Army photographer captures off duty moments of serving soldiers

A Man and His Dog. Photo © Alison Baskerville

A Man and His Dog. Photo © Alison Baskerville


In her forthcoming photographic exhibition, ‘Make Do and Mend’, award-winning Terriotorial Army Sergeant Alison Baskerville has captured images of many off duty moments for soldiers serving overseas in today’s combat zones.

Sergeant Baskerville returned this summer from a tour in Afghanistan to win two categories, Professional Portrait and Professional Operational Image, in the Annual Army Photographic Competition. From 9th – 20th November Gallery 150 in Leamington Spa is being transformed with pictures, props and materials that will give you a flavour of Army life on operations and the event will help support the fund-raising efforts of the Royal British Legion.

Sergeant Alison Baskerville served out in Afghanistan as a member of the Combat Camera Team which meant she was out on the ground, sometimes for days or weeks at a time, recording the ‘on and off’ duty moments of life in a tough environment.

“We see lots of pictures, photographs of soldiers living and working in the field but much of life on operations, as one soldier described it to me is ’99 per cent boredom and 1 per cent chaos!’,” she says. “I was intrigued to capture the other side of life in Afghanistan, the way soldiers improvise every day objects to make life more comfortable, how they cope with boredom, add humour and live through the separation from their friends and families.”

It’s the kind of casual moments that you’ll also find in the pages of Charley’s War as he captured Pat Mills’ observations of serving soldiers in World War One trenches.

“When you start looking, you suddenly see moments of thoughtfulness, how people spend their ‘down time’ and the interaction with the Afghan people.”

“We are delighted that Sergeant Baskerville has chosen to support The Royal British Legion with her photographic exhibition,” said Russell Thompson OBE, Director of National Events and Fundraising at The Royal British Legion. “Her images are incredible and she brings an insight into the life of a soldier while he is away from home which will resonate with many of our servicemen and women and their families.

“It is also very poignant that the exhibition launches during this year’s Poppy Appeal. In this, our 90th year, it is more important than ever that we recognise the commitment made by our military personnel.

“The 2011 Poppy Appeal is about standing shoulder to shoulder with our brave Armed Forces. We need your support to help our injured Armed Forces to recover and to regain their confidence through The Royal British Legion Battle Back Centre for sports and adventurous training.”

More than £1.4 million a week or over £200,000 a day is spent by the Legion on its work helping over 160,000 members of the Armed Forces Family – serving, ex-Service and their dependants.

• The photographic exhibition, ‘Make Do and Mend’ is showing at Gallery 150, Regent Court Shopping Centre, 9 Livery Street, Leamington Spa, CV32 4NP from Wednesday 9 November to Sunday 20 November. Opening hours Monday – Saturday 11am – 6pm, Sunday 11am – 4pm. Gallery 150 is run and showcased by Leamington Studio Artists (LSA)

First published on the Charley’s War web site

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