Peregrine Trophy

The award’s primary purpose is to encourage the production of eye-catching, powerful imagery that can be used in the media to demonstrate the Royal Navy and Royal Marine’s operations. The role of photography, portraying the work of the Royal Navy has never been more important.

Media operations have great operational significance and successful public relations are a key aspect of taking our message to an increasingly sophisticated public.

The Peregrine Trophy dates back to 1961 and is named after the HMS Peregrine Royal Naval Air Station in Sussex. .

History of the peregrine trophy

The Peregrine Trophy first entered the RN Photographic Branch in 1962, taking its name from HMS Peregrine, a Royal Naval Air Station where photographic training once took place.

From 1962 the competition was held at the RN School of Photography at HMS Daeadalus, Lee on the Solent. The trophy was awarded to an individual photographer judged to have taken the best photograph during the preceding year. 

The trophy was first won by Naval Airman Nick Gosney from HMS Seahawk with a picture titled ‘Wren at play’ (a close up of a Wren with puffed out cheeks playing in the volunteer band at RNAS Culdrose).

In 1963 the Peregrine Trophy award grew and was awarded for 6 photographs in the categories of HM Ships, RN aircraft, trade activities, ceremonial, recreational activities and a free open subject. Today the Peregrine Trophy is still awarded to a unit or section with the best portfolio of 6 images depicting personnel, equipment and operations of today’s Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

It is a coveted prize which is deemed the highest award a photographer can win within the Royal Navy Photographic Branch.

History of the Royal Navy Photographic Branch

For nearly a century the men – and later women – of the Royal Navy’s Photographic Branch have been charged with capturing the actions of the Senior Service on operations, training and exercises around the globe.

Formed in 1919 initially for reconnaissance and intelligence purposes, the official photographers quickly developed a sideline – producing pictures for their shipmates to snap up.

Today the 42-strong photographic branch is busier than ever, recording the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at work – and at play – and supporting front-line missions.

After completing intensive training at the Defence School of Photography at RAF Cosford, photographers move to Royal Navy, Royal Marines or Fleet Air Arm bases to work alongside their colleagues.

They frequently spend six or seven months deployed with ships, squadrons or Royal Marines, sending images and video footage back to the UK for use by the nation’s media.

In short, wherever you find the Royal Navy on operations, you will find a Royal Navy photographer capturing vivid imagery to tell the Navy’s story.

Peregrine Trophy Winner 2014

Petty Officer Mez Merrill, 43 from Steeple Morden, took a series of stunning photographs of the Commando Helicopter Force Sea King helicopters and their personnel in snowy conditions while on a cold-weather training exercise in northern Norway earlier this year.

In contrast he also put forward colourful imagery of Royal Marines from the Commando Mobile Air Operations Team and a Sea King Mk4 helicopter from 845 Naval Air Squadron on exercise in Jordan.

Mez joined the Royal Navy in 1987 as a junior seaman operator and has served on frigates and fishery protection vessels on deployments both in the UK and around the world. In 1993 he spent seven years working for the Senior Naval Officer Northern Ireland in Belfast before transferring to the Royal Navy’s elite photographic branch in 2000.

Since working for CHF Mez has deployed to Afghanistan twice and to Norway for several months in both 2013 and 2014.

I am absolutely delighted to have won the Peregrine Trophy – it means a lot to me to have my work recognised in this way

Peregrine Trophy 2014

winner commando Helicopter Force - POa(Phot) Mez Merrill

Awarded to the section or unit that has submitted the best portfolio of six prints (black and white and/or colour) of Service-related subjects.

Commandant General Royal Marines Prize

Winner CPOA(Phot) Thomas McDonald

Awarded for the best portfolio of three prints, depicting Royal Marines related subjects.

Sponsor Calumet

Maritime Air prize

Winner LA(Phot) Nicky Wilson

Awarded for the best photograph of one or more Royal Navy helicopters, this category is specifically for rotary wing images.

Sponsor Agusta Westland

Life Without Limits Award

Winner LA(Phot) Paul Halliwell

Awarded to the best photograph of a member of the Royal Navy/Royal Marines undertaking their duties, training, on exercises or operations.

SponsorBright Publishing

Winner RN Amateur Photographer of the Year

Winner Sergeant Harley RM

Awarded to the best portfolio of 2 Service-related photographs submitted by an individual.

Sponsor Lockheed Martin UK Ltd

RoyaL navy Photographer of the Year

Leading Photographer Alex Knott, 39 from Gosport, entered a portfolio of four images to the Royal Navy’s annual Peregrine Trophy photographic competition – beating off stiff competition from his contemporaries to win the much-coveted title.

Included among his impressive array of photographs was an image taken from the back of a Lynx helicopter while hovering above HMS Montrose in the Middle East which the judges picked out as the perfect example of an operational image.

Alex, who originally joined the Royal Navy as a chef in 1991 and transferred to the elite photographic branch in 2007 said he was proud to be named Photographer of the Year.

I am absolutely delighted to have won the title of Royal Navy Photographer of the Year 2014 and to have won the Short Form Video and Maritime Image Award.

LA(Phot) Alex Knott

RN Photographer of the Year

LA (Phot) Alex knott

Awarded to the best portfolio of 4 photographs of a Service-related subjects submitted by an individual.
Sponsor: Canon

Media Operations

Winner LA(Phot) Dave Jenkins

Awarded to the best single image that is judged to create the most impact as a news photograph.

Sponsor Nikon

RNRMC Family and Friends

Winner LA(Phot) Maxine Davies

This category encourages entrants to capture heart-warming moments between Naval Service personnel and their friends, family, children and loved ones.

Sponsor RNRMC

International Defence Engagement (IDE) Award

Winner LA(Phot) Nicky Wilson.

Entries in this category show the RN involved in IDE either through exercises or interoperability with other nations; ship visits; international defence3 training; capacity building; or promoting UK industry.

Sponsor MediaLogix

NavyNews Award

Winner L(Phot) Will Haigh

Awarded to the photographer whose picture has had the most impact in the pages of Navy News over the last 12 months.

Sponsor Navy News

Best Maritime Image

Winner LA(Phot) Alex Knott

Awarded for the best photograph depicting Royal Navy or Royal Marines equipment, including ships, submarines, aircraft, weapons and equipment large & small.

Sponsor Fuji

Amateur Maritime Image Award

Winner CPO Michael Weir 829 NAS

The RN Amateur Maritime Image Award awarded to an individual for the best Maritime photograph of a ship, submarine or aircraft.

Sponsor Lockheed Martin UK Ltd

RN Amateur Open Category Award

Winner WO2 Richard White RM

Awarded to the single best photograph of an RN/RM theme that combines technical excellence, creativity and impact.

Sponsor Lockheed Martin UK Ltd

Sea Cadet Amateur Open Category

Winner Kira Robbins

Awarded to the single best photograph of a Sea Cadet theme that combines technical excellence, creativity and impact.

Sponsor MSSC

Mark Hipkin Award

Winner LH(Phot) Joel Rouse

In memory of Petty Officer Photographer Mark Hipkin, who tragically died in a car accident returning from duty.  Mark was an inspirational individual who lived life to the full and always used to say that he was ‘living the dream’.

Awarded annually to the photographer who has continuously demonstrated a high level of dedication and enthusiasm for the branch and wider Royal Navy.

Sponsored by Altered Images

Peregrine trophy winners list

Peregrine Trophy

The Peregrine Trophy is awarded to the section or unit that has submitted the best portfolio of six prints (black and white and/or colour) of Service-related subjects. 

Winner: Commando Helicopter Force, Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Mez Merrill

The Royal Navy Photographer of the Year 2014

Awarded to the best portfolio of four photographs of Service-related subjects submitted by an individual. 

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) Alex Knott

The Maritime Air Prize

Awarded for the best photograph of one or more Royal Navy helicopters, this category is specifically for rotary wing images.

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) Nicky Wilson

The Commandant General Royal Marines' Prize

Awarded for the best section or unit portfolio of three prints depicting Royal Marines related subjects. 

Winner: Fleet Photographic Unit North

The Best Maritime Image Award

Awarded for the best photograph depicting Royal Navy or Royal Marines equipment, including ships, submarines, aircraft, weapons and equipment large and small.

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) Alex Knott

The Royal Navy ‘Life Without Limits’ Award

Awarded to the best photograph of a member of the Royal Navy/Royal Marines undertaking their duties, whether undergoing training, on exercises or operations. 

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) Paul Halliwell

Media Operations Category

Awarded to the best single image that is judged to create the most impact as a news photograph.

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) David Jenkins

Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity Family & Friends Award

Awarded to the best single image that captures heart-warming moments of Naval service personnel and their friends, family, children and loved ones.

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) Maxine Davies

International Defence Engagement Award

Awarded for the best single image that demonstrates the Royal Navy taking part in International Defence Engagement, through exercises or joint operations with other nations; ship visits, training, capacity building or promoting UK industry.

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) Nicky Wilson

RN short form Digital Story Telling Video Award

Awarded to the best individual entry that captures and tells the story of life in the RN/RM. 

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) Alex Knott

RN Video Award

Awarded to the best individual entry reflecting the RN/RM experience which can be of any Defence related subject including operational footage as well as footage shot in support of operations demonstrating creativity, technical proficiency and appropriate impact in ‘telling the story’.

Winner: Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Ray Jones

The RN Amateur Photographer of the Year Award

Awarded to the best portfolio of 2 Service-related photographs submitted by an individual.

Winner: Sergeant Richard Harley RM

The RN Amateur Maritime Image Award

Awarded to an individual for the best Maritime photograph of a ship, submarine or aircraft. 

Winner: Chief Petty Officer Michael Weir

The RN Amateur Open Category Award

Awarded to the single best photograph of an RN/RM theme that combines technical excellence, creativity and impact.

Winner: Warrant Officer Class Two Richard White

Navy News Award 

Awarded to the photographer whose picture has had the most impact in the pages of Navy News over the last 12 months

Winner: Leading Airman (Photographer) Will Haigh

Sea Cadet Amateur Open Category Award

For Cadets aged between 13 and 18. Awarded to the single best photograph of a Sea Cadet theme that combines technical excellence, creativity and impact. 

Winner: Cadet First Class Kira Robbins of Sheffield Sea Cadet Unit

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