Photos of British troops set for Edinburgh Castle

Robert Wilson's photographs of British soldiers in Afghanistan are set to go on display at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Robert Wilson
Robert Wilson's photographs of British soldiers in Afghanistan are set to go on display at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Robert Wilson
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INTIMATE photographs of British troops on their final tour of duty in Afghanistan are to go on display at Edinburgh Castle next year.

Captured by an official “war artist,” they were taken over several months as the military prepared to withdrawn from Afghanistan in October.

Robert Wilson was granted unprecedented access by the Ministry of Defence into the personnel and logistical operations surrounding the “drawdown” in the Helmand province.

Now his photographs, said to show many “never-before-recorded” sights as well as the troops began their homecoming preparations, are to be given pride of place at the National War Museum inside the historic tourist attraction.

The lowering of the Union Flag at Camp Bastion on 26 October signalled the end of 13 years of British military involvement in Afghanistan, with 453 troops being killed throughout the conflict.

A spokesman for NMS said: “These photographs allow a rare insight into the process of ending war, including the packing up and disposal of equipment. In a year of retrospective imagery surrounding the centenary of the First World War, these images provide a fresh perspective on the photography of conflict.”

Wilson said: “It’s not all just typical imagery of war and an army base and guns. There’s one shot of a guy making a metal rose for a loved one back home. It’s those sort of personal moments I was looking for.”


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The London-born photographer’s work, which will be on display from next February for almost a year, will follow a separate exhibition, Next of Kin, which looks at the impact of the First World War on families across Scotland through treasured personal possessions.

National Museums Scotland, which runs the attraction at the castle, has also announced plans to stage a exhibition devoted to the Battle of Waterloo at its flagship museum on Chambers Street to coincide with the famous conflict’s 200th anniversary next summer.

The Scotsman recently revealed plans for a major celebration of Victorian photography at the museum on Chambers Street, including equipment once owned by the pioneering pair David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson.

It will feature images of 1840s Edinburgh they created at their studio on Calton Hill, which were among the world’s first photographs.

The museum’s celebration of computer gaming, Game Masters, which opened at the beginning of the month, will remain open until April of next year. One of the museum’s main galleries has been turned into a giant amusement arcade featuring more than 100 playable games, including 15 vintage arcade machines.


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