A MOVING insight into life on the front line in Afghanistan was unveiled yesterday with a collection of works by the official War Artist to the Royal Marines.
Paintings and sketches compiled by Andrew Miller during his five-week embed in Helmand Province have gone on display at Plymouth Central Library, Devon.
The emotive images, part of an exhibition called Shoulder 2 Shoulder - depict the perilous daily experiences of British troops including foot patrols, fierce gun battles with insurgents and dangerous helicopter operations.
On the move: The artist captures a rather serene moment with the troops from Camp Bastion
Striking: Miller's work encapsulates the drama of being in a warzone perfectly
Meanwhile others offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into life at Camp Bastion.
At the British military base Mr Miller sketched operating theatres and medical centres where the wounded and dying were treated.
Mr Miller was appointed official War Artist for the Royal Marines in early 2011 after initially being commissioned in 2010 to complete pieces of artwork documenting 40 Commando’s tour in Sangin.
Sombre: Miller paints a remembrance service at the Cenotaph back home in the UK (London)
Emotion: The effect of war is etched on to the faces of soldiers who have been at war in Afghanistan
The artist, from Ivybridge, Devon, completed dozens of sketches while in Afghanistan with 3 Commando Brigade and then created a series of paintings from his drawings after returning home.He said: 'During my five weeks in Helmand, I experienced things that civilians rarely encounter.
'The highs of camaraderie in the remote patrol bases to the emotionally fraught operating theatres of Camp Bastion.
'The young Marines and Soldiers were astounding in their courage, resolution and spirit in the most testing and exhausting of situations. It was these individuals who inspired my work.'
Embedded: Andrew Miller spent five weeks at Camp Bastion - here he has sketched a team of medics treating a gun shot wound
Mourning: A sketch of a war memorial at the British miiltary base
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Bruce-Jones, Commanding Officer Royal Marines Base Stonehouse, added: 'The exhibition gives us an excellent opportunity both to get a better insight into what it is to live and work on operations in Afghanistan; but it also marks the huge progress that has been made towards delivering the promise of a secure and peaceful Afghanistan.'
The exhibition will also showcase the work of service photographers from 3 Commando Brigade, and their Afghan colleagues, who served on Operation HERRICK 14 during the summer of 2011.
From April to October last year 3 Commando Brigade deployed as Task Force Helmand and was charged with improving security for the people of Central Helmand.
The face of war: Another embattled soldier is replicated in one of Mr Miller's drawings
Ready to take off: Mr Miller's sketch of a Royal Marine Sea King helicopter
A total of 23 members of the Task Force lost their lives during the operation, alongside 94 members of the Afghan National Police and nine members of the Afghan National Army.
It will help to raise money for The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and The Not Forgotten Association.
After being displayed between January 26 - February 8 at Plymouth Central Library, the exhibition will move to locations around the country until April.