Re-enacting good or bad?

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

  1. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Right, head above parapet time. I've put some photos in the gallery. If anyone wishes to find fault, please (and I mean this quite sincerely) be my guest, just tell me.

    I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (as this thread has shown) but hopefully the photos of the kit will help some.
  2. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day to re-enacters,today/13-4-2013, your take.first its a case of what turns you on.but if acting out what many gave there lives for,i sugest you join the armed forces and do the real is and was not a glamour job.i hope you find a productive helping ww2 vets who may need it.and could tell about the real horrors of war.i suppose its a case of what turns you on,(repeat)have a nice day.bernard85
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Tom.......... I am impressed !

    I took the trouble to visit your website and now think I have got the measure of your genuine involvement in reenactment.

    I reiterate, it is not my scene, but I can appreciate the effort and the trouble you go through to get things right and, given the right audience, can see a place in society for units such as your own.

    If you can promise me never to take on board any SS wanabees I might even get to recommending your mob to others :)

    Good luck !

    Five-Five and Combover like this.
  4. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Thank you Ron.

    SS? No. Never would. We don't even allow Yanks in, so SS is out of the question!
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    There are plenty who are serving & ex-forces involved in reenactment.
    Probably the most famous reenactor was the ex-commando Peter Young.

    Funny how some members make models & other members praise their creations.
    But Combover does spot on historical recreations in 1:1 scale & gets flak.

    Looking at those pics & it is at the very high end of the scale amongst reenactors.
    This is the type of reenacting that should be encouraged.
    It gives people the chance to get a real feel of the kit, the smell of it, the weight of kit carried , the sound of ammo boots crunching along etc etc
    If it helps bring history to life & get other members of the public interested in the period then that's fine by me.
    Five-Five and Combover like this.
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Only while I think of it.

    If one looks back at pics taken in wartime Italy, you will see that KD shirts were inevitably crumpled whllst shorts and trousers usually had a crease showing.

    This was because if you knew you had a day leave coming you would put your trousers under your bedroll the night before, whereas shirts required ironing, which was only available to the very few.

    And not a lotta people know that :)

    von Poop likes this.
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    And without reenactors, they never would have!
  8. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Just looked through your pics at the Gallery and I'm also impressed. What detail! Can't believe you go to the lengths of reproducing the newspaper as well. You obviously take great pains to ensure you get it spot on. Well done. I can understand now why you are so passionate about it. Good on ya.
  9. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Yep, attached is a brief copy of one we produced for an event. It contains details gleened from the war diary of the 2nd Gordons for the dates the event was on.

    It gives people an idea of how the news was delivered. They're two sided and normally have a cartoon on the back, like this one does. Better than reading a modern paper!

    Attached Files:

  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Living History / Reenactment as per the examples shown above I have nothing against, quite the opposite, my respects to Combover and all those who do this plus other related activities as a commemoration of those who "were there". Combover is not alone, there are other serious pepople like him in this forum as well. Of course in every basket there will be a bad apple or three, so the image of this kind of excelent work is spoiled by the usual culprits: Wannabes, Fanboys, Walts, etc. But let's not allow these lower manifestations damage the good work.

    Well done, all the Combovers, and please keep us posted.
    Five-Five likes this.
  11. Lindsay Aspin

    Lindsay Aspin Senior Member

    Thank you Combover for reinstating your photographs on WW2 Talk Gallery.

    WW2 Living History/Re-enactment groups present an opportunity for all those who are totally unaware of their war time heritage to discover more.

    With such an introduction, to a subject often totally unknown, living history re-enactment groups create enthusiasm for those who want to learn.

    RAF Abingdon Air Show, Sunday, 5th May ... as in 2010, will you all be there?

    All the best,
    Combover likes this.
  12. Five-Five

    Five-Five Senior Member

    Interesting to see the variety of people's views on the subject, and I think from Combover's gallery and the F.I.R.E 1944 website, it is becoming clearer that the attributes of what poor experiences some may have had before and the qualities of the Living Historian are worlds apart.

    Apologies for not posting sooner, but I thought, for (hopefully) the benefit of others, I'd try to give a reasonably illustrative view of Re-enacting through my eyes; which are close to, but not part of the hobby - 'On the fringes' if you will.

    I've been keeping a close and reasonably analytical eye on Re-enacting for a few years now with, as I have discussed with Tom and others before, an intention of perhaps taking up the hobby at some stage when budget etc. allows (for the record - I'm not overweight either!). With this in mind, I joined up on the forum which, as it turns out, provides a very good inside view of the hobby. Though due to not being part of the hobby as yet I am still somewhat on the outside, which gives me an interesting OP.

    Through my browsing of, and interaction with members of, the aforementioned site, I have observed that there are perhaps three distinct, though in some cases broad-ranging, 'types' within Re-enacting as a whole *:

    - The majority (on the forum mentioned above at least): The Living Historian
    Dedicated to accuracy and passionate about their hobby, eager to educate the public and, as Tom so excellently put it: "walking, talking museums", these chaps and lasses are what re-enactment is all about and do a truly sterling job. We have several of these folks as members here, though sadly they don't get anywhere near as much press as the 3rd 'type'.

    - The average Re-enactor
    Fine fellows still, but perhaps limited by their knowledge or by what they can afford. With a bit of encouragement, these folks could become Living Historians over time. Perhaps accurate enough kit-wise in their impression, but lacking the knack of knowing how to wear it.

    - The minority: The 'Wannabe' etc.
    We all know the type, as they are what so many of you have described seeing in the past. These are not the true face of re-enacting, but the bad eggs.

    Like all things, if one is to do it, one should do it well. When done well, the hobby goes far beyond 'Dressing Up'.

    Owen and Za have got it spot on. Re-enacting as a whole is something where, though there may be a minority of bad eggs that get the most attention, one cannot tar all with the same brush, as many, many do a truly superb job.

    The thread linked to in Owen's post is a prime example of just what a great job Combover, Fruitcake, and all Living Historians do. And for what you do, my hat comes off to you all, folks.

    All the best,

    P.S. Tom, love the newsletter. Great stuff! :smile:

    *= I do apologise if this seems in any way unjustly generalising, as that is not by any means the intention, I merely seek to illustrate the fact that the terrible ones are not the majority.
    Combover and Owen like this.
  13. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    We've had lots of answers to the question how? and what? But I'm still interested in why? I would imagine that the answers might be legion?
  14. GPRegt

    GPRegt Senior Member


    I'll offer these as a starter:

  15. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Hi Lindsay, I would imagine it would be as one of our chaps is Oxfordshire based and it was rather enjoyable last year!
  16. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Thanks for the comments Five-Five.

    I suspect that the hostility to the whole thing comes from sensationalism about the third group you mention and not so much towards re-enacting itself. Although I must admit, I don't tell people in work that I do it!
  17. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Excellent stuff and thanks to GPRegt for pointing out what I missed - this is what I like about this forum - and thanks to Combover for 'sticking his head above the parapet'. I wouldn't even print some of the things my wife has said about some of the stuff that comes through the door for me so I'm always keen to hear what other people say. I do recall Drew somewhere talking about the amount of books he has at home and how that is received.
  18. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    The world would be much much less interesting and informed for us all if some people didnt do unusual things. I did a spell of re-enacting just because I had the opportunity, and not only was it extremely interesting to meet some great veterans, but in my mind my actions recognised the service of our forefathers. Frankly I was scarded witless when I first 'dressed up' and it did feel that I was film star. Indeed my wife and I won a prize at Blenheim Palace some years ago. After a while the uniform became too tight, the emotional connection with veterans too intense, and the pressure of the interest too great.

    There is no doubt that equiette boundaries are being pushed and are broken in some cases, but we are a demoncratic society, so surely we should be taking the rough with the smooth.

  19. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    The best reenactors that I am aware of are the Airborne soldiers who were in the film "Theirs Is The Glory" where, after really winning the battle, they acted as themselves in the movie portrayal of what had happened.

    If someone likes dressing up and standing about, sitting in a hole pretending to read a letter, or playing at patrolling then please feel free to enjoy yourself!
    dbf likes this.
  20. Jen'sHusband

    Jen'sHusband Punchbag

    Have you seen the photos of us touring the battlefields in uniform?

    Also, i don't know which Battle of Arnhem you're referring to but that depicted in 'Theirs Is The Glory' was a battle lost, not won.

    I would also like to know how one 'pretends to read a letter'. It was a newsletter actually being read.

    I think your blinkered view makes you look foolish.
    Combover likes this.

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