A soldiers story

My intention is to produce three, five to ten minute  video’s of ex service personnel, ideally one from each of the armed services, the RAF, Army and the Royal Navy. 

I hope to record their memories of their times served and also to reflect on their lives post service. I wish to find out if they feel the prepared sacrifice they were willing to make was worth it and if this is still a country that they are proud of.

Each video will contain a location interview with the individual interspersed with period footage and still photographs from their personal archive of images. The interview style will be much like this example (Click here).

As someone who works regularly on civic events where the ex services often parade I have noted the steady decline in numbers and think that these videos would be an archive that may be of interest to future generations. This has been a project I have wanted to do for sometime and I feel that now time may be running out if I do not take action soon.

Documentary photography and videography has always interested me and it is something I would like to pursue further as a career path. 

 

Today we take for granted our safety and can not even begin to understand what it must have been like to be taken, many at a very young age (some even lying about their age to be selected) from our shores to fight bloody battles world wide. I can not imagine what it must be like to know you have to kill or be killed, living every day, even moment knowing it could be your last.

I hope that these videos will help to bring home these feelings and what these men and women went through so that we could live free lives today.

It also saddens me that many of these ex service men and women are still suffering now, from memories of back then or by the hardships that they endure in these times of ousterity.  

Many of these men and women never made it back alive and many more were physically and mentally damaged by what they saw and did during the period 1939 to 1945.

I have started to make initial enquiries with contacts that I have made from the local RBL and the Wolverhampton United Ex-service Council, I  hope to hear back from them in the next few days.

It is estimated that around 15,000,000 Service men and women died during World War 2 and there are around 100,000 veterans still alive in the UK today. Inevitably this number is now declining rapidly as many of them are now in their 90’s.

The two videos above were shot only three years apart 2018 and 2015 both celebrating Victory in Europe day. Most of the men standing in the 2015 video are no longer with us in fact I heard only today (26th September 2019) that another sadly passed away last Saturday.

The ranks of the old guard are now getting very small and we should never forget their sacrifice.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary themnor the years condemn; At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them”.

Online resources.

www.historyonthenet.com/how-many-people-died-in-world-war-2

www.reddit.com/r/AskUK/comments/4q807o/how_many_british_wwii_veterans_are_still_alive/

www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/boys-who-lied-about-age-to-fight-ww2-teenage-soldiers/

www.underground-england.co.uk/news/stuart-griffiths-para-turned-photographer/

www.stuartgriffiths.net/

Video footage

Project Proposal