An Introduction….Sort Of.

There are two types of reenactors.
The first type get into reenacting through their love of history, through a fascination of their preferred time period and a want to experience it as first hand as possible.
The other type, us lucky bastards, are born into it. For us it has always been a part of life. To us, those who don’t do it are the freaks.
I attended my first reenactment at the tender age of six weeks at Knebworth House for an American Civil War battle.
It was Easter, it was freezing and I don’t remember a thing.
What? I was six weeks old give me a chance.
We were a part of Soskan back then.
My Mum,
they all went.
My earliest memory of reenacting is of running around the American History Museum in Bath with my cousin and pretending we were fighting off “those damn Yankees”. Other memory’s include watching my dad swan around in a pair of trousers with more patches than original material and a stick instead of a sword when he was promoted.
Eventually we left Soskan and the American Civil War scene behind us long before I was old enough to step foot on a battlefield.
There are a lot of reasons for this but really the main reason, in my opinion at least, is a certain film starring Daniel Day-Lewis that came out on video in 1993.
The Last Of The Mohicans caused a turning point in my family’s historical appetite. My dad borrowed it from the video rental shop and watched it eight times before he had to take it back. He became obsessed. He began researching and making kit, which looking back is far from accurate, at an incredible rate. He made leggings and breechclouts and moccasins. He made shirts and tricorns and he even made period clothing and accoutrements for mine and my older brothers action men.
I remember playing out particular scenes from the film for hours.
A life long journey of trial and error had begun.
And now I am old enough to join in the battles, I’m old enough to make my own kit and I’m old enough to do my own research (of which I admit I don’t do enough).
Reenacting has come a long way in the last twenty years. Some of the best historians I have ever met were reenactors and yet some of the worst historians are also reenactors. But all of this is a different discussion. What it really comes down to is the simple fact that all male reenactors are just over grown children playing war.
And what’s wrong with that?
Nothing, that’s what.
Whether you were born into reenacting or became a reenactor for your own reasons it doesn’t matter. We do it, we keep the history alive through our constant attempts at living it.
I wouldn’t give it up for anyone or anything.
Jobs and friends and relationships will come and go but reenacting will always be there.
For me, that’s enough.

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