A ROYAL Navy sailor from Lower Compton, Plymouth who filmed a video of HMS Illustrious distributing aid and providing humanitarian relief in the Philippines has won a prestigious award.
Petty Officer Ray Jones, 42, entered his video to the Royal Navy’s annual Peregrine Trophy photographic competition – and won the Video category.
Ray was on board HMS Illustrious during Op Patwin – the Royal Navy’s response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines at the end of 2013.
The helicopter and commando carrier joined HMS Daring in the relief effort, distributing tonnes of aid and helping to fix homes, fishing boats and schools.
Ray originally joined the Royal Navy as a writer in 1995 and joined HMS Nottingham two years later followed by HMS Montrose where he was also promoted to Leading Hand.
During this draft Ray decided to join the elite photographic branch in 2007 with his first job at the photographic section of HMS Drake in Plymouth.
He said: “This is the first time I have entered the Video Category of the Peregrine Trophy and I’m really pleased to have won.
"I try to enter every year and the work HMS Illustrious did in the Philippines really gave me an excellent opportunity to capture the humanitarian relief element of the Royal Navy’s operations.”
A seasoned photographer Ray’s work has been extensively used in the regional and national media – with his video footage of a £250m drugs bust in the Caribbean used on UK terrestrial channels.
His skills also include periscope photography where he was the sole point of contact for submarine photography based at HMS Neptune in Faslane. From Lower Compton in Plymouth, Ray’s parents also live in the city.
His hobbies include cycling, reading, watching films, riding motorbikes and tinkering with his car.
The annual Peregrine Trophy awards are designed to recognise excellence among the professional Royal Navy photographers, Sea Cadets and amateurs.
This year the awards were held at HMS Bulwark which was moored in London – with the winners congratulated by the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas.
With 15 professional categories and three amateur classes – the competition is fierce and is whittled down by an expert panel of judges.
This year they were Matthew Fearn, Picture Editor at the Daily Telegraph, Roger Payne of Bright Publishing, Bette Lynch of Getty Images, Anthony Massey of BBC World Service, Eleanor Montague BBC’s Foreign Deputy Editor, Tristan Pride of digital agency e3 and Ali Kefford, a freelance national journalist..
Head of the Royal Navy Photographic Branch Captain Ian Stidston said: “It has been a fantastic evening in a fitting setting onboard HMS Bulwark and one that confirms how much exceptional talent and professionalism we have in the Navy’s photographic branch – and also the amateur photographers who have taken some brilliant photographs.
“The very high standard of the images displayed onboard HMS Bulwark today are testament to the flexibility and can-do approach of our people and highlight the dedication to both their art and their Service.
“I could not be more proud of the Navy’s photographers who have managed to capture compelling still and moving images that vividly tell the story of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on operations.”
Open to the 42 photographers in the branch, there were 350 professional entries and 65 amateur images from 11 hopefuls presented this year.