As part of the Great War commemoration event we had a replica Bristol MC-1 fighter standing in the yard. This magnificent beast brought attention to the event extremely well as being Saturday market day many passed by and came to join us. The real version of this fighter spent most of its time in the Middle East shooting Turks. This one was hand made, with as much original material as possible.
Had I been able to climb inside I may well have been tempted to fire that Vickers machine gun. I suggest however the library opposite might have objected to their windows being broken.
It came complete with appropriate knowledgeable staff and the kids loved it, no matter their age!
The Braintree Cadets joined us also, happily scaring young children with their outfits, especially when wearing the 'tin helmets.' Strangely enough wearing the 'tin helmet' we offered was one of the more popular choices by the same kids! So many men comment on the weight of these weapons and I was surprised to find the German gun much heavier than the British Lee-Enfield rifle. Still I know why my dad complained now. These two young men give an immediate impression of the type of soldier who served during this conflict. Young, fit, able, clever and willing to serve. There were many like this from these parts some who did not return. A local choir singing tunes of the time, both inside and outside the building, serenaded the public, an event that was much enjoyed. I of course missed this as I was stuck inside, but I am not one to complain. I failed to obtain a second portion of 'trench cake' either, even though I saw two lying there as we were clearing up - where did they go I wonder? You canny trust nobody.
In the hall several experts gave a demonstration of the operation of such weapons to interested parties. This Vickers Machine Gun amongst them.
Some things useful to the soldier, 'tin helmet,' water bottle, bayonet and a variety of clubs to deal with any enemy gentleman who happened upon your trench one dark night. Going 'clubbing' meant something different in those days.
I myself, in a vain attempt at historical dress, sat at my Great War laptop attempting to send people to the right place to find information about their relatives. This was successful in that I now have a dozen men to look for to aid damsels in distress, folks with no laptop and those who smiled sweetly. I have also noticed one has omitted to write down her email for me. Bah! We did however sell a good number of the booklets which I had to sign for the admiring audience.
I am so tired I fell asleep during tonight's football. It meant nothing to me as I could not find my brain. With little to do this week I will sleep a lot and spend the rest of the time looking for other peoples dead men.
The large crowd who attended kept order very well, although the sergeant and corporal from the Military Police patrolling the establishment kept the rowdies away!
Difficult to get such men in focus when trembling.....