Tattoo Tradition: Exploring The Stories Behind Army Ink

'Military Ink' at the REME Museum in Wiltshire features the tattoos of serving personnel and veterans.

The Army's tradition of tattoos is being celebrated with a photography exhibition.

'Military Ink' at the REME Museum in Wiltshire features images of the tattoos of serving personnel and veterans.

The UK military's regulations on personnel bearing tattoos were relaxed in 2014, meaning servicemen and women could have non-offensive tattoos on their hands and back of their necks.

Last year, the US Air Force updated its policy allowing personnel to have full tattoo sleeves on their arms or large back pieces if they wish.

Reports of personnel having tattoos date back to the 19th century, including tales of the last Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, Field Marshal Lord Roberts bearing military ink and even encouraging his troops to get tattoos of their regimental crests.

Army Tattoos exhibition

The curator of the exhibition, Jennifer Allison told Forces News:

"I've always loved tattoos, I've always thought they're a great form of art.

"When I started working with the REME Museum and being around the military, I saw just how many were out there and I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to share some of those stories.

"Attitudes [towards tattoos] have definitely changed and I think that's true of the wider society as well.

"There has been a big increase in the remembrance tattoos, so images of poppies, names of people and friends who've died in operations," says the curator.

Army Tattoos exhibition