Veteran Sinclair photographed for VE Day 75th anniversary celebration exhibition 050520 CREDIT Wattie Cheung Poppyscotland .jpg
VE Day

Portraits Celebrate Second World War Veterans Ahead Of VE Day 75

The exhibition is a part of wider virtual VE Day 75 anniversary commemorations.

Veteran Sinclair photographed for VE Day 75th anniversary celebration exhibition 050520 CREDIT Wattie Cheung Poppyscotland .jpg

An exhibition featuring a series of portraits of Second World War veterans has been launched ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The project, commissioned by military charities Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland, showcases pictures of veterans during the Second World War, as well as contemporary portraits.

The new pictures have been taken over the last two years by photographer Wattie Cheung from Glasgow.

"The veterans are a link to the past and they won’t be around forever to tell their stories," he said.

"Listening to their recollections of the war has been enlightening, humorous and educational.

"They are a special breed of people that I doubt we will ever see again and I hope the portraits do them justice."

Plans had been in place for the portraits to form a key part of the formal VE Day 75th anniversary events in Edinburgh.

Veteran Arthur Reid stands in front of a wartime aircraft (Picture: Wattie Cheung/Poppyscotland).

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the veterans' stories and pictures are being shared online as part of wider virtual VE Day activities.

The exhibition includes portraits of more than 15 veterans from the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Among them is the oldest-living Desert Rat, 107-year-old Jimmy Sinclair.

Mr Sinclair, who fought against German soldiers in the deserts of North African during the war, served as a Gunner with the elite Chestnut Troop of 1st Regiment Horse Artillery, 7th Armoured Division.

The exhibition includes the portraits of more than 15 veterans (Picture: Wattie Cheung/Poppyscotland).

"It’s a pity it all happened," said Mr Sinclair, reflecting on his wartime experiences.

"We didn’t treat the Germans as enemies; they were combatants in battle. Most of them didn’t want to be there either."

The exhibition is available to view on the Facebook pages of Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland.

A virtual Service of Remembrance and a virtual tribute concert will be broadcast at 11:00 and 12:00 on Friday 8 May (VE Day) on their social media pages.

Cover image: Portrait of 107-year-old veteran Jimmy Sinclair (Picture: Wattie Cheung/Poppyscotland).