Constantine Cornwall

News from the Front

Cornwall’s 32nd Regiment of the Foot (Cornwall’s only Napoleonic re-enactment regiment), reporting from behind a musket!

2013 commenced in truly fabulous style for the Cornish militia, as we were once again invited to the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers’ lavish banquet aboard the S.S. Great Britain. Three delicious, exquisitely prepared courses complete with handpainted Welsh chocolate plumes, were washed down with lashings of port, brandy, Madeira, and wonderful artisan beers brought over by our German friends the King’s German Legion, and the Brunswickers. Huzzar! All the gentlemen look wonderfully dashing in their regimentals, and the ladies cut a fine dash too in their re- gency gowns and plumes in vibrant jewel shades and soft ivories: glittering elegance, and much of it home-made. In one instance, a garnet red velvet gown was beautifully accented with polished military brass buttons, a fitting nod to the occasion.

A wonderful feeling of friendship and camaraderie pervaded the evening as, after dinner (and toasts to the regiments, the King, and to the ladies), medals were awarded between friends spanning regiments and nations, as marks of friendship and appreciation, many struck from original Napoleonic dies. Speeches were made to mark decades of service from some of the company who had been re-enacting since the early sixties, and are lovingly valued by the community. The year ahead was much discussed by all, and excitement ran high as we discussed upcoming events; who is attending which battles and festivals, how event traditions are held across the centuries, and some rather important bicentenaries. The 32nd Cornish will be heading south across the seas in June, to the 200th anniversary battle of Vitoria in Northern Spain, and 2015 is already on the horizon for re-enactors all over the world, as over 120,000 people are expected to take part in the 200th anniversary battle of Waterloo. We will of course be there, flying the flag for Cornwall! In preparation, Constantine’s marvellous Miss Edwards has been on drill practice this weekend, and rumour has it we’ll be firing a cannon within the month!

And so, for now, I’ll return to my post behind my sewing machine. Until next time (saluting), signing off.

Nichola Butland