renowned war photographer Robert Wilson's iconic image of currently serving women and veterans from the British military


Veteran and Olympic gold medalist

Related links


Major Heather Stanning, 32 from Wiltshire, was born in Yeovil as part of a military-focused family; her parents were Royal Navy officers and her two brothers serve in the Royal Regiment of Scotland and Royal Navy.


Heather took up rowing at university and was part of the GB Rowing START program, which aims to fast track athletes onto the senior team.

Whilst rising through the ranks of the  Royal Artillery, Heather continued rowing with her university coach  and was selected to join the senior team in 2010, alongside Heather Glover.  She and Helen  became the first female rowers to win an Olympic Gold Medal in London 2012, and successfully defended their Gold Medal in Rio in 2016 and remained unbeaten in that time. 

Following her Olympic win in London 2012, Stanning reported back to her Regiment, based in Larkhill Garrison and resumed her British Army career. She was posted to Helmand Province in Afghanistan where she worked as an Operations officer for the iUAS Battery in theatre, as part of a six-month operational tour.

In November 2016, Heather retired from rowing and continues to serve in the British Army.  

Speaking of her involvement, Heather Stanning, said:

 “The rate of evolution for women in our Armed Forces is phenomenal.  It is remarkable to compare the types of jobs women did in 1917 with what they do now."  

 "I am honoured to join SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity in its celebration of 100 years of women in our Armed Forces.  As one of the oldest military charities, SSAFA was there for the first woman who signed-up and will continue to be there for women in the future.”

Sign up to our email newsletter to hear more stories celebrating our heroes and the work of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Sign up to our monthly email newsletter to receive the latest news in your inbox

Your support is very important to us and we’d like to continue to keep you informed about the vital work we do. We’ll never sell or share your details. Your personal information is protected and processed in accordance with current data protection legislation, including GDPR.

You can read our Privacy Policy here.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.