War work

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In the sum­mer of 1966, Pa­trick wasn’t in an English cricket ground – he was work­ing some­where much more dan­ger­ous…

Was it just The Crick­eter you worked for in the early years?

■ I did some work for Si­mon Guttmann, an Aus­tro-Hun­gar­ian who had come to the UK and started an agency. In 1965, when the Viet­nam War was build­ing up, he had a con­tact who had a con­tact with Ho Chi Minh him­self and he sent a film man, a stills man and a jour­nal­ist out to North Viet­nam to in­ter­view Ho Chi Minh.

The fol­low­ing year he thought he’d like some stuff from South Viet­nam, but he couldn’t send the same peo­ple be­cause they had the wrong stamp in their pass­ports, so he sent me out.

Did you spend all your time in Saigon?

■ No, one of the hairi­est mo­ments was when I went to pho­to­graph an Aus­tralian med­i­cal team work­ing in the Mekong Delta. I re­mem­ber one day when two blokes were brought in who’d had most of their legs blown off by a mine. They were prob­a­bly Viet Cong (guerilla fight­ers), and we had to op­er­ate on them. There was only one anaes­thetist, so there were two oper­a­tions go­ing on side by side. One of the Aus­tralians said, “Right you pom, you can stick your cam­eras down and start help­ing us!” That was all dur­ing the sum­mer of 1966, which put me back a bit cricket-wise.

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