Military Life

VOTE: The military's favourite Gate Guardian

We asked you to send us pictures of your most loved base monuments - and you did not disappoint.

Earlier this week, we asked you to submit entries for our search to find the military’s favourite gate guardian. And boy, did you deliver. 

Since then, dozens of photographs of monuments raging Spitfires, Tornados, Buccaneers, Challengers, Chieftains and even Churchills have been entered into our competition, some of which can be seen in the video above. 

Those stunning entries have been whittled down to the gate guardians in the poll on Twitter, found below, for you to cast your vote.

Now it's time to vote for your winner in our Gate Guardian World Cup. Here's how it works:

  • Round one of the competition includes 12 impressive military monuments. Your task is to initially whittle the competition down to six. 
  • Semi Finals will kick off next week, when you get the chance to vote for your top three.
  • The Final vote between the most popular three gate guardians will run during the week next week. Our winner - the Military's Favourite Gate Guardian - will be announced later. Watch this space!

Now you can vote in the final to find the winner:

A big shout out to all those who entered pictures into the competition.

Here's a taste of just some of the gate guardians fighting it out to be crowned the military's favourite this week. You can find all the entries that made to the rounds in the Twitter poll. 

Gazelle

A Gazelle from RAF Wattisham. Picture: John Cooper.

A Gazelle helicopter exists as a Gate Guardian at RAF Wattisham in Suffolk. 

The French-built aircraft, introduced to the British Army in 1973, is remarkably set to pass its 50th anniversary in service in 2023 and could still be flying under the Union flag beyond 2025. 

This image was submitted by John Cooper, an ex-RAF Aircraft Engine Fitter who served from 1956 to 1969. Mr Cooper told us he is "still an aircraft buff, interested in anything with wings, aircraft, birds but not angels."

Wessex

A Wessex helicopter graces RNAS Yeovilton. Picture: Peter Bryant.

Staying with the air, this Wessex helicopter can be found inside the base at RNAS Yeovilton. 

The Wessex entered British service in 1961. During the Falklands, 55 of the aircraft were used on operations, which typically involved the insertion of troops onto the islands to fight Argentine forces. The helicopter retired from service in 1998. 

Thanks to 76-year-old Peter Bryant for entering this example, who told us he had held an interest in military aircraft since the 1950s. 

Churchill 

A 1944 Churchill Crocodile situated at Tidworth, submitted by Richard Stickland.

This WW2-era Churchill Crocodile can be found at its permanent home at Tidworth.

The infantry tank, which boasted a 75mm main armament gun and flame thrower, was introduced into service in 1944 just in time for the Allied invasion of Europe. It was operated by a crew of six soldiers. 

Image submitted by Richard Stickland. 

Lynx

Matthew Simpson sent us this image of the Lynx at ATC Pirbright.

The now-retired Westland Lynx saw service in the Falklands and Gulf wars and flew many missions in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. 

This example now lives as gate guardian of the Army Training Centre in Pirbright and was kindly submitted by WO2 Matthew Simpson, a member of the Army Air Corps currently serving at ATR Pirbright.