Issue 98 is now on sale!
Winter always evokes thoughts of harsh campaign weather. Many of us choose to sit it out, and take time to mend kit and plan events for the following season. Unlike those men and women of the periods we portray, we are able to pick and choose when we will next venture outside and ignore the comforts of our central heating and feather duvets. Of course to risk one’s health would be irresponsible – sometimes we must draw a line. But never take out of mind those whose reality, of cold weather and harsh conditions, were so often commonplace. Whether your interests lie in 1805 with Napoleon and the bitterly cold Battle of Austerlitz or his 1812 retreat from Moscow, or maybe the frosty winter encampment of
Washington’s Army at Valley Forge, perhaps cold close-quarter combat of Stalingrad or the 1944 bone-chilling bombardment at Bastogne and let’s not forget the frosty, futile frontal
attacks of Fredricksburg in 1862; each holds its own harsh conditions within the existing hard reality of war. We are fortunate… we can study these periods without pain, visit them in
our minds without the fears they faced and we are indeed privileged to portray these brave individuals. We must do so to the best of our ability, we owe them this.
We asked our Facebook followers “Why do you re-enact?” (on page 70), well, above is my answer. Adding to this the feeling of ‘a brotherhood’, a camaraderie that is experienced alongside those that understand and share your motives. It is special and rare, cherish it as they did, and feel closer still to those who witnessed the reality of war. I realise my letter is a little more in-depth this issue. I believe this comes from my own personal experiences this year, where I have felt an incommunicable connection with the past and to those that seek to respect it alongside me. On that note, I shall leave you and let you flick through these pages… Work hard on your impressions over winter, and remember why you do this. Is it a hobby for you? Or like for me, a way of life!