Battle of the Nations 2015


My journey on the Road to Waterloo is well on its way. And I am beyond excited.

Confirmation has come through and I am attending the Waterloo re-enactment. The planning has begun, ferries booked, cars sorted and a fantastic trip planned with the 33rd Foot.

But before Waterloo2015 begins, we have some amazing events planned for the run-up. It seems like ages since my last event with the 33rd…and I’m getting ridiculously excited for the first proper camping event I’ll be off to this year. And that event is….



Battle of the Nations 2015. Held in the gorgeous grounds of Wollaton Hall, with drills, demonstrations, battles and, of course, living history camps, this looks set to be a fantastic event for all.

I need to get some new kit sewn. A new shift is definitely needed and a slightly larger skirt. But my beautiful cutlery set, made for me by my lovely friend, Mike @stockotrader, will be making it’s first appearance!


If you fancy seeing what re-enactment and Waterloo is all about, make sure you keep the May bank holiday free and come and see us.

Don’t forget to say hi to the 33rd!


33rd Foot find new recruits at Kippax North Primary School!



On Wednesday 4th February 2015, members from His Majesty’s 33rd Regiment of Foot visited Kippax North Primary School, to give talks on the Battle of Waterloo and the life of the British Redcoat. Serjeant Love, Private Armstrong and Drummer Love (and their ever ready campfollower – me!) spent a fantastic day with Key Stages 1 & 2 and found a surprising number of willing recruits, ready to join the ranks!

sam march

The day started with a school assembly, where, after a quick march to the front of the hall, Drummer Love playing away on his fife, the soldiers were introduced to the children. Serjeant Love’s kit had been set up on a display table, and the children were able to see and touch the items that a typical Redcoat would have carried with him during the Napoleonic Wars.


A full day of workshops followed. Pupils were invited to speak with each soldier, comparing the differences in the uniforms of a drummer, private and serjeant – the children were able to ask questions about what soldiers carried with them on a daily basis, why they each carried different items and weapons and actually touch, feel and study the soldiers up close!


It wasn’t long before pupils were up and drilling. (Well, new recruits need to start somewhere!) Each pupil was given a broomstick (muskets haven’t made their way to Kippax North just yet) and stood to attention in one long line. The thin red line complete, the children were put through their paces. Arms drill was the order of the day, with a little marching to follow. Shoulder to shoulder, eyes forward, each class advanced towards the enemy (their somewhat scared looking teachers) and held their fire. Upon the serjeant’s orders, arms were loaded and raised. Waiting for the command to…FIRE!


During lunch, the soldiers were asked to join the children at their tables. Many interesting questions were asked, comparisons were made between the Napoleonic Wars and later World Wars, and every pupil came forwards to the display table to take a look at the soldier’s kit. Objects of particular interest included the musket ball that lay on a haversack, a pack of playing cards, a gold pocket watch, the drummer’s fife and, of course, the spare redcoats that lay to the side.


A superb day was had by all, pupils, teachers and 33rd members alike. The look of awe and excitement upon the children’s faces showed us just how inspiring re-enactment can be – this was real “hands-on” history, where pupils were able to touch, feel and hear the thoughts of those who marched with the British army 200 years ago. Not only exploring the life of the Redcoat, but touching upon the history of the Battle of Waterloo, the Napoleonic Wars were brought to life and brought straight to the hands of the pupils of Kippax North.


A massive thank you must go to Kippax North Primary School and Jill Bagshaw (my mum!) for inviting the 33rd into their school and for supporting the education of the Napoleonic Wars in schools. Huge thanks must also go to Simon, Sam and Craig, and the 33rd Foot, for their time, effort and support in giving our children such a fantastic display.


Ongoing classes exploring Waterloo, and a trip to the Royal Armouries in Leeds are planned, and a mini-reenactment of the Battle of Waterloo itself may soon take place upon the school field. Give it a few years, and the ranks of the 33rd may soon swell! In the words of the children, the day was “awesome”!


Just take a look at these fantastic letters I received from the children at Kippax North after the event! They really do show how inspiring the boys were, how enthusiastic the kids were and what an impact the day had upon us all. They reveal just how important living history and re-enactment is…in teaching, educating and inspiring a new generation. What more can I say? Huzzah!

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2015 is nearly upon us!


2015 is going to be a huge year for us at Waterloo200. All the plans and preparations we’ve been putting in place will come to fruition, and before we know it, the bicentenary of Waterloo will be here.

The next couple of months are going to be extremely busy, with the launch of our new website to coincide with the ‘200 items’ launch. (But more about that later!)

For now, however, on the social media side of life, I’m preparing the twitter account for a year of live tweeting. The full Waterloo campaign in real time is the aim of the game, and due to the success of @Waterloo200org’s live tweets between the 16th-19th June last year, I will be bringing back the #Waterloo1815 hashtag! Huzzah!

My reading has started, and tweets are being put in place. But why wait until June to join the discussion? Let’s start now!

If you have any Waterloo related tweets, just tweet us @Waterloo200org or use the #Waterloo1815 hashtag.

And here’s to a great 2015 and bicentenary!