The current regiment was established in 1991 and has grown to be a prominent regiment in the Parliamentary Army, with an excellent reputation for the accuracy of our Living History. We pride ourselves on being a family regiment and are always on the lookout for new recruits to join our ranks. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Who does re-enactment?
Our Regiment has people from 6 to over 60. Single guys and girls; married couples; families and people in their retirement. Just as they would have done in the day our ranks are filled with people from all walks of life
Why do we do it? Beacuse we all love re-enactment for many reasons:
A passion of this exciting period in our history and the buzz of explaining it to members of the public. The anticipation as the drums roll, the cannons and muskets fire and the pike blocks close on one another. The ‘quality time’ spent together free of 21st century distractions - mobile phones and the TV. The simple fun of dressing up and pretending to be in another time. Perhaps above all it is the sense of belonging, the camaraderie and the feeling of family.Then there is that look on people faces when they ask you what you did at the weekend. Many people laugh, then ask where they can see you do it too!
How can you get started?
We’re here to help with advise and with the loan of clothing and ‘kit’ to get you started, so just come along, give it a try and see what you think. Be warned though, many of our Regiment have gone from one day trial to full-blown re-enactment addict almost overnight!
Who to contact?
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will respond as soon as we can
A weapon that in one shape or form had dominated battlefields since Alexander the Great’s phalanx, the pike was considered to be the most honorable weapon and fit for gentlemen to carry. Not that many gentlemen would have carried one. Carrying a 16-18ft ash pike, with its tip and sheaths of steel or iron, both in battle and on the march, required the strongest and sturdiest of men.
Pikemen were formed into dense pike blocks whose defensive role was to protect the slow loading musketeers, especially from fast moving cavalry.In offense the pike were used to break the enemy’s formation, engaging first at the ‘charge’ with pikes leveled against each other. Then they would close to ‘push of pike’ as pike blocks literally rammed into each other (somewhat like a modern rugby scrum). Sheer strength and courage determined who was driven back and broke first. To protect them pikemen wore a helmet and back and breast armour. As the Civil war went on armour was discarded in favour of mobility and manoeuvrability.
By the time of the Civil Wars the musket was becoming the dominant weapon on the battlefield.
A musket barrel would have been around 4 1/2 feet (1.4 metres) long and would fire a lead ‘bullet’ weighing around an ounce. With an accurate range of only around 50 yards and a slow and complex re-loading procedure the musket was only militarily decisive when used in mass formations. Typically musketeers would outnumber pikemen, who were there to defend them, by two to one. The impact of receiving musket fire would have been devastating as the heavy, low velocity lead balls tore in to the densely packed ranks of pikemen or musket blocks.
The drill for reloading was slow and complicated. Gunpowder was poured down the barrel. The ball was dropped in and rammed home with a piece of wadding or cloth to keep it in place. The priming pan at the breech was filled with a finer-grain gunpowder and covered with a swivelling lid. The smouldering match cord, held in place by a serpent shaped arm was held in front of the priming pan. Pull the trigger, the pan cover opened; the match dropped igniting the priming powder, sending a spark through the touch-hole to fire the main charge and propelling the ‘bullet’ out of the barrel. Then start the whole process over again.
Simple? Stay focused, concentrate and ignore the cavalry bearing down on you; the enemy musket block preparing to fire at you and the enraged faces of the advancing pike block whose comrades lay dead or wounded from your volley.
Nothing is more stirring and evocative than the sound of the drums, whether putting heart into your own troops or striking fear in your enemies at the sound of your advance.
The drums are the 'voice' of the Regiment. Formed in mass ranks, they are the only way of relaying orders from the commander to the troops above the noise and chaos of the battlefield. The sound of drums carries further and faster than any messenger can reach.
The drummers themselves also have a unique role to play. Not only are they the voice to your own side, they are also the means to communicate to the enemy. Soldier's superstition said it was unlucky to kill a drummer. Taking full advanatge of this a commander would send a drummer to invite his enemy counterpart to a parley - to invite them to quit the field or agree surrender terms.
Considered specialist rather than regular soldiers, pioneers and sappers were essential in constructing defence works to keep attackers out and on the other side, breaching siege and defence works to get the attackers in. Theirs was a dangerous task, carried out under the most difficult conditions and often the most exposed to the enemy, leading to a variety of specialist weapons.
In today’s re-enactments the role of the pioneer is equally vital. It’s a great battlefield role, without having to pick up a weapon.
The pioneers are very much on the front-line with the fighting troops, ensuring they are supplied with water and the ‘eyes and ears’ on the morale and safety of the ‘men’. Every soldier looks to the pioneers. Every good commander relies on them. Good pioneers, keep their unit in the fight!
The army would have been followed by their baggage train and potentially a large number of camp followers.
This would have comprised artisans that the army relied on and the families of some of the soldiers, who had a vital role to play in foraging, cooking and tending for the wounded. It wasn’t easy being a camp follower. The long marches. Frequently the camp and the baggage train were attacked during or after the battle, or by the hostile local population. Death was always close at hand with the diseases that frequently swept the camp. And after the battle searching for your husband, brother or father – to find them dead or wounded.
The army would march between major towns and garrisons where it could replenish stores and supplies.
In between it would rely on the local villages and communities it would pass through, imposing a huge demand for food and other supplies and the skills of the craftsmen needed to keep the army equipped.