A talented art teacher has drawn the faces of all 637 service personnel who were killed in Afghanistan in order to encourage her students to remember the fallen ahead of Remembrance Day.
Sam Bailey, 48, started the challenge after being concerned about the amount of pupils not wearing poppies ahead of Remembrance Day at the school she teaches at in Northampton.
The mother-of-three also wanted to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after her ex-partner Alex Salustro, 29, was medically discharged from the Army in 2015.
Sam Bailey (left) started the project in 2015 which includes drawings (right) of over 600 army personnel. She started the project when her ex-partner returned home from war suffering from PTSD
The pencil images created by Sam Bailey are collected in two self-published books. She started the challenge after being concerned about the amount of pupils not wearing poppies ahead of Remembrance Day
All proceeds from the drawings created by Sam Bailey will go to the Royal British Legion. Ms Bailey currently teaches at a school in Northamptonshire
He had suffered a back injury but was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after returning home.
She began the project shortly his return and set up the Regimental Art Company with former Royal Anglian soldier Mr Salustro.
It took her 12 weeks to draw those killed in the Afghanistan campaign between 2001 and 2014.
This piece shows two armed soldiers walking through a field of beautiful pink flowers. It took ms Bailey 12 weeks to complete all of the images
Ms Bailey said she had felt compelled to tell the stories of war in a different way. Here soldiers help hang the artwork side by side
Ms Bailey sketched all soldiers including Private David Forshaw (left) which was included in the books she has compiled of the drawings (right)
She collated the drawings from a list from the Ministry of Defence and contacted the families of those killed to complete the project.
Ms Bailey who teaches at the Caroline Chisholm School in Northampton said: ‘I did it because these soldiers needed to be remembered.
‘I work in a school and I speak to student’s every day and you can see they aren’t wearing the poppy ahead of Remembrance Day.
Major Paul Harding is pictured (left) with a smile and a tidy mustache while Sapper Luke Allsopp is pictured (right)
Sam Bailey, from Northampton, was inspired to draw the 637 faces when her former partner struggled with depression after leaving the Army
Ms Bailey sketched a picture of Sergeant Les Hehir with his children (left) as well as a drawing of Corporal Channing Day (right)
‘They just see war as a collection of old grey images, not connected with reality.’
The Mighty 456 was published in 2016, she then went on to create her second volume, The Illustrious 181, which depicts every forces member to die in Iraq, and it will be published ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
Ms Bailey said she wanted to do something to help the children appreciate the sacrifices made by service personnel both past and present.
Corporal Ben Leaning (left) was sketched smiling with his uniform while Fusilier Gordon Gentle (right) was drawn with his full military uniform
‘This is the first time anyone has done anything like this and it’s to show these people were loved and their memories are perpetuated – it’s important to remember them.
‘And it’s not just to honour those who have died, it’s to help their family and friends, those that came back with PTSD can see that their comrades are honoured.
‘It was all self-funded and many of the families of those that died sent me pictures that were different to those released by the Ministry of Defence.
Ms Bailey, who teaches at Caroline Chisholm School in Northampton, said she felt compelled to tell their stories in a different way and therefore set about by taking on the mammoth challenge of over 600 sketches
A/corporal Marcin Wojtak (left) was sketched in full uniform complete with helmet while L/Corporal Scott Hetherington (right) was pictured in what looks to be a ‘Help for Heroes’ t-shirt
‘When a soldier died the family used to only get 24 hours to provide a statement and a picture, otherwise, a picture that the army had would be used.’
In total the UK lost 179 forces personnel during the Iraq war from 2003 to 2009. British armed forces remain in Iraq in a training and protection capacity and two more soldiers died there in 2017 and 2018.
Ms Bailey added that the reason the portraits can be so powerful is because families themselves have had time to provide the pictures after reflection.
The images sketched by Sam Bailey closely resemble photographs. The images have now been collected in two self-published books
The image on the left is a sketch of Fusilier Samuel Furst from the second battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland other soldiers were also sketched (right)
‘Members of the families would say things like ‘you have caught his eyes’.
‘Sometimes the family would send three, four or five pictures so I ended drawing well over 500 sketches and I still had my full-time teaching job to do as well.
‘I don’t know how I managed to get through it but I started posting the first four pictures on Facebook and I did not think that anyone would be interested.
Corporal Russell Aston was sketched (left) and Sergeant Chris Hickey (right) was also drawn as part of the project
‘Then the family of Fusilier Samuel Flint-Broughton got in touch to say he would have been 25 the week I drew it – they put it into a memory box on his birthday for his mother.
‘At one point I was drawing 27 pictures a day. It was overwhelming to do it over the 12 weeks but I managed to complete it and I’m proud of the finished results.’
Another of the images that Ms Bailey had sketched was that of Pte Eleanor Dlugosz who was killed in a roadside bomb attack in 2008.
At one point Ms Bailey said she was drawing 27 of the sketches (left) a day. Each sketch has been drawn by Ms Bailey, including this of Rifleman Aaron Lincoln (right)
Ms Bailey said that Eleanor’s mother had gotten in touch after learning of her drawings and asked for her daughter to be drawn without her hair being scraped back in the traditional army style, the BBC reported.
Ms Bailey was sent images of 19-year-old from Stockport in her carefree youth.
Her drawings formed part of a military art exhibition and have now been compiled into two books with the proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.
Private Conrad Lewis was sketched (left) as was Corporal David O’Connor, whose image can be seen (right)
A compilation of the images Sam Bailey sketched which feature in her two books – all of the proceeds of which will go to the Royal British Legion