Thursday, 6 June 2013


After the show at Hunton I was talking to a local farmer, he was selling cider, and he took a break to come down to watch and said he enjoyed it but he told me how there was a woman nearby who moaned several times about 'How there should be far more dead and how could they stand there shooting and not hit anyone..'  The musket was not a very acurate weapon but she was right, in the real battle more people would have fallen, so are we being unauthentic?

..We don't have hundreds of soldiers to replace the dead.. and the show would be over very quickly if each volley claimed a half dozen victims. Compromises must be made for practical reasons. We are the first to admit many of us are too old or too short sighted, or too big or too female to be serving French soldiers but this is another compromise made so people can enjoy it, some people start late, others don't want to stop.

From my experience in wargaming I have always been fairly relaxed about uniforms and authenticity, as long as it looks about right, and would never be bothered if someones 15mm tall Roman legionaires had the wrong sandals on or some such. Indeed I tend to feel people who do are a bit fussy and should get over it, and I wondered if in reenactment I would be chided for being not exactly right or wearing the wrong shoe laces.  I need not have worried.

Other than asking for any modern stuff to be put away when a site opens to the public I have not yet heard anyone asked to go and change something, this is because people WANT to be authentic and so look to there own gear. If you just want to dress up and fire guns there are plenty of other ways to do it. I was worried about my (ebay) trousers having thin stripes that were probably machined in, and possibly with synthetic thread, nor are they actually breeches but the important thing is they are linen and could have been around, and no one from the public has paid much attention to my trousers, yet.

Another great thing about the 45eme is that generally portray the troops in the field, campaign dress, so kit gets lost and replaced, clothes get faded or repaired, equipment and gear gets picked up or looted along the way. Another bonus is not polishing and shining everything for parades! Leave that to the Coldstream guards, they do that sort of thing, and some of them enjoy it I'm sure.

'Sacre Bleu! is Napoleon getting out of a Ford Mondeo, better get a picture or the boys will say 'Picture or it didn't happen.'

I have found I am actually quite fussy in other ways.. I only really want to use things I could carry and I don't like to eat or drink anything during the weekend that I might not have had 'back then'. No ice creams. No coffee unless it was made in the camp (and no tea at all). No fizzy drinks.
I confess I may sneak off and send a text to report that I'm not actually dead.. or take a photo with my phone when not in camp and certainly not on the field! but other than that I also become iliterate for the weekend. I have a couple of old books that might pass mustard but I also feel they should be things published before 1815, which I don't have, so I don't read. Its quite a nice change as normally I spend a lot of time using a phone, or a computer or reading a book or a paper. 

To anyone uncertain about this aspect again I say just ask and people will put you on the right path and if something can't be changed it can usually be hidden or adapted. You will find that if you want to be authentic then the rest will follow.

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