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THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT

www.edgold.co.uk

II HERRICK 13


THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN OVER A 7 MONTH PERIOD OF THE 2ND BATTALION THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT WHIST TRAINING IN THE UK AND ON DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN 2010/2011

THIS SELECTION HAS CLEARED OPERATIONS SECURITY (OPSEC) AND IS BEING EXHIBITED AT THE ESSEX RECORDS OFFICE, CHELMSFORD UNTIL 31ST AUGUST 2011

IT IS MY EXPRESS WISH TO FIND A PUBLISHER TO MAKE A BOOK OF THIS WORK AND THAT PROFITS TO GO TO THE AFGHANISTAN TRUST

PLEASE CONTACT ME - info@edgold.co.uk

Ed Gold, Documentary Photographer - 26 July 2011


ALL YOU NEED IN THE WORLD IS LOVE AND LAUGHTER. THAT’S ALL ANYBODY NEEDS. TO HAVE LOVE IN ONE HAND AND LAUGHTER IN THE OTHER. AUGUST WILSON, AUTHOR, 1945 - 2005 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

AT LEFT: FANCY DRESS, COLCHESTER GARRISON, UK - 05/10/2010 3 FRIENDS POSE FOR THE CAMERA BEFORE HEADING INTO TOWN ON THE LAST ORGANIZED NIGHT OUT BEFORE DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN.

ABOVE: THE SAME 3 FRIENDS IN HELMAND - 28/01/2011


SERGEANTS MESS - 06/10/2010

FANCY DRESS, COLCHESTER GARRISON, UK - 05/10/2010

BEFORE DEPLOYMENT ON OPERATIONS OFFICERS AND LOWER RANKS HOLD PARTIES ALIKE. IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR OFFICERS TO BE INVITED TO THE SERGEANTS MESS WHERE TRADITIONAL GAMES ARE PLAYED BETWEEN THE TWO. NUMBERED ‘POST-IT’ NOTES ARE STUCK TO THE CEILING - THE FURTHEST AWAY NOTES HAVE A BIGGER NUMBER. LEAPING OFF THE BAR TO GRAB THEM DOWN IS HOW THE TEAM WITH THE HIGHEST SCORE OVERALL AT THE END OF THE NIGHT WINS.

A LIEUTENANT AND HIS PLATOON POSE IN FANCY DRESS IN THE BARRACKS BEFORE WALKING DOWN TO THE TOWN FOR A LAST NIGHT OUT PRIOR TO DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN.


BY BLOOD WE ARE IMMERSED IN LOVE OF YOU, THE YOUTH LOSE THEIR HEADS FOR YOUR SAKE. I COME TO YOU AND MY HEART FINDS REST, AWAY FROM YOU, GRIEF CLINGS TO ME LIKE A SNAKE. I FORGET THE THRONE OF DELHI, WHEN I REMEMBER THE MOUNTAIN TIPS OF MY AFGHAN LAND. IF I MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN THE WORLD AND YOU, I SHALL NOT HESITATE TO CLAIM YOUR BARREN DESERTS AS MY OWN. AHMAD SHAH DURRANI, LEADER, 1722 - 1773 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

FLYING TO PATROL BASE 2 (PB2) - 22/01/2011 AFTER ARRIVING AT CAMP BASTION I GO STRAIGHT TO PB 2 WHERE I WILL BE BASED FOR 3 WEEKS. THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN FROM THE SIDE WINDOW OF A CHINOOK HELICOPTER WITHOUT LOOKING THROUGH THE CAMERA VIEWFINDER. I JUST HELD THE CAMERA UP TO THE WINDOW AND TOOK SOME SHOTS. THE CHINOOKS ARENT TOUR BUSES AND PHOTOGRAPHING OUT OF THEM ISNT ENCOURAGED (MOVING TO GET A BETTER VIEW WITH A BERGEN ON YOUR BACK ALSO ISNT EASY). LATER I WAS SURPRISED TO SEE THE INTERESTING CIRCULAR FARMERS COMPOUND AND ON CLOSER INSPECTION EVEN MORE SURPRISED TO HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED THE 6+ BRITISH SOLDIERS TAKING COVER BEHIND A WALL, MIDDLE LEFT.


ALL NOISE IS WASTE. SO CULTIVATE QUIETNESS IN YOUR SPEECH, IN YOUR THOUGHTS, IN YOUR EMOTIONS. SPEAK HABITUALLY LOW. WAIT FOR ATTENTION AND THEN YOUR LOW WORDS WILL BE CHARGED WITH DYNAMITE. ELBERT HUBBARD, AUTHOR, 1856 - 1915 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

OPS ROOM, PB2 - 22/01/2011 AN AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY COMMANDER WAITS TO HEAR A REPORT FROM ONE OF HIS OFFICERS DURING A TWICE DAILY MEETING IN THE OPERATIONS ROOM. SITTING TO HIS LEFT , AT MIDDLE, IS THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF 2 PARA.


IT WAS A SMILE, NOTHING MORE. IT DIDN’T MAKE EVERYTHING ALRIGHT. IT DIDN’T MAKE ANYTHING ALRIGHT. IT WAS ONLY A SMILE. A TINY THING. A LEAF IN THE WOODS, SHAKING IN THE WAKE OF A STARTLED BIRD’S FLIGHT. BUT I’LL TAKE IT, WITH OPEN ARMS. BECAUSE WHEN THE SPRING COMES, IT MELTS THE SNOW ONE FLAKE AT A TIME, AND MAYBE I JUST WITNESSED THE FIRST FLAK MELTING. KHALED HOSSEINI, AUTHOR, ‘THE KITE RUNNER’ [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

MEETING LOCAL VILLAGERS, HELMAND - 29/01/2011 A CORPORAL SHAKES THE HAND OF A YOUNG CHILD DURING AN IMPROMPTU MEETING WITH LOCAL VILLAGERS WHILST ON PATROL IN HELMAND. OFTEN THE SOLDIERS HAND OUT SWEETS AND PEANUTS FROM ARMY RATION PACKS TO CHILDREN WHO RARELY GET TO HAVE SUCH LUXURIES.


THE CHILD MUST KNOW THAT HE IS A MIRACLE, THAT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD THERE HASN’T BEEN, AND UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD THERE WILL NOT BE, ANOTHER CHILD LIKE HIM. PABLO CASALS, MUSICIAN, 1876 - 1973 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]


THIS BOOK IS NOT A FINISHED PRODUCT. I NEED THE HELP OF AN EDITOR TO DECIDE IN WHAT ORDER IT HAS TO RUN IT AND HOW TO GIVE IT A THEME.


THE TIME TO RELAX IS WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR IT. SYDNEY J HARRIS, JOURNALIST, 1944 - 1986

AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY SOLDIERS RECEIVING LESSONS - 07/02/2011

WE CANNOT CREATE OBSERVERS BY SAYING “OBSERVE”, BUT BY GIVING THEM THE MEANS FOR THIS OBSERVATION AND THESE MEANS ARE PROCURED THROUGH EDUCATION OF THE SENSES. MARIA MONTESSORI, PHYSICIAN, 1870 - 1952

[THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION] [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION] {WHO FOUND THESE QUOTATIONS!?}

PALM STAG - 30/01/2011 AFTER A PATROL AND BACK IN THE SAFETY OF A CHECKPOINT DURING A LULL I GET THE IDEA TO POSE 2 PARATROOPERS IN A PALM TREE WITH THEIR WEAPONS. ‘STAG’ IS AN ARMY NICKNAME FOR DOING GUARD DUTY SO IN THIS CASE ITS A JOKE THAT THEY’RE PERFORMING THIS UP A PALM TREE.


LIFE’S NO LIFE WHEN HONOUR’S LEFT; MAN’S A MAN WHEN HONOUR’S KEPT. NATION’S HONOUR AND NATION’S FAME; ON LIFE THEY HAVE A PRIOR CLAIM. WITH THOUGHTS OF THESE I DO REMAIN; UNVEXED WITH CARES OF LOSS OR GAIN.

WE ARE ALL TATTOOED IN OUR CRADLES WITH THE BELIEFS OF OUR TRIBE; THE RECORD MAY SEEM SUPERFICIAL, BUT IT IS INDELIBLE.

KHUSHAI KHAN KHATTAK, POET, 17TH CENTURY

[THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES SNR, PHYSICIAN, 1809 - 1894

[THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

PARATROOPERS BODY ARMOUR AND STAND - 07/02/2011

‘THE LOST TRIBE’ PARACHUTE REGIMENT TOTEM TATTOO - 29/01/2011

GRAFITTI IS COMMON PLACE IF IT PUTS A POSITIVE SMILE ON A FACE. A STAND FOR BODY ARMOUR TO KEEP IT OUT OF THE DUST AND EASY TO PUT ON IN A HURRY - PICTURED IN A TENT USED BY OFFICERS AND NCO’S. LOWER RANKS MAKE DO WITH THE GROUND.

THE LOST TRIBE WAS ORIGINALLY DESIGNED BY CRAIG JOHNSON EX 2 PARA AND NOW A FULL TIME ILLUSTRATOR SPECIALIZING IN AIRBORNE ARTWORK. THE LOST TRIBE DESIGN IS A TOTEM POLE WITH PARACHUTE REGIMENT BATTLE HONOURS AT THE BASE TOPPED WITH THE MAROON MACHINE. A VERY POPULAR DESIGN WHICH APPEARS ON EVERYTHING FROM CARDS TO TATTOOED PARATROOPERS BACKS.


CONCENTRATE ALL YOUR THOUGHTS UPON THE WORK AT HAND. THE SUN’S RAYS DO NOT BURN UNTIL BROUGHT TO A FOCUS. ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, INVENTOR, 1847 - 1922 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

MAP MAKING - 01/02/2011 IN PREPARATION FOR A MEETING AMONGST SENIOR OFFICERS FOR A PROPOSED AMBUSH A LARGE MAP IS MADE TO HELP PLAN LOGISTICS. WHEN FINISHED, DIFFERENT TEAMS WILL STAND AROUND AND GIVE CONCENTRATED TALKS TO GIVE CLEAR NOTICE TO ALL WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS AND TIMES.

TO LISTEN IS AS POWERFUL A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION AND INFLUENCE AS TO TALK WELL. JOHN MARSHALL, LEGISLATOR, 1755 - 1835 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

PHONING HOME - 29/01/2011 EACH CHECKPOINT IS PROVIDED WITH A SATELLITE TELEPHONE SO THAT EACH SOLDEIR CAN PHONE HOME IF THEY REQUIRE. AS LONG AS THE CALLS ARE RELATIVELY SHORT IT IS POSSIBLE TO STAY IN TOUCH EVERYDAY. THIS FIRE POINT IN A CHECK POINT MAKES FOR A QUIET PLACE AWAY FROM THE LIVING AREA OUTSIDE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH LOVED ONES.


DON’T ASK WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS. ASK WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE, AND GO DO IT. BECAUSE WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS IS PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME ALIVE. HOWARD THURMAN, THEOLOGIAN, 1900 - 1981 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

FANCY DRESS, COLCHESTER GARRISON, UK - 05/10/2010

ON PATROL, HELMAND - 29/01/2011

A LIEUTENANT GETS INTO THE PARTY MOOD. NICKNAMED ‘AVATAR’ BECAUSE OF THE SIMILARITY OF HIS LOOKS WITH THAT OF A FILM CHARACTER HE PAINTED HIMSELF BLUE FROM HEAD TO TOE AND WENT OUT ON TOWN WITH HIS MEN.

THE SAME LIEUTENANT AS ‘AVATAR’ LEADS A DAILY PATROL OUT FROM A CHECKPOINT IN AFGHANISTAN. EVERY NOW AND AGAIN THE MEN GO FIRM AND EITHER SIT OR KNEEL ON THE GROUND TO REST, WAIT FOR OTHERS TO CATCH UP, CHECK OUT A SIGHTING OR WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT SECTION OF LAND TO BE COVERED IS DECALRED SAFE TO MOVE OVER.


BUT IF THE WHILE I THINK ON THEE, DEAR FRIEND, ALL LOSSES ARE RESTORED AND SORROWS END. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, PLAYWRIGHT, 1564 - 1616 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

AT LEFT: FANCY DRESS, COLCHESTER TOWN, UK - 05/10/2010

ABOVE: PTE MARTIN BELL (RIGHT) & PTE TOM BARR - 24/01/2011

PRIVATE MARTIN BELL, DRESSED AS A PIMP (IN RED), STANDS WITH A FRIEND WHILST ON A PUB CRAWL DURING THE LAST ORGANIZED NIGHT OUT BEFORE DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN.

2 FRIENDS ENJOY A CIGARETTE BREAK INSIDE A CHECKPOINT BEFORE HEADING BACK OUT ON PATROL. LESS THAN 24 HOURS AFTER TAKING THIS PHOTOGRAPH MARTIN WAS KILLED BY AN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE.


MEN OFTEN COMPETE WITH ONE ANOTHER UNTIL THE DAY THEY DIE; COMRADESHIP CONSISTS OF RUBBING SHOULDERS JOCULARLY WITH A COMPETITOR. EDWARD HOAGLAND, AUTHOR

AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY LIVING SPACE, CHECKPOINT - 26/01/2011 ALOT OF MUTUAL RESPECT BETWEEN THE BRITISH ARMY AND AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY IS APPARENT EVEN WITH THE LANGUAGE BARRIER. THE ‘ANA’ TRAIN HARD ALONGSIDE PARATROOPERS AND NOT ONLY SHARE DUTIES BUT JOKES TOO.

WHO MAKES THE CHANGES? I SHOOT MY ARROW RIGHT. IT LANDS LEFT. I RIDE AFTER A DEER AND FIND I AM CHASED BY A HOG. I PLOT TO GET WHAT I WANT AND END UP IN PRISON. I DIG PITS TO TRAP OTHERS AND FALL IN. I SHOULD BE SUSPICIOUS OF WHAT I WANT. JALALUDDIN RUMI, POET, 13TH CENTURY

[THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION] [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY SOLDIER AND ‘RPG’ - 26/01/2011 THE AFGHANS ARE PROUD OF THEIR WEAPONS AND FREQUENTLY ADORN THEM WITH DECORATIONS. NOTICE AT THE TOP OF THIS ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE GREEN METALLIC CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS HAVE BEEN SELLOTAPED TO THE ORANGE WARHEAD AS WELL AS THE STRING OF BEADS WHICH RUN ALONG THE TOP OF THE BARREL FROM THE SIGHT FORWARDS. THE DECORATIONS CAME FROM THE BRITISH ARMY AT XMAS TIME AND ARE KEPT IN PLACE BY THE AFGHANS. NOTICE ALSO THE HAND OF ANOTHER SOLDIER HOLDING A MOBILE PHONE BECAUSE THE CHARGING CABLE IS NOT LONG ENOUGH. PHONES ARE USED TO LISTEN TO POPULAR AFGHAN MUSIC.


THE YOUNG DO NOT KNOW ENOUGH TO BE PRUDENT, AND THERFORE THEY ATTEMPT THE IMPOSSIBLE - AND ACHIEVE IT, GENERATION AFTER GENERATION. PEARL S BUCK, WRITER, 1892 - 1973 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]


I WANT TO SEE MY PEOPLE EDUCATED AND ENLIGHTENED. A PEOPLE WITH A VISION AND A STRONG SENSE OF JUSTICE, WHO CAN CARVE OUT A FUTURE FOR THEMSELVES IN HARMONY WITH NATURE. KHAN ABDUL GHANI KHAN, POET, 1914 - 1996 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]


TOLERATION IS THE GREATEST GIFT OF THE MIND; IT REQUIRES THE SAME EFFORT OF THE BRAIN THAT IT TAKES TO BALANCE ONESELF ON A BICYCLE. HELEN KELLER, EDUCATOR, 1880 - 1968 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]


A VERY SLIGHT CHANGE IN OUR HABITS IS SUFFICIENT TO DESTROY OUR SENSE OF OUR DAILY REALITY, AND THE REALITY OF THE WORLD ABOUT US; THE MOMENT WE PASS OUT OF OUR HABITS WE LOSE ALL SENSE OF PERMANENCY AND ROUTINE. GEORGE MOORE, PHILOSOPHER, 1873 - 1958 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

PARA, PIPE AND TASH - 28/01/2011

MORNING ABLUTIONS, CHECKPOINT, HELMAND - 28/01/2011

A STRONG SENSE OF HUMOUR IS A MUST, REINFORCED BY THE ODD PROP EITHER BROUGHT FROM HOME OR SENT BY A FAMILY MEMBER. MOUSTACHE GROWING COMPETITIONS ARE OFTEN HELD TO BOOST MORALE BUT THEY ALSO CUT DOWN ON THE TIME SPENT WITH PERSONAL GROOMING.

LIVING IN A CHECKPOINT IS AKIN TO CAMPING. YOU SLEEP ON A DIRT FLOOR OR ON THE GROUND OUTSIDE AND COOK A MEAL BY HEATING UP RATIONS USING AN AMMUNITION BOX FULL OF WATER, OVER A FIRE USING LOCALLY SOURCED WOOD OR HEXI BLOCKS. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TIME TO SHOWER THERE ARE SOLAR BAGS OF WATER HEATED BY THE SUN. IN THIS CHECKPOINT THERE WAS A WELL WITH A HAND-PUMP TO DRAW FROM BUT ALL WATER USED FOR DRINKING IS PROVIDED IN 50CL BOTTLES.


A LAND WHERE LITTLE HAS CHANGED IN 2000 YEARS, EXCEPT EVERYONE HAS A MOBILE PHONE. GARY SULLIVAN, LOGISTICIAN [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

THIS ISNT MY QUOTE AND I DON’T BELIVE IT IS A TRUE STATEMENT. NOT EVERYONE IN AFGHANISTAN HAS A MOBILE PHONE, NOT EVEN A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION. THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS I HAVE TO TAKE CONTROL OF MY WORK AND BE SURE OF HOW IT IS USED. SO MANY QUOTATIONS SEEMS TO BE AN EXERCISE IN STRETCHING ONE’S EGO AND ALSO OF LAZINESS IN NOT TAKING THE TIME TO WRITE ABOUT EACH IMAGE. INSTEAD OF RESEARCHING THE SUBJECT MATTER A QUICK TRIP TO THE LIBRARY HAS HAD TO SUFFICE. VILLAGE SHOP - 29/01/2011 DURING A ‘SHURA’ (A CONSULATION BETWEEN PARATROOPERS AND ELDERS] I DUCK INTO A SHOP WHICH HAS NO ELECTRICITY...


THE MYSTICAL BOND OF BROTHERHOOD MAKES ALL MEN BROTHERS. THOMAS CARLYLE, HISTORIAN, 1795 - 1881 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

2 PARA PATROLS, USMC, CAMP BASTION - 11/02/2011 3 ATTACHMENTS FROM THE US MARINE CORPS STAND WITH PATROLS FROM 2 PARA IN FRONT OF AN AH-1W COBRA WHERE THE US MARINE LIGHT ATTACK HELICOPTERS ARE BASED IN CAMP BASTION. ON THIS DAY THE USMC HAD INVITED ‘PATROLS’ TO VISIT THEIR HELICOPTERS AND SHOW THEM AROUND. IN RETURN, A FEW DAYS LATER, THE PARATROOPERS WERE PLANNING TO INVITE THEIR FRIENDS TO A FIRING RANGE TO HAVE A GO WITH THEIR WEAPONS. USMC ‘ANGLICOS’ WHO CAN CALL IN AIR STRIKES (JTACs) ARE USED BY PATROLS TO DELIVER STRONG FIRE-POWER FROM ABOVE, WHEN NEEDED. PATROLS CARRIES OUT A RECONNAISSANCE ROLE FOR THE BATTALION.


ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THE ACOG SIGHT IS A TINY INSCRIPTION JN8 12. WHEN JESUS SPOKE AGAIN TO THE PEOPLE, HE SAID ‘I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. WHOEVER FOLLOWS ME WILL NEVER WALK IN DARKNESS, BUT WILL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE’. JOHN, CHAPTER 8, VERSE 12 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

L129A1 SHARPSHOOTER RIFLE - 06/02/2011

SHARING FOOD WITH ANOTHER HUMAN BEING IS AN INTIMATE ACT THAT SHOULD NOT BE INDULGED IN LIGHTLY.

WHILST A ‘SHURA’ TAKES PLACE, A CONSULTATION BETWEEN THE BRITISH ARMY AND VILLAGE ELDERS, A PARATROOPER KEEPS WATCH USING HIS LONG RANGE WEAPON IN CASE OF INSURGENT ATTACK WHILST OUT IN THE OPEN.

M.F.K. FISHER, AUTHOR, 1908 - 1992 [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

CHECKPOINT MEAL - 24/01/2011 EVERY THURSDAY THE AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY IN THIS CHECKPOINT COOKS A SUPPER AND INVITES A BRITISH SERGEANT AND ONE OF HIS SOLDIERS TO ATTEND. I WAS INVITED THIS NIGHT TO SHARE IN A HUGE AMOUNT OF MEAT, RICE, FRIED VEGETABLES AND SOFT DRINKS/BOTTLED WATER. FRUIT WAS LATER PASSED AROUND AND WE SPENT THE EVENING TALKING WITH THE AFGHAN SOLDIERS VIA AN INTERPRETER.


WAR IS LIFE MULTIPLIED BY SOME NUMBER THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD OF. SEBASTIAN JUNGER, AUTHOR, ‘WAR’ [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION] THERE ARE 94 IMAGES IN THE SHOW AND 92 OF THEM CARRY QUOTATIONS. I WOULD RATHER THAT EACH IMAGE USES DESCRIPTIVE TEXT, EITHER FROM THE SUBJECT (IF BRITISH) OR BY ME, THE PHOTOGRAPHER.


‘EVERYDAY A BANG GOES OFF, SOME SMALL, SOME LARGE, SOME SO BIG IT SHAKES MY BED. I DIDN’T KNOW WHICH ONE BLEW MY MATES LEGS OFF. SAD DAY, IN SHOCK FOR MOST OF IT, OUT ON THE GROUND FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS, GOING TO LIVE IN AFGHAN COMPOUND NEXT TO THE CRATERS AND PIECES OF UNIFORM IN THE TREES. 4 MONTHS UNTIL I COME HOME, THAT’S ALOT OF BREWS TO DRINK’. PRIVATE, 2 PARA [THE ABOVE TEXT IS USED NEXT TO THIS IMAGE IN THE EXHIBITION]

WAITING TO GO OUT ON MORNING PATROL - 27/01/2011 THE EXPRESSIONS ON EACH OF THESE PARATROOPERS FACES SHOWS ACCURATELY THE SOMBRE MOOD DAYS AFTER A COMRADE WAS KILLED AND OTHERS WOUNDED BY IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES.


Born in June 1969 and raised in Colchester; Ed received his first camera aged 8: the Ilford Sport had been used by his father during his time doing National Service. Photography gripped Ed’s imagination and from his schoolboy hobby Ed went on to formally study Photography and Design at Art College, gaining a Masters Degree. Ed has extensively travelled the world since. From Alaska to Argentina and from Anglesey to Afghanistan, his camera has been by his side capturing evocative images of the characters and communities Ed has encountered along the way. His deep fascination with community and his links to Colchester led him in 2010 to approach The Parachute Regiment. His proposal to document their training and deployment to Helmand Province in Afghanistan was accepted and ‘People: Pashtuns and Paras’ is the resulting exhibition. A book of the same name will be published later in 2011. Ed Gold, Photographer

PHOTOGRAPHER’S STATEMENT

TO GET OUT TO AFGHANISTAN THE MoD STIPULATED THAT I MUST FIND A PUBLISHER BEFORE I COULD DEPLOY. ON MY RETURN TO THE UK THE PUBLISHER DROPPED OUT CITING THAT HE ALREADY HAD 5 BOOKS ON ‘THE PARAS IN AFGHANISTAN’ AND DIDN’T NEED ANYMORE. A BUSINESSMAN STEPPED IN WHO I MET ON A HOSTILITY AWARENESS COURSE AND WHO I FLEW TO AFGHAN WITH. HE WANTED TO MAKE AN EXHIBITION OF MY WORK AND ALSO A BOOK. THE SELECTION HERE IS WHAT IS BEING EXHIBITED IN CHELMSFORD.

I AM NOT HAPPY WITH HOW MY IMAGES ARE BEING HANDLED IN THE DESIGNING OF THE BOOK AND THAT I WASN’T ASKED FOR MY OPINION WITH THE EXHIBITION AT ALL. EACH IMAGE HAS A QUOTATION NEXT TO IT INSTEAD OF A DESCRIPTIVE TEXT. DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY, IN THIS CASE, NEEDS DIALOGUE TO ACCURATELY DESCRIBE WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE PICTURE. TO DO THAT I NEED TO ASK FOR DETAILS SUCH AS NAMES, DATES AND PLACES. I NEED TO WORK WITH AN EDITOR WHO HAS ETIQUETTE. HENCE I AM LOOKING FOR A PROFESSIONAL PUBLISHER TO PRODUCE THIS BOOK. I GAVE UP MY JOB AND HOME TO LIVE IN A MONGOLIAN YURT IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT THIS PROJECT SO IT MUST BE DONE PROPERLY.


ESSEX RECORDS OFFICE WHARF ROAD, CHELMSFORD, ESSEX, CM2 6YT OPENING TIMES Monday: 9am-8.30pm Tuesday-Thursday: 9am-5pm Friday-Saturday: 9am-4pm

‘PEOPLE: PASHTUNS AND PARAS’ A PICTORIAL JOURNEY OF THE PARAS AT HOME AND IN AFGHANISTAN


THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS HAVE NOT YET CLEARED OPERATIONS SECURITY (OPSEC) THESE ARE A SMALL SELECTION FROM 6000 +

Not OPSEC’d

IMAGES I TOOK IN THE UK AND IN AFGHANISTAN

I WOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR PERMISSION TO USE THIS SELECTION AND FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE MORE OPSEC’d

[THESE IMAGES ARE MEANT TO GIVE AN INSIGHT TO THE POTENTIAL OF ALL THE OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS I HAVE TAKEN WHICH ARE AS YET UNSEEN]


FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE (FTX) SALISBURY PLAIN, UK - 20/07/2010

FOOT PATROL, HELMAND PROVINCE - 27/01/2011

PARATROOPERS CHECK OTHER BRITISH SOLDIERS, OFTEN FROM DIFFERENT REGIMENTS, WHO ARE PRETENDING TO BE AFGHAN CITIZENS. THIS ENACTMENT GIVES THE PARATROOPERS A TASTE OF HOW THEIR DUTIES WILL BE WHILST ON DEPLOYMENT.

THIS TIME FOR REAL, AN AFGHAN CITIZEN LIFTS UP HIS CLOTHING AT THE REQUEST OF A PARATROOPER (VIA AN INTERPRETER, AT RIGHT) TO PROVE THAT HE IS NOT CARRYING EXPLOSIVES. WHILST ON FOOT PATROL BOTH CARS AND MOTORBIKES ARE FREQUENTLY STOPPED AND THE OCCUPANTS TOLD TO STOP THE ENGINE AND SPEND AS MUCH TIME IS NECESSARY TO SHOW THAT THEY ARE NOT INSURGENTS. COMPARING PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE UK AND AFGHANISTAN GIVES A FASCINATING TO THE WORK OF 2 PARA.


CAMP BASTION - 01/02/2011 CAMP BASTION IS THE MAIN BRITISH MILITARY BASE IN AFGHANISTAN. ACCOMMODATING 21,000 PEOPLE IT IS SITUATED NORTHWEST OF LASHKAR GAH, THE CAPITAL OF HELMAND PROVINCE, AND EXISTS TO BE THE LOGISTICS HUB FOR OPERATIONS IN HELMAND. IT IS THE LARGEST BRITISH OVERSEAS MILITARY CAMP BUILT SINCE WORLD WAR 2. BUILT IN EALY 2006, THE CAMP IS SITUATED IN A REMOTE DESERT AREA, FAR FROM POPULATIONS CENTRES. FOUR MILES LONG AND TWO MILES WIDE, IT HAS AN AIRSTRIP AND A HOSPITAL. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA]


MEDAL AWARDS CEREMONY, COLCHESTER GARRISON, UK - 16/06/2011 2ND BATTALION THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT POSE FOR A PHOTOGRAPH WITH THEIR COLONEL-IN-CHIEF, HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES, SEATED AT CENTRE. CAMILLA DUCHESS OF CORNWALL IS SAT TO HIS LEFT. NOTICE THE HECKLER ON THE TOP ROW, 19TH ALONG FROM THE LEFT, TELLING ME TO ‘GET OUT THE WAY’ OF THE OTHER PHOTOGRAPHER BEHIND ME. FOR THIS SHOT I USED THE PENTAX 645D, A MEDIUM FORMAT 40 MEGAPIXEL CAMERA WHICH PENTAX KINDLY LENT ME FOR THIS OCCASSION. ONLY A CAMERA WITH THIS HIGH SPECIFICATION WOULD ALLOW ME TO GET THE DETAIL ON EACH PERSONS FACE WHILST STANDING SO FAR AWAY.


6000+ IMAGES MEANS THAT THERE ARE MANY OPTIONS AND ALOT OF CHOICE. FOR INSTANCE I HAVE A WHOLE SERIES JUST ON SOLDIER’S BED SPACES.


FROM TO PB2 TO CAMP BASTION, HELMAND LAND - 09/02/2011 MY FINAL CHINOOK HELICOPTER FLIGHT. I ASKED THE LOADER FOR A HARNESS SO I WAS ABLE TO KNEEL ON THE VERY EDGE OF THE TAIL RAMP TO GET A BETTER VIEW. HERE I USE THE PENTAX DA 50-200MM WR LENS AT ITS MAXIMUM LENGTH OF 200MM (FOCAL LENGTH IN 35MM - 300MM). IT IS SUPERBLY SHARP, HAS WEATHER SEALING (WR) AND LIGHTWEIGHT. THE MANY RIDGES MADE BY HAND IN THE FIELDS AID IN HOLDING IRRIGATION WATER IN PLACE. NOTICE THE WHITE CAR AT BOTTOM MIDDLE WHICH GIVES A GOOD SENSE OF SCALE. F 6.7 1/500 ISO100 EV -0.5 PENTAX K10D


IMBER VILLAGE, SALISBURY PLAIN, UK - 23/07/2010 IMBER IS AN UNINHABITED VILLAGE IN PART OF THE BRITISH ARMY’S TRAINING GROUNDS ON THE SALISBURY PLAIN, WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND. A PARATROOPER WATCHES FROM AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW OPENING WITH A GPMG (GENERAL PURPOSE MACHINE GUN) DURING THE FINAL EXERCISE OF A WEEK LONG TRAINING CAMP.


FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE (FTX) SALISBURY PLAIN, UK - 20/07/2010 EVEN THOUGH THE BRITISH ARMY STILL OWNS ALOT OF LAND ON SALISBURY PLAIN FOR ITS ARMY MANOEUVRES MUCH OF IT IS ALSO FARMED. WHILST THE TRAINING EXERCISES ARE BEING CONDUCTED FARMERS CONTINUE TO GO ABOUT THEIR DAILY BUSINESS. ALL OTHER VEHICLES DURING THIS EXERCISE HAD TO BE STOPPED AS THEY COULD HAVE BEEN PRETENDING TO BE INSURGENTS (THOSE RISING IN REVOLT AGAINST AN ESTABLISHED AUTHORITY I.E. TALIBAN). I LIKE THE CONTRAST OF THIS HUGE FIRST WORLD TRACTOR AND SMALLISH TRAILER TO THE PHOTO OPPOSITE OF SMALL THIRD WORLD TRACTOR PULLING A MASSIVE LOAD.

FOOT PATROL IN HELMAND PROVINCE - 27/01/2011


ROOFTOP VIEWS, HELMAND - 29/01/2011 THESE VIEWS, ABOVE AND RIGHT, ARE TAKEN AT DUSK FROM A BRITISH ARMY CHECKPOINT OVERLOOKING HOUSES AND A MOSQUE IN AN AFGHAN VILLAGE. MOSQUES ARE IDENTIFIED BY THE ELECTRONIC TANNOYS WHICH STAND OUTSIDE THEM AND WHICH BROADCAST THE MULLAH’S CALL TO PRAYER TWICE A DAY. THE AIR IN AFGHANISTAN IS VERY PURE - NO DOUBT DUE TO MUCH LESS POLLUTION THAN IN THE UK AND OTHER FIRST WORLD COUNTRIES. I THINK THAT THIS CAN ONLY EXPLAIN THE EXTRAORDINARY LIGHT.


MANY THANKS TO MY SPONSORS ‘SNUGPAK’ AND ‘PENTAX’ WHO PROVIDE ME WITH THE BEST EQUIPMENT. WITHOUT THEIR CONTINUED SUPPORT I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CARRY OUT MY PROJECTS AS I DO.

WWW. SNUGPAK.COM

WWW.PENTAX.CO.UK

Profile for Ed Gold

2 Para - Herrick 13  

A small selection of photographs spanning 7 months work documenting The Parachute Regiment in the UK and on deployment to Afghanistan. I nee...

2 Para - Herrick 13  

A small selection of photographs spanning 7 months work documenting The Parachute Regiment in the UK and on deployment to Afghanistan. I nee...

Profile for edgold
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