Thursday, 30 August 2012

Military Odyssey, a piece in the local rag and a coming Book-signing

Hi all! What a fabulous weekend I've had. As always, the Military Odyssey in Kent has turned out to be one of the best shows for a re-enactor to attend this year. With so many other re-enactment societies participating, there is something for everyone, from the Ancient Greek Hopplites and Roman legions to World War I & 11. The fact that on Saturday morning it poured down on several warriors at training, many wearing maille armour and metal helmets, and caused us to squelch obscenely in our period shoes did nothing to dampen the spirits throughout each camp. By the time the afternoon came, the sun made up for the terrible down pour and the weather remained dry for the rest of the weekend.

Such is the Military Odyssey: fiercely inspiring, heart-wrenching, side-splitting and thoroughly educational. I've been doing this show for some years now and have seen many of the re-enactments, but this year was the first time I had ventured into the amazing camp that belonged to the 10th Essex re-enactment society. This fabulously talented and innovative group of men and women  created an experience for interested members of the public that took them into the world of WWI by simulating the tunnel that was used in the Messine Ridge Offensive. This structure was produced to give the sense that you were 75ft underground where the 19 explosives that were to be detonated on the 7th June 1917 were kept in the mines. The target of the offensive was the Messines Ridge,  an important German stronghold southeast of Ypres. When the mines were detonated it basically obliterated the German camp and so loud was the explosion that even Lloyd George could hear it in his Downing Street study. This part of the experience, which was repeated every half an hour on their site, followed a short skit given by the men of the flying core

Then there was the Battle of Hattin performed by the members of the fabulously flambouyant Crusade Re-enactment society and Draum Broedr who are an amazing combat and living history outfit. Some of my own fellow members of Regia Anglorum participated and next year I would love to be able to join them and be a Saracen. These guys are some of the best show fighters I've ever seen. My friend Rich Price has video-ed the battle if any of you are interested here is the Link.

Regia Anglorum generally don't re-enact battles at Detling as such but rather a competitve combat from the dateline given to us which was 1087 this year. Our brief was that Bishop Odo, Earl of Kent and famous episcopal brother of Willliam the Conqueror, had rebelled against the new King, William Rufus, son of the former. This was an actual event that had happened. The battle we performed was a portrayal of what might have happened. Our policy is that if we re-enacted battles that have happened, it would take out the fun competitive element of our hobby and so this is how we do our shows. The first two days of the Odyssey saw Rufu's troops beating Odo's retainers and mercenaries. On the third day Odo's army was victorious. Here is a Link to the Regia Battle. you can see me somewhere in there too.

Yesterday I was in the local paper. Yes! I've finally made the big time! Well not quite but exciting nonetheless. Just a small piece about me and my novel  Sons of the Wolf  and my up coming book-signing next Saturday 8th of September in Waterstones, Crawley the Martletts. I'm very excited to be doing that and hope that lots of you will pop in and say hi if you're in the Crawley/West Sussex area.

Well thats all for now! Enjoy the rest of your week!


  1. I've never managed to join a reenactment, but I have watched some and thought it would be fun to do! Well done for taking part and good luck with your book.