The Loneliness of Duty
Buckingham Palace Sentry on Guard Duty. London, UK.
Camera Nikon D700 with 28-300mm Nikon Lense. ISO 320, 1/60th sec, f/8.0, 300mm, App Priority, Handheld.
As I stood behind the railings with my camera zoomed out to the max 300mm, In my viewfinder I could see this guy standing alone. There were thousands of tourists thronging the gates, all like me, poking thier cameras through and snapping away at the Palace and everything that moved. For a moment I could sense the loneliness of his duty. What’s it like standing there guarding the Queen’s Houshold? As a Sailor in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, I too had been on guard duty many times before. Sometimes I had to do patrols of Naval outposts with no one around for miles in pitch darkness with only a night stick and World War 2 helmet for protection / action:-) But here he was, standing guard with a no-man’s-land between him and the crowds behind the gates and railings.
What’s it like? What goes through the mind of a Sentry standing guard? I knew some of what he’d be thinking; home, warm, family, friends, good times, girlfriend, wife, books he’d been reading, films he’d watched, stories he’d heard from his mates, jokes, and then perhaps the weather, the next meal, the long awaited break from duty.
The Loneliness of Guard Duty. Spare a thought.