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F ALL the units in the Royal
particular his work with HMS Kent on her Far East
Navy, 42 Commando has had
deployment in 2008. That proved to be a fruitful
the most extraordinary year.
trip. When he returned home he showed 100 of
his best images to friends and family, who picked
“When their tale is told, you will learn quite what
out half a dozen of the best. The judges evidently
they got up to.”
agreed with their selection. “It is awesome to win
So spoke First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon
this – and I really can’t believe it,” he said.
“I wanted photographs which were punchy –
And when the story of their six months in
looked a bit different – and I was lucky enough to
Afghanistan is told, the images taken by one man
deploy with HMS Kent to the Far East which was
will stand tall.
the best opportunity I’ve had in the Navy.”
Among a myriad of images submitted for the
Having handed back one trophy, PO Clee
‘Oscars’ of the Royal Naval Photographic Branch
collected another – the Open award for a gritty
– the Peregrine Trophy awards, those by LA(Phot)
image of a battle-hardened commando holding
Gaz Faulkner of 42 Commando were judged to be
some gleaming bullets.
the very finest of yet another 12 months of iconic
45 Commando’s LA(Phot) Nick Tryon takes the
Life Without Limits award for a Royal popping his
‘Iconic’ was a word much in use at the awards
head out of tall grass and Gregg Macready of HMS
ceremony in Action Stations in Portsmouth.
Ark Royal won the Maritime Prize for a shot of the
It’s a word which sums up the defining image of
famous carrier in the Strait of Mull; the picture is
war in Afghanistan. It’s been used by us. It’s been
all the more remarkable for having been taken in a
used by the world’s media.
sea boat bouncing along.
Type ‘war’ and ‘Afghanistan’ into Google Images,
A montage poster of naval aircraft past, present
and it’s the first one to pop up – Royals with
and future earned LA(Phot) Billy Bunting of RNAS
bayonets fixed about to go into action as smoke
Yeovilton the Digital Imaging Award. LA(Phot)
from an explosion billows in the background.
Des Wade of the Naval Strike Wing took the Fixed
The Navy News team never quite understood
Wing Aviation title for the Chief of the Flight Deck
how the man behind the lens didn’t pick up a gong
on Illustrious shielding himself as a Harrier takes
for that image.
off. And lest we forget the rotary wing, LA(Phot)
Two years down the line, justice has been done
Alex Cave bagged the Maritime Air Prize for a
as LA Faulkner earned the coveted Peregrine
Merlin winching a crewman aboard HMS Talent.
Trophy for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan
A psyched-up Royal Marine in the ring, as
with 42 (see the images top and bottom left).
captured by LA(Phot) Pete Smith, was the Sports
The trophy is awarded to the best photographic
Photograph of the Year.
section across the RN – and the word section
Capturing the burden of command, as borne
implies a team. So Gaz’s triumph is all the more
by Cdr Rob Wilson as CO of HMS Somerset,
impressive. He is the only photographer in the 42
on celluloid earned PO(Phot) Tam McDonald
the Navy News Prize for the picture which most
His portfolio of six images of war and peace in
impressed our team.
Afghanistan were laid before recently-retired RN
Of the new breed of photographers passing
photographer Dizzy Desilva, Bette Lynch (no not
through the school at Cosford, LA(Phot) Alex
that one) of Getty News Images, and the Daily
‘Knotty’ Knott impressed the most. His portraits of
Telegraph’s picture editor Kim Scott-Clark.
a Pompey fan, wife beater and friends playing cards
The six pictures, they said, represented “an
earned him the Student Award.
outstanding group of images”.
The Peregrines are also open to amateur
They also represented just one per cent of the
photographers in the Service. AET Mark Connell
submissions for this year’s competition – many of of 815 NAS took the Amateur of the Year title
which, said the trio, would “compete for front page for his work aboard HMS Argyll in very rough
status in the national press”. weather.
One shot by LA(Phot) Steve Johncock certainly To accommodate the increasing use of moving
did. The Drake-based photographer’s image of images by the photographic branch, awards are
wounded Mne Mark Ormrod struggling across the now presented for the Best Video (to PO(Phot)
parade ground at Bickleigh captures the sacrifices Angie Pearce) and the Best ‘Rushes’ – raw
made by the Royals in Afghanistan – and their unedited footage which can be used by the news
spirit. media – to CPO Andy Gedge. Two senior BBC
“It is in a league of its own in capturing different producers, Anthony Massey and Brenda Griffiths,
emotions and stands up against any picture taken assessed the footage.
by the world’s media,” said the judges, who gave it And finally, in memory of a hugely-popular
the Media Operations Award. photographer who was killed in a road accident
For the man behind the camera, all credit should last year, the Mark Hipkin Award for Achievement
go to the commando. above and beyond the call of duty has been
“The photo is a tribute to Mark,” said Steve. introduced. That award goes to CPO Nathan
“A lesser person would have remained in the ‘Scooby’ Dua based on Whale Island. Scooby has
wheelchair. It captures in one picture the courage been instrumental in revamping the photographic
and determination we all know he has.” branch’s computer systems to cope with the
And maintaining the green beret theme, a demands of the digital age – an enormous project
triptych of black and white images of Royals which has devoured much of his spare time.
exercising with HMS Bulwark earned the ship’s In all, said Admiral Band, there were photographs
photographer, LA(Phot) Shaun Barlow, the in the 2008 Peregrine portfolio which would “serve
Commandant General Royal Marines Portfolio as iconic Royal Navy images for years”.
prize (see the main image, opposite). He continued: “At times our Service doesn’t
After two years as RN Photographer of the Year always get the credit for what it does because so
(the first person to win twice), PO Sean Clee had much of our work is out of sight, out of mind.
to relinquish the title (and trophy) to LA(Phot) “Without the photographic branch, I do not
Owen King (see the applauding Chinese). know what we would have done these past three or
Owen has been in the branch five years and his four years – it has brought the Royal Navy to the
images have regularly featured in these pages – in public consciousness.”
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