The weekend of 10/11 November 2018 of course marked 100 years since the end of World war one and saw commemoration events all over the world. There had been a plan to go to France but it fell through due to lack of information/planning but then there was Night in the Trenches at the Staffordshire regimental museum.
I had misunderstood when I first heard of the event and thought it was actually all night in the trenches and apparently it once was but a change in management decided they didn't want people on site overnight, especially not with sporadic fighting, and it would be tidied away by 23:00.
Tommy only needs a cup of tea and he's happy.
I was clearly having a bad day as I was captured six times! During each public trench tour a British team would capture an unwary Bosch and deliver him under fire for interrogation, which was quite hairy and I pretty much fell into the trench on the last occasion, which added to the realism and made children cry (again).
These duties were shared with Martin (a proper actor, above right) and we both shouted very German sounding nonsense on delivery ''Der Kuhlschrank ist Leer! Der Kuhlschrank ist Leer!' (The refrigerator is empty) and 'Meine hase ist im krankenhaus! (My rabbit is in the hospital).
Being marched out through the allied trench led to more jokes. ''Didn't we capture your brother earlier?" and "look out they've started cloning!"
The battles were after the fourth and eigth tour and involved fire between the trenches, both of which had a machine gun, and a few bombs going off, so pretty noisy and atmospheric in the dark. Then the French would get into the left flank of our trench and drive us out before we counter attacked.. a grand attack from all the French/British/Americans would then over run us and the survivors were marched out as prisoners, then formed up for the public.
As a medic I was quite distracted by dealing with the wounded, applying bandages and morphine whilst the chaos went on around me. Only really knowing we'd been over run when a Tommy was herding my comrades passed.
There was soup and sandwiches at half time then we did it all again!
And so also ended my reenactment year, quite late being November. Quite a lot to look back on like the adventures in Malta and my first great war shows which seem set to continue despite a predicted drop in big events, much as was said when the Napoleonic bicentennial events came to a close. People with a passion for the era will keep it alive!
No more events but may post up the odd editorial piece in the off season.
Looking forward to 2019, hope to see you there!