A few points.
If the elaborate falling in/trooping the colours routine is for the
benefit of the public, why don't we (or site staff) have someone
explaining it all to whomever is watching us do our thing? What I'm
suggesting Craig is a compromise between strict authenticity (insofar
as that's possible) and the reality that re-enactors are much older
on average and much less fit on average than your run-of-the-mill
1812 infantryman and are not subject to flogging for fidgeting while
at attention. Much as the drum major wishes we were ... a compromise,
I might add, like that which justifies flashguards to name but one
If you seriously believe that we only have to gear up 10-15 minutes
before a battle, I invite you to time the falling-in process from the
first sgt's call to the march on of the C.O., then add another 15
minutes for kitting up and collecting powder. Not to mention the
usual half hour of "hurry up and wait" once we get on the field. It
ain't no 15 minutes ...
Point taken about sweaty doeskin, but as for the officers standing
about in the shade (I admit to kidding about the lemonade) it's
happened at almost every bn event I've been to this year. Not every
officer and not all the time, but my lads notice it EVERY single time.
Promenading is a specific drill activity, which was to my knowledge
formalized in the drill books by Victorian times at least, it is not
standing about in a gaggle chatting. I have yet to see it happen at
an event, although possibly I just didn't notice on account of
getting shouted at by the Sgt-Maj at the time. It's a slow march in
pairs up and down the side of the parade square with swords sheathed,
or at least it was in the Victorian drill. If there's an 1812
equivalent I'd love to see it, but my guess would be that the
Victorian promenade drill was a formalization of something that was
being done informally much earlier. Even if it isn't strictly period,
it looks very cool when done right.
My suggestions about bn drill (and they were just suggestions) were
how to spend the hour or two of drill time we currently do, ie: an
hour of individual company drill by the unit sgts (supervised by the
sgt-maj) during which time the officers get their instruction from
the colonel (voice training for eg would be useful for many) and/or
supervise the individual unit drills. For the second hour, the
battalion can do a dry run, or dress rehearsal of the coming battle.
And for the record, I have no objection to wearing wool in the hot
sun ... I'd just like there to be a good reason for it.