ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has announced the winners of its competition to find inspiring images to feature in its annual calendar.

The contest, which was open to both professional photographers and the general public, attracted nearly 100 entries ranging from military training exercises in the Californian desert to an emotional reunion of a mother and her son – all offering an inspirational insight into Army life.

Twelve images were chosen for the calendar with the top spot going to Army photographer Murray Kerr for his ‘Section Commander’ image.

The picture was taken of an officer cadet from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst practicing section attack live firing on exercise in Grafenwohr Training area, Bavaria, in March 2017.

Kerr said: “[I am] very pleased to have done so well. It’s a great competition and knowing that it will be in a calendar to raise funds for The Soldiers’ Charity makes it even better.”

Second place went to Jason Fenton for ‘Airborne’ (below)– a photo taken during Exercise Burmese Chase – and third place to Captain Lou Rudd for ‘The Blue Beyond’ (left), which captures him battling across heavy sastrugi in Antarctica during the SPEAR17 expedition in December 2016.

Fenton explained: “I’ve never entered anything like this before so I’m really happy to have been awarded second place. The Soldiers’ Charity is an incredible charity that doesn’t just help serving personnel and families, but veterans too. We should continue to support them so they can carry on their great work for years to come.”

Choosing the winner was a panel of judges including Major General Sue Ridge DG ALS, Lieutenant General (Ret’d) Philip Jones, Major General (Ret’d) Martin Rutledge CB OBE, as well as actor Tom Burke, who will star in the BBC adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Cuckoo Calling, and actor Luke Pasqualino, who stars in BBC Drama Our Girl.  

Tom said: “The standard of the photographs in this year’s competition was incredibly high. I have so little to say about Murray’s photo because it’s just amazing. I’m no expert. And he clearly is much more than an expert! Fenton’s image is effortlessly playful and Rudd’s is extremely atmospheric. Three deserved winners.”

The three winners will each receive a brand new Canon camera, kindly donated by Canon UK and WEX Photographic.

Get your calendar and get snapping in 2018

The calendar will be available via the charity’s online shop from September, with all proceeds going directly to support soldiers, veterans and their immediate families.

The Soldiers’ Charity has also announced the launch of its 2018 photo competition, with the winners featuring in the 2019 calendar. The competition is open to amateur and professional photographers, with the key theme of the British Army.

Submit your entries at www.soldierscharity.org/photo-competition by midnight on 30 April 2018.

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