Eyes right! Army wives stage charge of the lightly dressed brigade… but could fundraising calendar girls be getting over-exposed
10:46 GMT, 28 October 2012
There are many ways to show support for the heroism and sacrifices of Britain’s Armed Forces – but this has to be one of the most audacious.
These military wives have chosen to honour their husbands by posing for a series of provocative pictures with little more than a small item of uniform to protect their modesty.
The self-styled Garrison Girls, married to men serving in all three services, have posed for a new nude calendar, all in aid of treating post-traumatic stress for those who have served on the front line.
Shock and awe: A group of military wives, including Miss September, left, and Miss December, right, have bared all for a calendar to honour their husbands and raise money for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder
You can leave your hat on: The calendar, which includes Miss April, left, and Miss August, right, was inspired by the 2003 hit comedy film Calendar Girls
The women have never modelled before but are pictured exposing their breasts, bottoms and thighs – and in one case, a pregnant wife poses with her husband’s Army helmet tenderly placed on her baby bump, in an echo of Demi Moore’s famous 1991 Vanity Fair cover.
The women’s faces are deliberately hidden so they represent ‘all Forces wives’, according to calendar organiser Sarah Bennett Thurston.
Mrs Thurston, 35, whose husband Paul is in the Royal Signals, admits she was inspired by the original Calendar Girls of the Rylstone Women’s Institute.
‘I wanted to do something positive,’ she said. ‘It all started when I watched a nude photoshoot on a BBC programme about empowering women, and shortly afterwards I had to explain to my children why my friend’s husband wasn’t coming home.
Cover girl: The women, who have never modelled before, including Miss November, left, and the front cover model, right, posed with helmets, berets and sailor hats
‘It is very hard being a military wife and I wanted to do something to empower the girls. This shows them as they really are, with cellulite and stretch marks, but they all look gorgeous.
‘We have deliberately left out the girls’ faces to show they represent all military wives and we are all in this together.
‘It is about our commitment to the Forces, not about individual women getting their kit off.’
Miss August is a blonde woman kneeling down wearing a sailor’s hat and provocatively revealing her bottom, while Miss February is perched on a table in a fetal position.
Before and after: Expectant mother Lorna Rogers posed naked for the Garrison Girls calendar, left, shortly before the birth of her son Austin, pictured right at just one week old
For November, a woman poses in
profile with her left breast bared and a red Royal Military Police hat
placed carefully on her lap, while January’s model simply reveals her
exposed buttocks, topped by an RAF hat.
Rogers, from Wigan, posed as Miss March when she was five months
pregnant with her second child, Austin, who is now a week old.
20-year-old, whose husband Adam is a sapper in the Royal Engineers,
said: ‘Military life is very hard and being pregnant you feel very
vulnerable knowing that your husband could be due to go away on tour
next. I wanted to show support by doing the shoot.
was honoured to be asked but nervous at the same time, but the other
wives made me feel very comfortable. My husband was chuffed and very
proud. He loves the final photo.
Bottoms up: Miss January 2014, left, and Miss July, right, give a toast to the servicemen in the armed forces
‘Adam and I were high-school
sweethearts and I was nervous when he said he was joining the Army but I
knew it was something he wanted to do. It’s hard being away from
family, but you make great friends.’
other women who have taken part in the calendar, ranging in age from 19
to 40, want to remain anonymous. Their husbands include bomb disposal
experts in the Royal Engineers, communications experts in the Royal
Signals and sailors aboard HMS Sutherland.
Thurston added: ‘Some of the girls did the calendar shoot while their
husbands were away in Afghanistan and it was their way of doing
something to support them.
The Army Wives: The women who took part in the calendar, including Miss January 2013, left, and Miss May, right, wish to remain anonymous
‘One of the women got her calendar picture sent to her early as her husband came home on leave and we wanted him to approve it too.
‘Another woman has remained in England with her two children while her husband is posted in Germany for two years. It is incredibly hard for them and this was her way of giving something back.’
Garrison Girls have been producing calendars since 2008. The 2013 edition is available from garrisongirls.com, priced 10.
The ladies waiting back home: The women's faces, including Miss February, left, and Miss June, right, have been obscured so they represent 'all Forces wives'