During a visit to Whitby Abbey we happened upon a group of young men (they seemed like boys to our eyes)and were curious about them. They were accompanied by an English woman guide and we asked her about them. She explained that they were new recruits to the Gurkhas and were on an orientation tour of Britain. They were so open faced and friendly and gave us nice smiles. They spoke English and so understood we were asking about them. I asked to take their photo and they happily obliged. You can see how young they are. I felt a little sad that these boys would be processed into killing machines.
There's an article in today's Independent newspaper about the aftermath of actress Joanna Lumley's successful campaign to give retired Gurkhas the right to settle in Britain.
I have also just happened upon this response to Armed Forces Day. I think the writer makes a valid point.
Critiques | Translate
danos (84321) 2014-06-29 21:42
nice the snapshot with the two new young recruits to the Gurkhas to are so friendly in front of your camera.A good reportage shot with the informative note to makes the scene even more effective.
jadesgran (5182) 2014-06-29 22:58
Love the picture of these young men practising their marching, but what about the ruins in the background?They look terrific against the blue sky and fluffy clouds.
A great picture! T.F.S.
tyro (19286) 2014-06-30 3:34
You have written a very thought provoking and poignant note and also given us two lovely pictures of these young trainee soldiers. I have worked with a few colleagues from Nepal in the past and have always found them to be the most delightful people. A clever and appropriate title too - straight from Leslie Thomas's book of the same name!
Your workshop picture is a fine portrait of this happy little group and your main picture is a very well composed photograph. The inclusion of the photographer on the left immediately draws our attention and our eyes naturally follow his line of sight to see his friend posing before the beautiful ruins of Whitby Abbey.
Lovely light and colours, good composition and excellent details and sharpness.
holmertz (38627) 2014-06-30 11:56
This is a nice picture of a different kind of tourist taking a picture of a friend. I think the young man with the camera may have got himself a slightly humorous shot of his friend "fighting" with the statue. It's a well composed photo (yours, I mean) with an interesting foreground and a beautiful background. Looking slightly dark on my monitor but it's probably perfect on yours.
Being a soldier in a foreign country is a popular way of finding a job for young men in Nepal where other kinds of employment are scarce. The money they send home contributes a great deal to the GDP of their country. These well trained Gurkha soldiers probably have a much safer job than the Nepalese workers building skyscrapers or football stadiums in the Gulf countries.
Noel_Byrne (22106) 2014-06-30 12:45
My favourite abbey that I have never been to, and a fine capture of it, so imposing in its ruined silhouette. A sad note too, I too see these men as kids, and their faces are very open, innocent and full of mischief. It is sad that they will become something else and in a few years will have seen things we would never even dream about.
Even more poignant that they are placed like this in front of such a beautiful place, somewhere I wish to see greatly, it seems a harsh contrast of the best and potential worst of our world.
Thanks for a great post.
ACL1978 (7467) 2014-07-01 12:08
Hi Bev - a nice shot, first and foremost, of these two enjoying their time. I've often thought about the process of militarization from a personal standpoint, and witnessed it in people I know and students I've taught as well; I think it's important to remember as you do here that people come to the armed services for so many different reasons and that the individuals themselves - like the article you quoted points out - are not themselves an issue but rather the focal point of a larger issue.
Here in the US we obviously have a very similar culture of adoration for the military, and one that I often find disconcerting for reasons that are often difficult to explain to others. At Fenway Park, where my favorite baseball team the Red Sox play, each game the team holds a 'Hats Off to Heroes' segment in which a member of the armed forces stands on the field and receives a standing ovation from the crowd; I usually sit, but often feel quite self-conscious about doing so. What is hard, I think, for some to understand is that the soldiers themselves and the idea of 'supporting the military' must be separated. I can have respect for the people who, individually, made the choice to serve in that way, while still disagreeing with the use of, support for, and adoration of the military in my country.
Anyway, a long-winded response to a simple photo, but it brings up such fascinating points! Thanks for braving the political here with this one.
abmdsudi (41214) 2014-07-01 16:41
The brave and loyal Gurkha soldiers who are an integral part of the British Army for almost two hundred years, have my full admiration, they were stationed in Singapore until the early 70s when they were pulled out to Hong Kong. "Better to die than be a coward" - is the motto of the world-famous soldiers, unseparable from their traditional weapon - a curved knife known as the kukri. I remember when I was in Nepal I visited a little museum in Pokhara dedicated to the Gurkhas, who also fought for King & the UK in WW2, they are the most wonderful warm hearted people you could wish to meet and yet the most fearsome to fight against!! Photo wise are very appealing, you 've captured these virgin soldiers extremely well so comfortable with that pose. Lovely light and composition with superb background detail of the famous ruins and thks to the information and link. Just for your info, I am a proud owner of an 18" kukri and the famous Gurkha soldier's hat.
Great capture tfs
Ninello52 (7542) 2014-07-07 3:48
I really like how you made the color tones! Beautiful saturation of the stone of the cathedral that contrasts well with the deep blue of the sky! Beautiful also the shot!
Best Regards, Nino.
- Copyright: Bev Turner (Glint) (6163)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-05-02
- Categories: Architecture, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon 550D
- Exposure: f/10.0, 1/500 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2014-06-29 15:45