How a former soldier battling post traumatic stress disorder documented last summer's riots
For former soldier Ernie Taylor, the Hackney
riots brought back the senseless violence and trauma of Northern Ireland,
triggering memories of horrors almost four decades old.
In an attempt to record and deal with the extreme emotions that last year’s criminal uprising generated, he went out on to the streets near his east London home to record the wreckage the following morning, 9 August 2011.
A former Private in the 3 Battalion, The Light Infantry, Mr Taylor, 56, has spent years battling with PTSD brought on by the horrors of Belfast in the seventies.
“I was handling it reasonably well until I had a stroke five years ago. When I woke up in hospital my first memories were of Belfast. The main thing that upset me was two children, a two-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl, dying in a house fire. We couldn’t get in and we tried our best. When we finally broke the door down, they were under the sink. The army prepares you, and you prepare yourself, for friends being shot or blown up but not children.”
He recalled an eerie quiet around his home in Hackney last year before the riots erupted.
“I went out in my mobility scooter towards the centre. I saw a photographer with a broken nose and another with a black eye who complained they had stolen his cameras. It just took me back to Belfast, bricks all over the place, glass all over the place, things burning.”
The following morning he re-emerged to take these photographs, a hobby he has used for years to keep his emotions under control: “I was up before 6am. I needed to record it. It was gross stupidity, there was no reason for it whatsoever. It made me extremely angry. What is the point of destroying something instead of using it? These were adults behaving like children having a tantrum.”
The memories of that night exacerbated the sleeplessness, flashbacks and nightmares of his PTSD so, with the help of his former regimental association, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) rehoused Mr Taylor to a quieter spot in Suffolk.
“They were fantastic. It is very, very tranquil here and there is the freedom, the open space.”
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men