In which I Serve
I wanted to start a new project, one that would tell a story and have elements in it that would speak about my journey so far. I will limit what say for now because the image, when it is done will have the narrative as well. Depending upon how I feel at the time I may or may not reveal all.
I have taken inspiration from my brother regarding a composite image and, as I have no natural art skills in the sense of drawing or painting by hand, I am making my image a composition of a number of photographs and styles to get my message across.
As part of this I wanted to capture my service career and thus I chose to represent that by using what are normally wooden boards for battle honours. I have replaced the battles with names of ships and places that I have served. Arguably, they were battle honours in their own right and some harder won than others. There are stories behind each name and maybe one day they too will come out.
This first one charts my early career when I served as a Royal Naval Reservist. I joined when I was 16 and was paid £8.69 per day, around half of the rate that my peers were on as they were mostly older than 18 years of age. To say that this time shaped who I am today is an understatement, experiences gained and tears shed.
This second board accounts for my transition to the commissioned ranks, just the change from one to the other is an epic in itself. The best day in my life was when I passed the Admiralty Interview Board on my second attempt, the feeling of elation was indescribable, mainly as I had given up on my dream by that point.
The second best day was passing out at BRNC, the dream would turn to reality with the challenges and stories to tell along the way. The highlight of my career was on operations in Iraq, the danger and reward. Shadows cast by dark clouds were swept aside by the determined professionalism.
In my time I met people who I would shift heaven and earth for, the quality, the humour, the enduring camaraderie of being in the shit together. Mercifully few have I met, where I would not wish to endure their company.
To create these I took the shape and base colour from an image downloaded from google. The wood effect is taken from a sample of tree bark that I have overlaid. I found copies of the officer and rating cap badges and then cleaned them up and placed them on the board. The name boards were made using a template with a suitable font. All of this was done using photoshop.
The suggestion of the title In Which I Serve came from my mother.
As a final note, if you like what you see and would like one made up then do drop me a line and let me have details of Service/Regiment etc and the names and dates you would like to use. These images can be applied to all sorts of things from straightforward prints to travel mugs and T-shirts.