Second World War veteransSecond World War veterans
Second World War veterans

Incredible photographs show Scots WWII veterans then and now

A series of stunning portraits of Scotland’s Second World War veterans has been commissioned to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Leading Armed Forces charities Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland commissioned the series, which tells the stories of more than a dozen incredible Second World War veterans and includes images from their wartime service paired together with stunning modern-day portraits taken by top press photographer Wattie Cheung.

The photographs and stories were to feature in an exhibition as part of this week’s formal VE Day 75th anniversary events in Edinburgh.

Now, following their postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the portraits and stories are being provided to media outlets and shared online as part of the revised programme of “virtual” VE Day activities. The Second World War veterans were photographed on a Graflex Super D large format film camera made in the USA in the 1940s – and all have their own personal story to tell about that history day on May 8th, 1945.

More than 15 veterans have been captured, both male and female and across the services. All have an important story to tell. Among them, is the oldest-living Desert Rat, Jimmy Sinclair, who is 107 years old. Jimmy, from Kirkcaldy, fought against Rommel in the north African desert. He served as a gunner with the elite Chestnut Troop, 1st Regiment Horse Artillery, of the 7th Armoured Division. On this wartime experiences, he says: “It’s a pity it all happened. We didn’t treat the Germans as enemies; they were combatants in battle. Most of them didn’t want to be there either.”