Hi, Richard here….
A few years ago I photographed an acquaintances wedding.
I knew ‘Pash’ was in the territorial army and had been sent over on tour to Afghanistan. Over the following years we would meet up socially and talk about things in general but he would never go into detail about what had happened out there. I never asked too much and the topic was never really discussed…… until I watched a documentary on BBC3 in Jan 2013 entitled Life after War: Haunted by Helmand
Politics and War are so far away from my life that I barely give them any thought. However the 10th of July 2009 remains the worst attack on a British foot patrol in Afghanistan. 5 members of 9 platoon were killed and many more injured.
Photographing a wedding creates an invisible link between myself and a couple, I’m entrusted with capturing the most important day in someone’s life. I actually see more of the day than that anyone else other than the Bride and Groom. And even though I may never see the couple again, I know my photographs will bring joy and live on in their lives forever.
During the documentary I noticed some of my wedding photos in the background during an interview. Although I had photographed them in 2007, I immediately remembered every moment of the wedding day… literally almost every second. I remembered the happiest day in someones life but I wonder how terrible it must be for the survivors of the tragedy to remember those few seconds in Afghanistan that affected their lives forever?
Luckily Lance Corporal Pasha survived unscathed….but some didn’t make it back home.
For more info about the events of the day there is a blog post from the producer here.