Scottish WW2 Veterans
This set of ten images documents Scottish servicemen who served in WW2 and whose huge sacrifice and contribution did so much to guarantee our freedom. To create the images, I travelled across the country and met the veterans in their homes, spending some time with them, talking with them and capturing their portraits. Setting the portraits in their own homes helps convey and preserve the way they live today, creating a peaceful and homely atmosphere that is set alongside the inner pride they so deservedly feel; a reflection of their inner lives.
Developing the project
Undertaking the project was challenging, interesting, exciting and moving. Each veteran and I got to know each other well, and some of the veterans came to my house with a bottle of wine as a thank you for taking their portraits; others sent me letters by post. One of the veterans passed away a little while after I met him, and his family used my picture in his funeral – they considered it to be an amazing portrait of him.
Starting the project was particularly difficult as at first people were reluctant to provide their contact details. I placed adverts in all the local newspapers, contacted all the Scottish local councils, the Scottish Government and the Ministry of Defense. Eventually the ball started rolling and the project was born.
This project was inspired by the work of renowned London photographer Konstantin Suslov’s ongoing project ‘WW2 Veterans’. His aim had been to create an historical documentary record of people across the world who were once united under the banner of World War Two. In the light of the 65th Anniversary of the end of the war, ‘WW2 Veterans’ enjoyed great exposure, and Suslov’s work has been widely exhibited in prestigious galleries around the country. I set out to narrow the scope and, since I live in Scotland, focussed exclusively on the Scottish servicemen.