Re-enacting good or bad?

Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - there's a film in it. And I am mightily interested in the thoughts of people who re-enact for whatever reason. There is a lot to be said about history and our attitude towards history and memory through talking to people who 'do' history in whatever way. And I agree with Diane, if people say 'it's a free country' - it might not be original, but that's hardly bad reputation material.
  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Somewhat reminiscent of thinks, m'lud.
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Seen this trailed a couple of times over the last week:

    Weekend Warriors

    First episode - The Siege of Marlborough - is on 2100 Wed 7 Jan on Yesterday.
  4. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Thanks Idler, I knew somebody would do it sooner or later - remains to be seen what they make of it...I will be tuning in for sure.
  5. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    More Ponce than Panza, I daresay.
  7. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    My wife, daughter and daughter-in-law arranged a picnic/trip out to Wicksteed Park, Northamptonshire, on father's day this year. The trip was mainly for the benefit of the grandchildren, but Wicksteed also had a WWII themed weekend.

    There were three groups of re-enactors; British, Austrian and US - all army. The British outfit was 1st Bn Leicestershire Regiment, 49th (West Riding) Division, circa August/September 1944. The Austrians were alpine/mountain troops. The US - don't know...

    No-one seemed to take notice of the US exhibition, but the British and Austrian 'exhibitions' were well attended.

    Now, I grew-up in the countryside/on a farm and in my mid-teenage years I used to go go ratting/shooting pigeons with an air rifle, and shooting 'peasants and phartridges', and rabbits with a shotgun. I was also in the Army Cadets and have used a Lee Enfield .303 Rifle, Sten Gun and Bren Gun, worn a WWII army uniform, etc. I also used to do soldier, tank and aeroplane modelling. By the time I was 18 I had moved-on to other 'hobbies', but I guess some people don't and that's fine - whatever floats your boat.

    For example, I have friends who talk incessantly about their weekends away shooting pheasants, pigeons, ducks, etc. and I am very disinterested. As I say, I moved on... a long, long time ago.

    My observations on the Wicksteed Park re-enacting:

    1. It wasn't just overweight, middle-aged men re-enactors, although there were some. There were a lot of teenagers, father and son re-enactors;
    2. I was surprised that I knew more about the 1st Bn Leicestershire Regiment and how it ended up in the Polar Bears than the re-enactor I sopke to;
    3. The public were generally interested in the British and Austrian exhibition; and
    4. I was delighted to get my hands on a Lee Enfield .303 Rifle, Sten Gun and Bren Gun again.

    I also spoke with one of the 'Austrian' re-enactors for a while. He told me that his interest had always been in the kit and getting that right is his main aim/focus. His son was also involved in this/his hobby and present that day. He hates the mock battles and regards it as a massive pain in the ar*e, but the public expect it. Regarding the bad publicity attaching to portraying Axis troops, he believed that the press/media were biased in their reporting. He mentioned that, their main portrayal was that of British Airborne medics. In the past, they have invited the press/media to their British Airborne medics portrayal, but no-one bothers to turn up. However, they do turn up for the Austrian Alpine portrayal and give a biased slant to what they see and report it negatively - as though it was an SS portrayal.

    That day at Wicksteed - It was all harmless 'fun' for the re-enactors and the public.
    dbf likes this.
  8. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Did`nt the Peasants mind! :lol:

    Sorry ;)

  9. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    Is that a Satellite Dish on the guy's helmet?
  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    I had the shotgun, Kyle!!! :biggrin:
    Mr Jinks likes this.
  11. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  12. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    La infantería ligera de Durham

    A sneaky Spanish ploy to seize back Gibraltar by stealth?

    A great find that, Kyle.


  13. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Loved it! Great photos - nice find Kyle - all far too handsome and well fed though don't you think - particularly the officer and his very well groomed beard?
  14. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    For the purists there are some errors within the Spanish Durham Light Infantry re-enactment, for example:

    1. The neck attire generally,
    2. The officer has a Royal Artillery shoulder flash,
    3. In the second photograph the middle man is wearing his head attire incorrectly, and
    4. In the fifth (and penultimate) photograph there is also a yank(s)...

    -there are more. Just as well I'm not a purist.

    Incidentally, there are in fact three occasions that I know of where the Durham Light Infantry of 151st Infantry Bridae, 50th (Northumbrian) Division, did actually fight side by side with the yanks. The first was in Sicily where US Airborne were dropped in error near Avola where the Durham's (an assault brigade in Operation Husky) landed on 10 July 1943 - they acted as a self-appointed personal bodyguard for the CO of the, if I remember correctly, 6th Bn Durham Light Infantry. The second was in Normandy where the US 987th Field Artillery Battalion landed early on D-Day +1 and was the only US Army unit scheduled to land under the command of the British and was in general support of all 50 Div units. The third was again US Airborne during Operation Market Garden on numerous short occasions.


    Rich Payne likes this.
  15. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  16. squeakyclean

    squeakyclean Member

    Monty's Men are one of the best living history groups out there in my opinion.

    They only come together every so often and are made up of individuals from other LH groups from all over Europe. They're attention to detail is second to none.

    See more of their work here:

  17. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I'd agreed better - and not just because I've been on a few of the MM trips and am in some of the photos ;)

  18. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    It must be a difficult thing to overcome for modern re-enactors, as my old fella seemed to be the exception amongst his army contemporaries, being over six feet tall, but never over, 'about 11 stone dripping wet' as he put it. Some of his associates always called him 'the big fella' and such like. Most of them seemed shorter than him and some of his mates were what I would call diminutive; one of them a para as I remember and another tank crew, but they can't have been much over 5'4"- well under the average recruit for the time of 5'7" . Average weights of recruits were round about 130-140 lbs. The study below shows that average weights on entry were pretty similar between 1870 and 1940, not rising significantly until the 1950"s (and the advent of the Welfare State presumably?)

    (source; Rosenbaum and Crowdy British Army recruits: 100 Years of heights and weights in
  19. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    There were exceptions

    von Poop likes this.
  20. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The height thing seems to hold true though...

    von Poop likes this.

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