Striking photographs which give an insight into the work of troops in conflict zones have been recognised in a Royal Navy competition.
Images of Westcountry troops on operation in Afghanistan are among those to be commended at a ceremony at the Old Royal Navy College in Greenwich.
The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, announced that Petty Officer Hamish Burke had won Royal Navy Photographer of the Year for four images which included a shot of members of Plymouth-based 30 Commando at work in Afghanistan.
His winning portfolio also included a poignant shot taken during the Duke of Kent’s visit to Camp Bastion on the front line. It features the silhouette of a bugler and a crucifix against a wall which bears the quotation: “When you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today.”
The prestigious Peregrine Trophy was awarded to Leading Airman (Photographer) Arron Hoare, who captured the Antarctic’s dramatic winter wilderness while he served on the ice patrol ship HMS Protector.
His images included a shot of a memorial service onboard HMS Protector, to commemorate the lives lost onboard Devonport-based HMS Ardent and HMS Antelope during the Falkands conflict.
Other portfolios of photographs in this year’s competition reflect the varied role the Naval Service plays around the world. Images of Royal Marines and Fleet Air Arm helicopters in Afghanistan were entered alongside photographs of the warships on patrol in the Indian Ocean preventing pirate attacks on shipping.
The judges commented that: “As a collection, these images and short films bring into focus the amazing diversity of the Royal Navy and what an asset the various photographic sections are.”
Some of the photographs were taken during exercises designed to prepare ships, submarines, aircraft and Royal Marines for a number of potential situations.
Several images show sailors on humanitarian and disaster relief exercises, whilst the naval aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm feature heavily too, demonstrating the impressive and exciting nature of flying aircraft from ships at sea and in Afghanistan.
When selecting the winners for the various categories, the judges said: “All entrants are to be congratulated for the high standard of images; it made our job extremely difficult.”
Petty Officer (Photographer) Hamish Burke won the Royal Navy Photographer of the Year title with a portfolio of four pictures including this image of the memorial at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan
LA (Phot) Kyle Heller won the Media Operations Category with this picture of Royal Marines detaining Somali pirates
Peregrine Trophy winner LA (Phot) Arron Hoare captured the emotion of a memorial service on HMS Protector