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The tear-jerking exhibition of family photos - Before They Were Fallen

Rachel Murphy is the widow of Corporal John Murphy. Credit: Before They Were Fallen

An exhibition of family snaps opens today.

'Before They Were Fallen' pays tribute to the fallen soldiers of Afghanistan and those they have left behind.

Using tales of remembrance the photographer Louis Quail uses family photographs and pairs the original with a recreation - which shows a space where the soldier should be.

“A precious hug from James … How I wish I could have one now.” Credit: Before They Were Fallen

Two family members in the exhibition are Sarah Adams from Cwmbran who is pictured with her son James in 2009.

But Private James Prosser, a warrior infantry vehicle driver serving in the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh, was killed later that year as a result of an explosion in Helmand, Afghanistan.

Sarah is photographed in the same spot in 2015 and writes:

A precious hug from James … How I wish I could have one now

– Sarah Adams

Watch: Ian Lang reports from the gallery in Colwyn Bay

Corbin Mackin lost his brother Travis Mackin. Credit: Before They Were Fallen

The photos of before the soldiers were fallen, to the present is meant to show the reality of their absence on their families and loves ones.

Before They Were Fallen opened today at the Oriel Gallery in Colwyn Bay.

Toni is the widow of Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary ‘Gaz’ O’Donnell. Credit: Before They Were Fallen

The photographer first used the technique of recreating a picture of a fallen solider on an editorial assignment in Libya. He developed the idea as an original way of exploring the aftermath for loved ones when a life is lost in conflict.

Rosemary Day lost her daughter Corporal Channing Day. Credit: Before They Were Fallen

The exhibition captures an intimate experience of commemoration; and the privilege of understanding the soldiers as individuals through the rich and personal memories of surviving friends and families.

It demonstrates the sacrifice of the soldiers more fully by understanding the impact on those left behind.

– Before They Were Fallen

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