sam Alexander MC, and Lt Oliver Augustin line the street

Friends of Marine Sam Alexander MC

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Park Life, People and Party

This was the official opening of a new, spruced-up Max Roach Park. There was red-ribbon, an MP and many young and eager faces ready to run wild.

It was a great day enjoyed by all – in spite of the occasional splutters of shower.

And the cutting of the ribbon

Cut!

Impeccable manners before the Go-Carts

The respirator was not 'on'; you could not breathe while wearing it (funnily enough)

Regrettably, I ve forgotten his name, but he does a great job running the Max Roach community centre. A very good job

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