Former actor Will Haigh captured this image of 40 Commando Royal Marines, which carried out Exercise Dune Escape in Braunton Burrows, Devon. Pictured is Sgt Michael ‘Taff’ Francis of Alpha Company Fire Support Group [Crown Copyright]
Leading Airman Photographer Will Haigh, 31, triumphed at the annual Peregrine Trophy awards, which are billed as the Royal Navy’s equivalent of the Oscars.
As a teenager, Haigh played Coronation Street character Glen Middleham from November 2000 to January 2001. He also appeared in Holby City and That Peter Kay Thing.
Currently based at Faslane, Scotland, Haigh first worked in mine warfare, before transferring to the photographic branch in 2011. He also served two years with the Royal Marines, taking him to places such as Saudi Arabia and the west coast of Africa.
Haigh is one of 41 Royal Navy photographers who originally join the force as a sailor, working in areas such as logistics, engineering, or as a warfare specialist.
‘After excelling in their chosen field they can then apply to join the elite photographic branch,’ a Royal Navy spokesman explained.
The competition, which dates back to 1961 and is also open to amateurs, pulled in 255 entries.
Commenting on this year’s submissions, the head of the Royal Navy’s Photographic Branch, captain Ian Stidston, said: ‘I could not be more proud of the Navy’s photographers who have managed to capture compelling still and moving images that vividly tell the story of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on operations.’
He added: ‘This competition confirms how much exceptional talent and professionalism we have in the Navy’s photographic branch – and also the amateur photographers who have taken some brilliant photographs.’
The Peregrine Trophy, which is awarded to the best section or unit, was won by Fleet Regional Photographic Unit (East), based in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
The Peregrine Trophy is named after the now-closed HMS Peregrine Royal Naval Air Station at Ford, West Sussex.