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This stunning collection of photos which provide a heart-warming and inspirational insight into ARMY life have all been selected as winners in an annual competition run by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

The theme of this year’s contest was “What does the British Army mean to you?” and the pictures have been taken by both professional photographers and the general public. They have been selected from a record number of more than 280 entries and show both the professional and human side to the army men and women, with images ranging from Remembrance Day parades to explosions on the battlefields and cadets in training.

The top 12 entries will feature in The Soldiers’ Charity’s 2021 calendar, with first place securing the front cover. The winning photo, The Lone Trumpeter, was taken by Michael Patrick and shows a colourful Trooper against a black and white background at the Changing of the Guard ceremony in London. He is seen waiting for the new guard to be visible at the top of the Mall in London before he rides back into Horse Guards Parade and signals the officers that it is time to leave.

Michael said: “To win first place is really amazing news for me - I cannot wait to tell my Grandad. Most importantly, knowing that it will help contribute to such an important charity that will benefit thousands of former and current service personnel and their families is just fantastic.”

Second place went to Roy Bevan for the picture, Proud of Dad, which shows a young Merseyside Army Cadet proudly wearing his dad’s medals at a Liverpool Remembrance Parade. Trevor Sheehan took third place with his photo, Pure Joy, which shows a search dog getting its reward, a tennis ball.

Other images include a Trojan storming through explosions on Salisbury Plain, guards on parade at Trooping the Colour and mechanics working together to recover a vehicle.

The contest, which is in its sixth year, had a celebrity panel of judges, including actor Paul Copley, novelist Andy McNab, Olympian Heather Stanning, Army Sergeant Major Warrant Officer 1 Gavin Paton and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity Chief Executive Major General (Ret’d) Martin Rutledge.

Heather Stanning said she chose 'The Lone Trumpeter' as her winning shot because “it feels like it sums up what the past five months have been like. Additionally, I love that the only colour in the photo comes from the Trumpeter’s uniform.”

Major General (Ret’d) Martin Rutledge, said he appreciated Roy Bevan’s image of Remembrance because “It admirably captures the poignancy of a very precious family memory at a special time of year with the optimism and commitment of the young.”

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