Journalist maybe? But I rather wanted to be in the battles which looked like they'd be interesting, with cavalry, barricades and pyros.. too good to be in a role where I mainly kneel down and fail to finish drawing anything. Hey, stand still!
I had Austrian officers kit I'd never made use of, on the French side it was passibly close to the Westphalian eighth regiment but without epaulettes and with the blue collar somewhat faded.. but with a rainy weekend predicted I'd just wear a greatcoat over it.
Narrative wise I was an orphan, the flotsam and jetsam of the eighth regiment disbanded after Leipzig. I'd never met/heard of anyone reenacting the Westphalian army. So one of the first things I was told on arrival was 'Oooh there's another Westphalian over there!'
Earlier it was up to London to stay with good friends then a Channel tunnel crossing and drive with three reenactors in a mini, which proved a bit longer than predicted. *Understatement* and the closer we got the worse the rain.. fortunately other than raining on the parade it was mainly in the early hours/morning.
The battlefield, both sides of the tree lined path, which had a nice ditch for skirmishers to fire from and us to leap across in retreat.
As officer without portfolio I felt I had to balance the impression of being useful with retaining an air of dignity. The air of dignity was probably more important and when I took a place on the far left as our unit lined up with the rest of the French army it transpired a Caporal was meant to take this place as guide a gauche. so I smartly took a step forward.. only to find myself one pace in front of the entire army, I couldn't really push back through so turned on my heels and marched along the front of half the army to get one end and walk back to just behind where I'd started. I think it worked.
By the end of the weekend myself and this corporal had a great rapport for me stepping out of his way just as he was two paces from it.
The strangest thing about the role was in my mind I was about nineteen, I was the expendible ensign from Sharpe, even if other officers were about the same age they were the veterans who could doubtless order three platoons to do three different things at once, I mainly just stabbed people.
And stab people I did on the Sunday, or rather cut at them in telegraphed slow motion.
Having not done much on Saturday I felt I might as well assist against any close assaults including to neighbouring units, and the soldiers were willingly defeated, indeed a theme of the weekend was when a unit knew it was to lose, especially the Prussians and Dutch they would go down like nine pins. One volley was comically effective in turning nearly a whole unit into a heap of groaning bodies.
It was a really good natured event.
I had fully planned to die after falling back to the barricades but after one big attack from the allies the Dutch commanding officer called for a parley, and one senior and one junior officer appeared in no man's land, our General strode out to meet them, on his own? Should he not also be flanked by an attending officer for the sake of etiquette and moral support? I found myself as ADC, not that any ADCing was required.
I thought we might yet refuse to surrender, but a truce was agreed, there would be no final assault. I would live!
It was then straight from the battle to the camp, a flurry of hugs and handshakes, and to the car for a quick get away!
And so the year ends. The possibility of an event in Corsica was broached and some talk about Russia! Mental calender is already filling up. I just need to win the lottery and retire to it full time (tough when you only do the lottery about twice a year).
I feel 2020 is going to see some big events!