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Thread: 6am in the Basra desert : The Iconic Picture

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    Lightbulb 6am in the Basra desert : The Iconic Picture

    The iconic snap that created the famous image: From left, Lance Corporal John Harris, Second Lieutenant Rob Feany and Corporal Simon Eadsforth

    It has become one of the UK’s best-known charities, and it has now raised in excess of £50million for wounded servicemen and women in less than three years.

    Now Help For Heroes has revealed the origin of its iconic logo, which shows a soldier giving the thumbs-up sign as he is carried on a stretcher.

    The image, used by the charity as a dramatic silhouette, was captured in the summer of 2007 in Basra, southern Iraq, by Army Captain Ed Hodges, of the King’s Royal Hussars, who had been asked to create a memorable picture for the fledgling charity by its founders, ex-soldier Bryn Parry and his wife Emma.

    He said: ‘I grabbed two of the biggest blokes in the regiment to be the stretcher-bearers, then the smallest guy to be the patient.’

    Bryn, who served with the Royal Green Jackets, recalled: ‘I had a very clear idea of how I wanted the photograph to look. It had to be a visual expression of support for our wounded.

    'I wanted it to convey hope and movement, the idea of a bloke being rapidly removed from the battlefield, his thumb raised as if to say, “I’m down, but not out.” And, of course, the shape of the stretcher-bearers and the stretcher would make an H to represent Help For Heroes.’

    Ed said: ‘We went out at about 6am when the light was good and before it got too hot – by midday, it would be up to 50C. I got the lads running back and forth, taking plenty of photographs to send back to the UK.’

    The 'Help for Heroes' official logo

    Soon afterwards, the silhouette version of the picture was appearing on car stickers all over the UK, at football stadiums and on the H4H website.

    The photograph has now been made into a 6ft statue by eminent artist Simon Dyer, and stands at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Surrey, which is funded by H4H.

    Ed said: ‘Seeing the image everywhere makes me feel really proud – not so much of my photograph, but of everyone involved in making Help For Heroes such a massive success.’

    The picture shows Lance Corporal John Harris, left, and Corporal Simon Eadsforth, right, both of the King’s Royal Hussars, carrying Second Lieutenant Rob Feany, of the Intelligence Corps, on the stretcher.

    Corporal Harris said last night: ‘It was hot work running up and down while Captain Hodges snapped away. None of us really knew what it was for, but it was a welcome distraction from everyday camp life.’

    Bryn Parry said last night: ‘To pass the £50million point is quite amazing, and Emma and I want to thank every Mail on Sunday reader who has done his or her bit to help the blokes, our boys and girls of the Armed Forces.

    ‘The Mail on Sunday was one of the first papers to write about Help For Heroes when we launched in October 2007 and has continued to support us ever since. We would like to say a huge thank you to The Mail on Sunday and your wonderful readers for your support and dedication.

    ‘However, our job is not finished and we have a shopping list of projects to ensure our wounded boys and girls get the support they so richly deserve. Every penny we raise is being used and we need much more. Please keep helping our blokes.’

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    Always Alive @ SBF! Brigadier General cheeku17's Avatar
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    awesome find
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