I’m currently working on a series of printed images and a book about my time as an Army Photographer from 1993 to 2007 to be presented to the Photographic Archive of the Imperial War Museum in London. The work is titled “Unseen and Unofficial” and is a collection of my personal images made with my own film and shot on my Leica M6. today whilst scanning the images for the initial invasion of Iraq I came across this image of Doug Beattie when he was the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) for 1 Royal Irish.
I remember Doug as one of those very rare people in life one cannot but respect for their manner, baring and unquenchable integrity. Doug was incredibly kind and hospitable to me during my time with the Royal Irish in the initial build up and invasion of Iraq and without him I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make of the the most iconic images of my life and the Iraq War, namely that of Lt Col Tim Collins giving his famous speech.
Doug went onto receive a commission in the Royal Irish and whilst serving as a Captain in Afghanistan he was awarded a Military Cross for his remarkable bravery and courage. I’m proud to have known Doug even for such a very short time and will always remember him as a remarkable person and my definition of a true hero, as someone not afraid to do what is right irrespective of the situation and other less valiant people.
As a photographer it is one of my great delights coming across images like this, never seen before but just waiting to have its time.