The New Recruit at Batemans
Early August saw the group return to one of our favourite places, Batemans WW1 event in East Sussex.
Set in the grounds of Rudyard Kipling’s house, the 10th Essex along with our friends from The Rifles LHG, the WFA and 14-21, once again delighted the crowds in this idyllic location. This year we followed the story of a typical recruit, “Private Jake Hill”, from volunteering for service against the better judgement of his mother, through training and deployment to his first taste of action at Passchendaele.
The brainchild of Cpl Gage, this dramatic device allowed the crowds to feel very connected to a single man who could have been any of their ancestors. Bayonet fencing, the realities of trench warfare, and a battle briefing contrasted with the behind the lines side of the war with tea and buns at the F.A.N.Y canteen as the story unfolded.
Our RFC section under Capt Weaver delivered as ever in the Neiuport , bolstered by a DH2 from the Rifles. We don’t generally go in for recreating battles but here we make an exception and this year’s proved to be one of the most effective, the pyrotechnics coupled with the narrative created the emotional effect we always aim for.
Many members of the crowd were visibly moved as the crowd heard the reading of a reply to the Company Commander’s letter of condolence as Hill was lost in battle.
We had over 2,000 visitors to the show which was up on last year and now we have to top it in 2018!