Q01. How old do I have to be in order to join?
A01. The minimum age to be licensed to fire a British Infantry Rifle (aka Baker rifle) or Charleville musket (both of which are smooth bore and classed as Shotguns) is 16. Whilst you may join us at a younger age - provided you are accompanied by 2 participating adults until 18 years old - we ourselves do not operate a ‘Junior Rifleman’ program, but there are other avenues for our budding soldiers to pursue until they become 16 years old.
Q02. Are there any restrictions on who can join?
A02. We regret that in order to maintain historical accuracy women are not allowed to be riflemen within the 1/95th.
Otherwise as you might imagine, this is a physical hobby and so you will need to be both able bodied and reasonably fit in order to get the most out of it.
In addition, the rigours of camp life and the use of firearms mean that the safety of everyone is our prime concern. Accordingly, whilst this hobby is meant to be enjoyable and fun, potential recruits will also need to be competent, willing to learn and have a sensible, mature outlook on life.
Q03. What is the likely cost outlay to take part in this hobby?
A03. The unavoidable costs aside (e.g. your Shotgun licence and membership fees), how much you need to spend depends on the amount and quality of kit that you buy and the extent to which you wish to engage in the ‘living history’ side of our hobby.
For more details of the items you will need and the costs involved please see the A Rifleman’s Kit sub-section of the HISTORY section of this website.
Q04. Must I buy my equipment from you?
A04. Certain items of equipment are produced by our members but mainly we buy from various independent suppliers that we approve, details of whom are provided when you join.
There is no compunction to purchase your kit from any of our members or preferred suppliers, but of course any alternatives that you source for yourself will need to be to a suitable standard and in keeping with the overall look that the Society seeks to achieve.
We actively encourage our membership to produce items themselves and, assuming that the appropriate standard is attained, to become a preferred supplier.
Q05. Why is the Baker rifle described as a Shotgun?
A05. Under current UK law the possession of a genuine rifled weapon requires the user to hold a Firearms Licence and the weapon may then only be used on an approved firing range or in such other circumstances as are prescribed by the Act. Smoothbore weapons are not subject to such strict control and are therefore more suitable for re-enactment purposes but still require a Shotgun Licence.
Q06. What level of commitment would I be expected to make to the Society?
A06. Whether you’re completely new to re-enactment, or making a change from another period to ours, you will obviously progress faster in terms of skill at arms and drill proficiency if you attend our training days and events on a frequent basis.
Other than that we all have jobs and real lives to get on with, so the level of your commitment is simply a matter of choice. Please rest assured that there’s no contract to sign and no pressure on you to do more than your personal circumstances will allow.
Q07. Where do I fit in?
A07. Our Society is a friendly, close knit group where it is possible to know everyone and you will be encouraged to take a full part in the activities around camp.
When not looking after your kit, participating in drill sessions or taking part in the various battles and skirmishes, you will find that there is ample time to develop a role character for yourself and to find ways to enhance the living history of the camp.
Do you play an instrument such as a fiddle or flute? If not, are you prepared to learn? Or can you sing? Do any of you have untapped woodcraft, carpentry or tailoring skills? Could you act the part of the regimental butcher and skin/dress a rabbit for dinner? The possibilities are endless.
Footnote - our Ladies and camp followers are accorded the respect that would have been paid to their gender during the period so, in addition to your duties as a soldier, you will be required to chop wood, fetch water and carry out such other ‘heavy work’ as may be necessary for the smooth running and maintenance of the camp.
Q08. Will there be the opportunity for advancement?
A08. As with all re-enactment groups, on the basis of authenticity the number of NCO and Officer positions within our Society is determined by both the unit’s size and the military structure that prevailed during the Napoleonic Period. That said chances for promotion and advancement do occur from time to time.
Awarded by the Commanding Officer on a merit basis, suitable promotions are granted to deserving members in recognition of their experience, length of service and commitment to the Society. New recruits MUST join at Rifleman rank and we DO NOT recruit at higher ranks or run a Commission by Purchase system.
Q09. On what lines is the Society run?
A09. Our Society is managed by our elected Administration Council taking overall responsibility for the control and direction of the activities and events in which we take part. At events, we are run on Military lines with the Officer Commanding in overall command.
However, the Society does hold an annual AGM at which matters can be discussed and we operate a general ‘open door’ policy, so that any member with comments, suggestions, worries or concerns can voice their opinions and have a fair chance to be heard at all times.
Q10. What role is there for women in the 95thRLHS?
A10. Our ladies mostly portray the roles of regimental wives or camp followers. Women also have the opportunity to wear period, wealthy (posh) clothing, promenade and take tea. They dress in the clothing of the period and will undertake cooking, sewing, and some craft work. All our ladies make their own clothing and can assist you with questions relating to dress. The ladies are always looking for new opportunities to portray different aspects of camp life and often instigate different types of dance as authentic period entertainment.
Q11. How do I decide if this pastime is for me?
A11. Before joining any club or society, including re-enactment groups such as ours, it pays to have a look around and see who and what else is out there and will suit you best.
However, we pride ourselves on being one of the best Napoleonic re-enactment groups in the UK and so, if you would like to join up, come and meet us so that you can see first hand what this hobby involves. A day in camp is usually all it takes for many people to decide and to be bitten by the bug. So what are you waiting for??
Contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and general information on the 95thRLHS, Re-enactment and the Napoleonic Period. This is a read-only, reference section and only Forum Officials can post topics.
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