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The Re-Enactor Issue 32, August 2011

The 15th Hussars, Australia

Readership 1401

Greetings All Welcome to issue 32 of the Re-Enactor, Welcome to all the new readers, we now have just over 1400 people listed as recipients each month! I will be at Berkeley Castle this weekend (July 30th & 31st) so do come over to my trade tent and say hello if you are able. Congratulations to Kim & John, both in the UK, for being the lucky winners of last month‟s competitions. Your prizes have already been posted! There are 2 new competitions in this month‟s issue. A big thank you to Tom Harper & Sharon Kay Penman for the prizes this month.

Thank you to all those that have supplied the various articles in this month‟s issue-it is very much appreciated

15th Hussars

Features This Month 1: 15th Hussars by Chase Ellis 2: Unbound-A new option for Authors! 3: Competitions 4: Military & Flying Machines Show 5: Group Profile: The Marcher Stuarts 6: The Historical Writers Association 7: Book Reviews 8: Scotlands “Festival of History” 9: The Dawn Duelists-An Invite! 10: Event Listings 11: Battle of Bosworth event at Ty Mawr

There are now over 200 hundred traders and over 200 groups listed so please do have a look through the lists. As always, I am still on the lookout for more groups, traders, event details, stories, articles and reports. Please contact me at the normal email address with details! Competitions: All competitions are free to enter Winners will be selected at random on the 24th of each month for the relevant competition. Winners will be notified via email shortly after the draw takes place. No correspondence will be entered into. The editor’s decision is final. The views and opinions expressed in the articles in this ezine are those of the individual authors themselves and not those of the Editor

To receive a copy of this magazine just send your email address to:

The Napoleonic era is alive and well in Australia, thanks to the work of Adrien Rousset (in Victoria) and Ken Stewart-Gray (in Queensland) and the members of the “D” Troop of the Kings Light Dragoons - Hussars across Australia. By Chase Ellis As the largest Napoleonic Cavalry Re-enactment group in Australia the Troop is dedicated to recreating the social and military aspects of the Napoleonic or “Regency” era through regular social events and mounted drill displays, skill at arms and battles. The military arm of the group is the recreation of a light cavalry unit. The overall aims of the group are: 1. To portray the Regency era, in re-enactment, living history and society with a special focus on the members of the 15th Kings Light Dragoons (Hussars) between the years 1809 and 1815, 2. To do this with the highest level of safety and authenticity as is practicably possible, 3. To educate the public as to the clothing, uniforms, duties, drill, combat and lift of the Regency era and the 15th Hussars, 4. To create an atmosphere that promotes fun and friendship. The troop was founded in 2010 by Adrien Rousset, who had an interest in the period that was fostered during his time in the British Army with the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The 15th Hussars were a cavalry unity in the British Army. In March 1759, King George II Commanded Colonel George Augustus Elliott to raise a regiment of Light Dragoons (a light cavalry unit) who would appear in the Army Lists with the designation 15th Light Dragoons although they were popularly known as “Elliott‟s Light Horse”. In 1760 the 15th was the first unit in the British Army ever to be awarded a battle honour, “Emsdorf” for their success at the Battle of Emsdorf in the Seven Years War (1756-1763). In 1766 they were renamed for King George III as the 1st (or The King‟s Royal) Regiment of Light Dragoons as a mark of royal approbation. This was also an attempt to create a new numbering system for the light dragoon regiments. However, the old system was quickly re-established, with the regiment returning as the 15th (The King‟s) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons in 1769. They became hussars in 1807, as the 15th (The King‟s) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars). Famous battles that the 15th Hussars were involved in include Villers-en-Cauchies (1794), Egmont-op-Zee (1799), Sahagun (1808), Esla (1813) and Waterloo (1815). The group focuses on the period in the Hussar‟s history known as the “Regency Era”, which was when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent and lasted until 1820, when the Prince Regent became George IV on the death of his father. This era is most well known for the publishing of works by the author Jane Austen, several battles of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 with the America. With regards to the “D” Troop; training primarily focuses is on drill and understanding of orders, through Skill-at-Arms, combat practice and games such as running the rings, tent pegging and horseball. Games of this type dramatically increase riding ability and confidence, as riders focus on scoring and not on their riding. In a battle the unit is required to play its part in the battle scenario and do it safely. Despite being taught to kill people while mounted with both sabre and carbine, as per the 1796 training manual, this obviously cannot be done at a re-enactment battle! Good training is the key to staying safe and every rider is

expected to know their job well: stay in formation, listen for the commands, charge the enemy and engage in cavalry or infantry melee as required. After training or battle, the group freshens up and it is then that the social side of the group comes into play. The ladies of the group now appear in all their finery bedecked in magnificent Regency dresses (think empire line dresses á la Pride and Prejudice) and accessories. The gentlemen are resplendent in either their uniform or Regency evening wear. Once every one is assembled dinner is served and ladies are escorted into the “Mess”. Dinner will usually consist of several courses and after dinner the Mess Games begin: those brave enough may attempt to remove the cork from a bottle of champagne with the sabre (known as sabrage) or partake in the Mess Racing Stakes. Regency dancing is also taught and dancing intersperses the games. The Hussars are immediately recognisable by their tall hats and plumes and elaborately braided jackets. The uniform includes such fancily named items as the dolman (a fitted braided jacket), pelisse (a fur collared and cuffed jacket thrown over the shoulder) and sabretache (leather pocket or pouch worn hanging from a cavalryman‟s belt). New (or Probationary) members can be hired your clothing and equipment by the unit, if available, although they can provide their own if they already possess it. Once they become a full member it is expected that they supply their own. Social members wear civilian clothing within the confines of our “aims”. Assistance is provided in obtaining and, in some cases, making the appropriate uniform and kit. They are a military unit and should look uniform and above all be authentic. All of the kit, Clothing and Equipment must support the aims of the unit and all weapons and horses must be safe and serviceable. We are a Historical re-enactment unit and any accurate research done by the members adds to the group knowledge has to be commended and will be welcome. For those wishing to get involved, it is all about having fun. There are three types of membership: Probationary, Social Member and Military Member. New members join as Probationary Members, known as Recruits for Military Members or Debutants for social members. This allows them to see if they enjoy the group, with no obligation to become a full member. Once the probation is over; they can become a Full Member as either a Military Member or a Social Member. Being a social member or a military member does not limit you to only social or military events or wearing only military or civilian clothing. However, those who wish to attend military events or events involving the public or other groups will need to have Australian Living History Federation (ALHF) membership as this covers insurance and members who wish to become a Military Member must wear the appropriate uniform. For more information go to

Unbound "Unbound is a new way of connecting readers with writers. What's different is that instead of waiting for them to publish their work, Unbound allows you to listen to their ideas for what they'd like to write before they even start. If you like it, you can pledge to support it. If we hit the target number of supporters, the author can go ahead and start writing (if the target isn't met you can either get your pledge refunded in full or switch your pledge to another Unbound project). There are several levels of support, each with different rewards. The higher your pledge, the greater the rewards you'll receive, from your name in the back of the book to lunch with the author. Plus you can alert your friends and earn Unbound credits on the site when they support a project too. But that's not all. As soon as you make a pledge to support an Unbound project you gain access to the authorâ€&#x;s private area or 'shed'. Here you can get updates on the bookâ€&#x;s progress, watch exclusive interviews, read draft chapters, find out information about the author's backlist and join discussions with the author and other supporters. It's a portal into a new community of writers and readers: a place to comment on and contribute to a work in progress. Then comes the exciting bit. The book is written, designed, edited and printed and we send it to you, either as an e-book or a beautifully bound, limited edition hardback (or both). For the first time, you will be able to hold in your hands a book that wouldn't have existed without you."

What we're hoping is that when we have a big enough user base we'll be able to start publishing those niche books that have a good audience (say a re-enactor audience) but which arenâ€&#x;t big enough to interest mainstream publishers. As we know if the interest is there before the author starts it makes it a whole lot more viable. For more information check out the website:

Competition One The Knights of The Cross by Tom Harper Having sworn allegiance to the Byzantium, the army of the 1st Crusade crossed into Asia Minor in May 1097. At Nicaea and Dorylaeum, they won two resounding victories against the Turks, capturing their capital and opening the road South towards Jerusalem. Through July and August, the crusaders swept aside all resistance as they marched almost a thousand miles across the Steppes of Anatolia. Outside the ancient city of Antioch, however, the progress halted……….

To win a copy of this book visit and answer this question: Secrets of the WHAT ? Will be released in September 2011 You can also read a short extract from Chapter One of The Knights of the Cross in this issue.

Competition Two Devils Brood by Sharon Penman Devil‟s Brood has at its heart the implosion of a family, a story of devastating betrayal as King Henry II‟s three eldest sons and his wife Eleanor enter into a rebellion against him, aligning themselves with his most bitter enemy, King Louis of France. It is also a story of a great King whose brilliance forged an empire but whose personal blind spots led him to the most serious misjudgement of his life. To win a signed hardback copy of this book visit: and answer this question: Which book will be available from October 4th 2011?

Send your answer for either one or both of this month‟s competitions along with your full postal address to: th before August 24 2011 to be in with a chance of winning!

Knights of the Cross- 1st Chapter extract It was a restless day for the dead. I stood in a grave before Antioch, and watched the Army of God dig the corpses of their enemies from the fresh earth where they had been buried. Men half naked and smeared with grime worked with passionate intensity to dispossess the dead, plundering the goods they had taken to the afterlife: unstrung bows curled up like snails, short knives, round shields caked with clay – all were dug out and hurled onto the spoil pile. A little further away a company of Normans counted and arranged more gruesome trophies: the severed heads of the corpses we had recalled from death. The day before, an army of Turks had sallied from the city and ambushed our foraging expedition; we had driven them back, but only with a great effort we could ill afford. Now we opened their graves, not from wanton greed or cruelty – though there was that also – but to build a tower, to watch the gate and keep them penned within their walls. We made a quarry of their cemetery, and the foundations of our fortress from their tombs. The giant who stood with me in the grave shook his head. „This is no way to wage a war.‟ I looked up from the tombstone that I was trying to dislodge and stared at my companion. An unrelenting season of cold and rain had returned his stout features to the sallow colour of his ancestors, while his unkempt hair and beard were almost of a colour with the rusting links of his armour. Like all who had survived the winter horrors, his skin hung loose from his bones, his shoulders seemed too narrow for his mail coat, and the tail of his belt flapped from being drawn so tight. Yet still there was strength in the arms which had once seemed like the columns of a church, and a gleaming edge on the axe which leaned against the wall of the trench. „You‟ve served twenty years in the Emperor‟s army, Sigurd,‟ I reminded him. „Would you have me believe that you never plundered your enemies, nor took booty from the battlefield?‟ „This is different. Worse.‟ He wormed his fingers into the earth and began tugging on the stone, rocking it back and forth to loose it from the mud that held it. „Looting the fallen is a warrior‟s right. Looting the buried…‟ His arm tensed and the flat stone toppled out, splashing into the puddles on the floor of the pit. We crouched, and lifted it like a bier between us. „The Turks should have buried their dead within their walls,‟ I argued, as though that could forgive such savagery. Why they had buried their losses from the previous day‟s battle here, beyond the city and near our camp, I could not guess: perhaps, even after five months of siege, there were yet some barbarities they thought beyond us. We slid the stone over the lip of the hole and hauled ourselves out, scrambling for purchase on the clammy earth. Standing, I tried to brush the dirt from my tunic – unlike Sigurd, I could not wear armour for such work – and looked at the labour going on around us. They styled themselves the Army of God, but even He in His omniscience might not have recognised them. This was not the Divine Saint John‟s vision of St Michael and all the angels, clothed in white linen and with eyes like flames of fire: these men were the wasted survivors of untold ordeals, little more than a rabble, their eyes filled only with suffering. Their skins were as stained and torn as their clothes; they staggered rather than marched – yet fearsome purpose still consumed their souls as they dug and tore at the bones, stones and plunder of the Ishmaelite cemetery. Only the crosses betold their holy allegiance: crosses of wood and iron strung from their necks; wool and sack-cloth crosses sewn into smocks; crosses in blood and brutalised flesh painted or burned or carved into their shoulders. They seemed not the army of the Lord but rather His herd, branded with His mark and loosed to roam the Earth.

As Sigurd and I crossed the graveyard with our stone held between us I tried not to see the impieties around us. A small and lonely corner of my thoughts marvelled that I could still feel shame at this, after the myriad horrors that I had seen in the months since we arrived at Antioch. I turned my gaze away, to the impenetrable city barely two hundred yards distant and the broad, green river which flowed before it. At this end of the city the river was almost against the foot of the walls; further north it meandered away, leaving a wedge of open ground between the ramparts and the water. It was there, on marshy land and barely beyond bowshot of our enemies, that our army was camped. From the hillock, I could see the jumble of unnumbered tents strung out like washing on a line. Opposite, the many-turreted walls of Antioch stood as serene and inviolate as they had for centuries past, while behind them the three peaks of Mount Silpius towered above the city like the knuckles of a giant fist. For five months we had stared at those walls, waiting for them to crack open with hunger or despair, and for five months we had starved only ourselves. Crossing a ditch, we climbed towards the low summit of the mound that the Franks had thrown up after the rudimentary fashion of their castles. A Norman sergeant wearing a faded tabard over his armour indicated where we should place our burden, while around us sailors from the port of Saint Simeon laid out planks of timber. At the bottom of the slope, towards the river, a screen of Provencal cavalry sat on their horses and watched for a Turkish sortie. „I‟ve suffered wounds for the Emperor in a dozen battles.‟ Sigurd‟s voice was brittle. „I‟ve struck down men within an arm‟s length of ending his life. But if I had known he would have me robbing graves to please a Norman thief, I would have cast aside my shield and hammered my blade into a ploughshare long ago.‟ He leaned on the long haft of his axe, like an old man on his stick, and stared angrily at the land before us. „That city is cursed. The city of the cursed, besieged by the army of the damned. Christ help us.‟ I murmured my agreement. It was only as my gaze swept back down to the river that I realised what his last words had signified, what he had seen. „Christ preserve us.‟ Where the river met the walls, a stone bridge spanned its course – the sally port that our new tower was intended to guard against. Now, I saw, the gates had opened, and the drum of hoofbeats echoed from under the arches. Even before our sentries could move, a thin column of Turkish horsemen emerged and galloped forward. Their bows were slung over their shoulders, yet they did not hesitate in charging straight up the slope towards us. „Bowmen!‟ shouted the Norman sergeant. „Bowmen! A bezant for any rider you can unhorse.‟ Between what we carried and what we had dug out, there was no shortage of arms among us, but the appearance of the Turks struck panic into our ranks. Some threw themselves into the excavated graves or upon the stones in the shallow foundation trench; others surrendered every defence and fled up the hill behind us. I saw Sigurd snatch one of the round shields from the spoil pile and run forward brandishing his axe. His shame forgotten, the war cry rose from his throat. He would have little say in this fight, though. The Provencal cavalry had spurred to meet the Turks, desperate to close within spear-length. But rather than engage them the Ishmaelites loosed a rapid flight of arrows and turned back towards their walls. I saw one of the Franks grasping his stomach where a shaft had penetrated it, but otherwise the Turks looked to have done little damage. It was no more than a prick, a gnat‟s sting such as we had endured almost daily since investing the city. At least, it should have been.

But the swift retreat of the Turks had brought new courage to our cavalry, and they charged down towards the river after their fleeing quarry. Behind them, I saw Sigurd lower his axe as he slowed to a halt and started screaming unheeded warnings. The Provencals would never listen to advice from an English mercenary in Greek employ, certainly not when presented with a broken line of their enemy to ride down. There was little Sigurd or I or any man could do save watch. As the Turkish horsemen reached the mouth of the bridge, they executed the drill for which they were famed and feared across Asia: at full gallop, they dropped their reins, twisted back in their saddles, nocked arrows to their bowstrings and loosed them at their pursuers. Throughout the manoeuvre they neither wavered their course nor slowed their pace. In an instant their horses had carried them into the safety of the city. I shook my head in awe and anger. All winter, men from every nation had sought to mimic the trick, galloping up and down the meadows outside Antioch until their hands were raw and their horses half-lame. None had mastered it. Nor was it merely vain display, for I saw now that several of the shots had hit their mark, while the rest of our cavalry stood halted by the attack. And, too late, they noticed how close they had come to the city. A hundred Turkish archers rose from the ramparts, and in an instant the air was thick with arrows. Horses screamed and reared while riders tried desperately to turn their heads to safety. I saw two animals go down, blood streaming from their sides: the rider of one managed to leap clear and run back but the other was trapped under the flanks of his steed and could not move. A fistful of arrows plunged into his body within seconds. His companion, on foot, was luckier: one arrow glanced off his coned helmet, another struck his calf but did not bite, while a third lodged in his shoulder but did not bring him down. As he passed beyond their reach, the Turks on the walls put down their bows and took up a great shout, praising their God and mocking our impotence. If they hoped by their taunts to provoke us into another futile charge they were disappointed, for the survivors of our cavalry were limping back to our lines. There seemed to be more horses than riders among them, and a dozen beasts and men were lying motionless near the bridge. A small party of Turks emerged from the open gate to plunder them. A few of the men around me grabbed bows and loosed shots, but they fell short and did nothing to deter the looters. Sickened, I watched as two of the fallen were dragged back into the city. There would be no mercy or ransom for them. „Fools!‟ the Norman sergeant raged as the Provencals reached our position. „Knaves and cowards! You lost good horses there – and for what? To hearten the Turks at the sight of your witless sacrifice? When my lord Bohemond hears of this, you will wish yourselves in the infidels‟ houses of torture with the men you left behind.‟ The Provencal leader‟s eyes stared down from either side of the strip of iron covering his nose. His ragged beard sprang wild beneath his helmet. „If the men of Sicily could build this cursed tower and not waste time pillaging the dead, then the men of Provence would not have to waste their forces protecting them. That is what your lord Bohemond has commanded.‟ I turned my attention away from them, for Sigurd had returned. He strode past the bickering officers, ignoring them, threw down the plundered shield and stamped on it. Even his strength could not crack it. „Five months,‟ he growled. „Five months and we‟ve learned nothing more than how to kill ourselves.‟

Military & Flying Machines Show

Military & Flying Machines Show th


6 & 7 August Over 17,000 attendees in 2010 Flying Displays Pleasure Flights Living History Displays 300+ Vehicles Live Entertainment Arena Activities 15+ Tanks & Armoured Vehicles











with immediate effect

There’s nothing like LIVE ENTERTAINMENT The Military & Flying Machines show are pleased to announce some of the main attractions at the 2011 show at Damyns Hall Aerodrome on the 6 & 7 August 2011. If you enjoy live entertainment make sure you come down to Damyns Hall for the cream of the crop! We have an amazing line up of live entertainment all day that will take visitors back to the golden years. Come and join us for an old fashioned sing along, admire our beautiful pin-ups and singers, experience the delights of a big band and marching band and our 1940s live radio broadcast! After opening the event with the firing of a WW2 vintage field gun – you will be transported back in time, in our marquee where we will be hosting a full day line up of live entertainment, from singers, to bands, to dancing, to fashion and kids entertainment, all day, both days! We kick things off with our delicious trio – The Polka Dot Dolls singers who capture the romance and emotion of the 1940’s with red lips, seamed stockings and victory rolls in their hair. With delightfully rich harmonies and stylish attire, the Dolls entertain with a splendid repertoire of vintage songs. The Polka Dot Dolls certainly rouse the crowds. Joining the Polka Dot Dolls will be the amazing Waldon Big Band, our brass 12 piece band. There's nothing like the sounds of a big band to take you back to the 40s, let yourself get carried away with tapping feet, while they perform the favourites from yesteryear. Come and meet our beautiful 40s pin-up, Annie Andrews. Our Pin-up Model and Singer is authentic to the era as she delights her audiences with performances of songs from the great artists of the 1940s, guaranteed to get any audience to their feet. Have you ever wondered what people used to wear – come and watch our Vintage Fashion Show and admire the elegance of the fashions through the decades as our Ladies and Gentlemen remind us of the graceful bygone era. In the veterans area will be the Breton Entertainers, this mature group will enthrall the crowds with a wartime sing-along and comedy sketches. See if you recognise their wartime Spiv (his he’s quite a famous character!) Whilst you’re admiring the displays around the airfield, listen out for the traditional sounds of a marching band, as the Hornchurch Drum & Trumpet Corps entertain with a mix that will appeal to all.



After hearing all of this live music, your feet will be tapping and you’re surley going to want to get moving, so why not learn a few steps with A2 Jive, providing demonstrations of the dance floor trend in the 40s! Watch and learn as these fast moving dance floor demons swing into action, you’re never too old to join in for a couple of numbers too! As well as all this there will be so much more to see whilst you’re there admiring the sights and sounds, we will also have again fantastic air displays, 300+ military vehicles, living history displays, arena activities, including big bangs and even bigger vehicles! Kids’ activities, vintage funfair, refreshments, stalls – there truly is something for everyone, with so much to see and do and at great value for money! Tickets are on Sale now, so don’t miss out. For the latest updates on the show visit

17th century Living History and Military Group & 15th century Tretower Household.

The Marcher Stuarts is a Living History & Military group of friendly folks who entertain and, hopefully, educate the public while enjoying themselves.They do this at castles, manors, churches, museums, schools, fetes and charity events. Our name comes from the Marcher lands,(those between England and Wales), and the Stuart period which we portray (Roundheads, Cavaliers, Oliver Cromwell and all that). We have also become The Tretower Household and we interpret the wonderful restoration which has taken place at Tretower Court near Crickhowell in Powys. The group have performed from Bedfordshire to West Wales, Shropshire to Somerset for various bodies including the National Trust, CADW (the Welsh equivalent of English Heritage), Councils, Museum Services, British Waterways, Countryside Services and Education Departments. We've set up our tented village, practiced our crafts and games quietly or made lots of noise with muskets, hook guns, blunderbuss, and cannon, "killed" a few witches, shot arrows, brandished swords and pikes and had a very busy and enjoyable time. What we are not is a static group. We don't just want to be looked at, although some of us do cause stares of disbelief ! We encourage the public to join in wherever possible, maybe learn a new craft, try their hand at archery, pike or sword, learn how to gamble 17th century style or even be a volunteer to face a firing squad. If you'd like to join our group for 15th or 17th century re-enactment, book us for an event, or just find out more then please contact: Marion Davies

The Historical Writers Association The Historical Writers' Association was set up in October 2010 and is growing astonishingly fast. We intend to do for historical writing and writers what the CWA does for Crime writers - provide a networked community in which we can discuss our work so that we're not all beavering away in glorious isolation: to bring us in touch with leading edge publishers, agents and booksellers and, above all, to promote historical writing, both fiction and nonfiction in every way we can. This year, 2011, our primary event will be a Festival of Historical Writing at Kelmarsh in July as part of English Heritages' 'Festival of History' - they have been immensely helpful in setting this up and I can't thank them too highly - we're essentially taking over the Pavilion for a 2-day festival of the best of Historical Writing, aimed at a family audience, so it'll be fast, fun and fascinating rather than 'literary'. A full programme will be on our website at as soon as we've sorted it out (there's a lot more work to that than I'd at first realised - we have a wish list, but it's by no means guaranteed yet) and as soon as the web site is up and running. That, too, is taking time, but we've got a stellar web team working hard on the wire frame and as soon as that's done, we can wrap it in a skin we like and then all we have to do is upload the content. Easy. I sincerely hope it'll be up and running by the end of March, certainly by mid-April. Next year, we hope to have found a sponsor for prizes along the lines of the CWA 'Dagger' awards. We've had one offer and are open to others if any of your members know of anyone with cash to spare in this age of the 'New Austerity'. By Manda Scott

The Berkeley Skirmish July 30th & 31st 2011 Berkeley Castle Gloucestershire Medieval Battle Full Contact Tournament Archery Competition Black Powder Living History encampment Traders Row Beer tent Food Stalls + LOTS MORE

M5 20th & 21st August Spetchley House & Gardens Worcester, WR5 1RS

Multi-Period event Living History Displays through history Traders Beer Tent Have a go Archery + Lots more….. Scotland‟s Festival of History


20th & 21st August

Getting excited about history

Lanark Race Course

24th & 25th September 2011 King‟s Manor, York

Archery, Battles, Historic Market, Music & Dance, Jesters & Jugglers Children‟s Activities Falconry, Craft Displays Romans, Vikings, Medieval Covenanters, Jacobite, Napolenic, WWI, WWII Fun for all ages exploring the ages at the Country‟s largest re-enactment event.

Workshops, demonstrations, lectures, period traders.

Guest Speakers Comedian, screenwriter, actor, director, author & historian

Terry Jones (Subject to work commitments) Archaeologist & Television presenter

Mark Olly

Limited tickets available Contact:

I AM THE CHOSEN KING Helen Hollick, Sourcebooks, 2011, $16.99, pb, 592pp, 9781402240669 There are many historical fiction authors I admire: writers who can tell a good story, keep my interest, and whisk me away to times and places far away. There are, however, very few of whom I am in awe; ones whose writing skill and depth are so encompassing that I am no longer an observer of events, but a participant. Helen Hollick is that sort of author, and I Am the Chosen King is arguably her best writing. The story begins after Hollick‟s The Forever Queen; Edward the Confessor is now king, though his mother Queen Emma is still making her presence known. Edward is a weak king, often finding himself at odds with the powerful Godwin family which holds many of the earldoms of the kingdom. Among Earl Godwine‟s formidable sons is Harold (later Harold II), seen here as a noble man whose heart is held by his hand-fast wife, Edyth. Though the Godwine family‟s power is farreaching, in Normandy another young man is eyeing the English throne; Duke William is a driven ruler who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. All of these strong personalities are brought vividly to life through multiple viewpoints over a twenty-year period that culminates with the Battle of Hastings. My knowledge of Saxon England is murky, but Helen Hollick‟s writing is so rich and vibrant that it was not difficult to lose myself within the world she recreated. Especially to her credit is her ability to help the reader distinguish among the shared names, and there is a most welcome Author‟s Note at the end. The depth of character is outstanding; the home and battle scenes equally captivating. This is an exquisite saga that will envelop you wholly. (Revised version of the author‟s Harold the King. – ed.) --Tamela McCann FIELD GRAY (US) / FIELD GREY (UK) Philip Kerr, Putnam, 2011, $25.95, pb, 434pp, 9780399157417 / Quercus, 2010, £17.99, hb, 384pp, 9781849164122 This latest installment in the Bernie Gunther series finds the former Berlin detective doing well in 1950s Cuba, that is, until he is taken into custody by American authorities and forced to face possible war crimes from his past. This leads Bernie back to a now-divided Germany and into a world of Cold War plots and counterplots, agents and double crosses. Not that any of this is exactly new to him, as surviving his years working for the Nazis can attest. Ultimately, with his very life in the balance, he must face a criminal who has eluded him throughout his career. To succeed, Bernie must confront the difficult choices he made in the past to survive, and relearn the skills that brought him through with just a shred of the self-esteem still left to him. As the Bernie Gunther has series grown to attract legions of fans and capture several awards, so has the author‟s power to deliver a thoughtprovoking, informative, yet utterly suspenseful and moving account. A hallmark of the series has been Kerr‟s ability to display, through his hard-bitten detective, the moral ambiguity which boiled just beneath the surface of the oft-portrayed black and white of the World War II and Cold War eras. This ambiguity is borne out though some outstanding historical research, whether it be the questionable role of the Allies‟ intelligence services, the stark brutality of the Soviet regime, or the shortcomings of a justice system trying to come to terms with the immense crimes of the Nazi‟s, often only to surrender to the demands of Realpolitik. Indeed, we come to see the Field Gray of Bernie‟s old SS uniform as a metaphor for the moral gray areas in which citizens of many nations lived through the mid 20th century. Highly recommended. --Ken Kreckel

For other reviews on books why not visit:


There are plans to have the Historic site of The Battle of Shrewsbury destroyed so an incinerator can be built upon it. The actor and historian Robert Hardy is fighting against an incinerator being built on the actual battlefield that Shrewsbury 1403 was fought on. English Heritage originally were against it but have changed their minds! This is not only part of our heritage but also a grave site as many died here. A FB group has been set up to fight the proposal : Darkshita.Goth?ref=hpbday#!/home.php?sk= group_127735783975244&ap=1 nd

2 Cambridgeshire open air History festival

In association with the Cherry Hinton Festival

September 17th 2011 Held on the large recreation ground, High Street, Cherry Hinton. The history fair covers history, archaeology, local history, archives, family history, architecture, natural environment, museums, re-enactment and much, much more….. If you would like to know more about what happens at the Cherry Hinton Festival and the past history exhibitions then please visit the main Cherry Hinton Festival website at

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The Battle of Mortimer‟s Cross 550th Anniversary September 17th & 18th 2011 Main A49, 1 mile north of Leominster, Herefordshire England Battle re-enactment each day with fully armoured knights, archers and gunners. Separate arena for barber surgeon, medieval dancing, mummer‟s plays and music. Living history encampment Traders row Beer tent Local food stalls Passamezzo Early Dance Owain Leech (Barber Surgeon) Nominus (medieval muscians) Adults £5, Under 16s FREE, Concessions £4 Free Parking for all Contact: Bob & Pennie:01989 762159 Or Jason: 01432 352755

SCOTLAND’S FESTIVAL AIMS TO CREATE ITS OWN SLICE OF HISTORY Organisers of Scotland‟s Festival of History 2011 have unveiled their biggest and best programme yet as they get ready to recreate epic moments in the nation‟s turbulent past. And they are hoping to create their own slice of history by getting more visitors than ever to step back in time for this summer‟s colourful and spectacular celebration of Scotland‟s heritage. Last year, Scotland‟s national history show attracted more than 5,500 visitors and reenactment specialists from across Europe. Organisers are aiming to break that record with a more comprehensive show than ever and extended displays. The festival - supported by the country‟s national events agency EventScotland - is already one of the summer‟s key visitor events in Scotland. This year‟s international event has also received the backing of Scotland‟s First Minister Alex Salmond. He said: “Scotland‟s Festival of History offers a wonderful opportunity for all generations to experience and learn about Scotland‟s history. “I am delighted that this important event continues to flourish. The growing success of the festival is testament to everyone‟s hard work and determination. I hope this will be yet another successful year and that everyone attending has a very enjoyable experience.” Scotland‟s Festival of History is worth more than £260,000 to the local economy. As well as EventScotland, the festival is also supported by additional backing from South Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Rural Partnership. Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, said: "We are delighted to be supporting this vibrant and popular festival for a second year, with its well-earned and welldeserved reputation for providing excitement, spectacle and drama. "Scotland's Festival of History is an important event in Scotland's summer programme and a key date in the calendar for Lanarkshire's tourism industry, boosting the local economy." This year‟s event, which will take place at Lanark Racecourse on August 20 and 21, has even more to offer visitors – with Celts battling the Romans, Redcoat invasions and the medieval battles of national heroes, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. The festival will also explore the uncertain days of the Covenanters and Jacobites, through to the Napoleonic era and the First and Second World Wars. But it is not all about the battles of war and, to underline that, for the first time it will feature a suffragettes‟ display. Other attractions include falconry displays, medieval musicians and jesters, as well as historic craft demonstrations. Shoppers can also step back in time to enjoy its historic market. The festival is organised by a small group of volunteers and in less than a decade has grown from a half-day gathering into a massive weekend of fun and celebrations. Event manager George Topp said: “This is history as authentic as we can make it. Visitors will be able to learn about our national heritage in a realistic yet fun and entertaining way. “The festival is not just about the battles, but also gives the visitor a fascinating insight into how our ancestors lived. They will be able to walk through large, colourful „living history‟ camps, meet the re-enactors and learn more about how these warriors lived.

“It is also a great way of introducing children to the subject and getting them interested by showing them history as a living and vibrant topic to which they can relate.” Another festival highlight is a two-day international archery competition, where archers, using traditional longbows, compete for the Lanark Silver Arrow, a full-length, solid silver arrow. Scotland‟s Festival of History is on Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21, at Lanark Racecourse on Hyndford Road (A73). Ticket prices are: Adults £7, OAPS £6; Children under 16 £1; Family (2 adults, up to 4 children) £15. Two-Day tickets adults £10; OAPS £9; Children under 16 £2; Family £25.

There is free parking and discounts for on-line booking. For details visit For further information, call 07963 128365 or email For EventScotland, visit

The Dawn Duellists Society is proud to host this year's Celtic Exchange. A weekend of fencing from groups practicing in the celtic nations. Originally limited to presentations from groups in Scotland, this year sees the event expand to include groups from other nations such as Wales and Ireland in hopes to strengthen the ties between all of us and further improve our knowledge of historical martial arts. Although only Celtic groups will be presenting workshops, anyone from any nation is welcome to attend.

The event will take place on the weekend of the 6th and 7th of August 2011 at the Edinburgh Academy Gymnasium.



Event Listing August 5th – 7th The Knights of Royal England ( at Blenheim Palace, England 6th & 7th Midland History Festival at Ragley hall, Alcester, England or Email: 6th & 7th The Great Wagon Road Encampment at East Montgomery Park, Elliston, Virginia, USA 6th & 7th The Great Road Encampment, USA 6th & 7th The Military Flying machines Show, Damyns Hall Aerodrome Upminster, Essex RM14 2TN 6th & 7th Ealdfaeder Dark Ages Re-Enactment, Show - Spear Dance Theme, Sutton Hoo Sutton Hoo 6th & 7th Hoveton Hall Gardens Victorian Extravaganza 6th Victorian Extravaganza - Rule Glorious Britannia!!/event.php?eid=104883102922870&notif_t=event_invite 7th FETE MEDIEVALE CELTIQUE 2011 FAUGERES 34600!/event.php?eid=190994780927888&notif_t=event_invite

7th – 14th Battle of Visby, SWEDEN 12th – 14th The Knights of Royal England ( at Hever Castle, England 13th & 14th The Arthurian Centre, Slaughterbridge, Camelford, Cornwall, England 13th & 14th Cork City Goal Military Show, Convent Avenue, Sunday's Well, Cork City, Ireland. Contact: 13th & 14th The Medieval Siege Society at The Siege of Bodium Castle, England 13th & 14th Lincoln Castle “Preparing for Siege”, Lincoln castle, England 13th & 14th Northwich Medieval Festival, Northwich, Uk!/home.php?sk=group_157677494297168&ap=1 19th = 21st The Knights of Royal England ( at Hever Castle, England 19th – 21st Fight Camp 20th & 21st M5 at Spetchley Gardens, Worcester, UK. Multi-Period event 20th & 21st Ealdfaeder Dark Ages Re-Enactment, Show - Hunting & Fighting Theme, Sutton Hoo Sutton Hoo 20th & 21st Ruislip Castle, UK 27th & 28th The Knights of Royal England ( at Hever Castle, England 27th & 28th Sheffield Fair, Norfolk Park, Sheffield multi period event 27th – 29th England‟s medieval Festival at Herstmonceaux Castle, England 27th – 29th Pensthorpe Medieval Spectacular 28th & 29th The Knights of Royal England ( at Hedingham Castle, England

September 3rd Huntington Beach Reenactment, Hunington Beach, California, USA 4th The Knights of Royal England ( at Knebworth House, England 17th & 18th The 550th Anniversary of The Battle of Mortimer‟s Cross, Leominster, Herefordshire, UK 17th & 18th Ealdfaeder Dark Ages Re-Enactment, Brandeston Hall, near Framlingham, Suffolk Brandeston Hall 18th & 19th The Knights of Royal England ( at Leeds Castle, England 25th Bromsgrove Militaria, Medal & Arms Collectors Fair, at the Spadesbourne Suite, Council House, Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove, B60 1AA. 9.30am - 2.00pm. Admission £2.50 e-mail

October 1st – 2nd Tempus Belli 2011 ITALY 8th & 9th Marché de l'Histoire de Minden, GERMANY 8th ACWS Helendale Re-Enactment, California, USA

15th & 16th Norfolk Living History Fayre, Mannington Hall 15th & 16th Pickering WW2 weekend, at the Pickering show ground 15th & 16th Festival et Marché de l'Histoire de Nantes, FRANCE 29th ACWS/SNLHA Spring Mountain Ranch Reenactment, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

November 5th & 6th Timeline Fair, Old Cheese Factory, Homestead Rd, Berwick, Victoria, Australia. 11th Las Vegas Veteran‟s Day Parade 2011, Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 19th & 20th Marché de l'Histoire de Pontoise, Novembre, FRANCE 26th & 27th Ludlow Castle Medieval Christmas fair, Ludlow, Shropshire, UK Craft fair, medieval traders, combat, have a go archery

December 4th Bromsgrove Militaria, Medal & Arms Collectors Fair, at the Spadesbourne Suite, Council House, Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove, B60 1AA. 9.30am - 2.00pm. Admission £2.50 e-mail

Battle of Bosworth Event Ty mawr medieval hall will be bringing the drama and excitement of medieval warfare to life in a special re-enactment to mark the 526th anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth, the decisive and bloody battle that saw the death of King Richard III and the birth of the all powerful Tudor Dynasty. Medieval re-enactors from The Wars of the Roses Federation will present the visitors with displays of knights, archers and soldiers as you come face to face with the weapons and armour of this bloody and brutal age. Visitors can step back in time to the year 1485 and soak up the sights, sounds and smells of medieval life in the atmospheric living history camp, where camp followers will be cooking on open fires and the troops preparing for the ensuing campaign. For those wanting to learn more about Ty Mawr medieval hall, the award-winning restored medieval house will be open to visitors throughout the weekend with costumed guided tours twice a day. The Ty Mawr Battle of Bosworth Anniversary Re-enactment Weekend is on Saturday 30th July and Sunday 31st from 11.00am – 4pm Ty mawr, Castle Caereinion, Welshpool, Powys SY21 9AT (sign posted off the B4385) Tickets for Ty Mawrs biggest event of the year cost £6.00 Adult,£3 children and £4.00 Concessions, For further details, please visit or call 01938 850621

The Re-enactor issue 32 PDF  

Readership 1401 Issue 32, August 2011 The 15 th Hussars, Australia

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