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Where ever you are we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year and great re-enacting in 2010.
Militia Christmas Dinner - 12th December - Mermaid Inn
The "best dinner ever once again" was the consensus of opinion of this year's annual dinner held at the18th century Mermaid Tavern. It was a wonderful evening which both members and their guests enjoyed with good food, great company and friends old and new, all washed down with a glass or two of wine. The table was decorated with lanterns and candles and conversation flowed easily around good friends. After a Militia version of a Christmas Carol provided by Gunner Underwood and coffee it was on to our year end auction. The top item of the evening was a framed copy of "The Death of Major Peirson" depicting his end at the Battle of Jersey. The second top item was a good original copy of the 1881 Battle of Jersey centenary book. The 14 items raised just under £500.00 for the club. Despite the cold night everyone left with a warm glow and fond memories of a lovely evening.
Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal - 7th November 2009
Ten members of 1781 Jersey Militia soldiers attracted good support from the public on what was a showery day. Nevertheless the collection tins filled up quickly after a slow start. One of the small Battalion guns was placed at the entrance to the Royal Square and King Street to add to the atmosphere. We were all pleased with the very welcome cups of coffee, tea and support from Pearce the Jewellers, who looked after us so well. Many thanks to Peter and Jane Pearce.
St Lawrence Colours Return to their Home
We were privileged to be asked by the TA to join them in returning the 1841 St Lawrence Militia Colours to their home at the Parish Church of St Lawrence on Sunday 11th October. Governor of Jersey, Lt General Andrew Ridgeway, and Mrs Ridgway attended the ceremony together with our new Bailiff, Michael Birt. St Lawrence Connetable, Mrs Deidre Mezbourian, hosted the occasion. We gathered outside the Parish Hall together with standard holders and the Band of the Island of Jersey. Connetable Mezbourian greeted the Governor and the Bailiff and after introductions to parish officials and viewing the excellent Militia exhibition provided by Norman Wood the party removed to the Parish Church for a service conducted by the Rector of St Lawrence and the Very Revd Dean of Jersey. Welcome refreshments were served afterwards in the parish hall.
above freeze frame from Channel Television news item with their kind permission
Laying Down of Arms - Mont Orgueil - 27 September 2009
Each year local medieval living history group, the Dukes & Leopards, invite all other groups to join them in the laying down of arms ceremony at the end of the summer season. This year our own group turned out in force and enjoyed a very special event which incorporated the blessing of a marriage of two of their members, Sue and Bob Schmedlin.
Elizabeth Castle - 20 September 2009
The crowds were out today and in force. The weather was spectacular, warm and sunny, for our last event of the season. It was very busy throughout the day keeping our team on its toes. It was a great pleasure to meet Jason Castledine, who has taken over as Volunteer Manager, and made a special trip to the Castle to meet us all. We wish him well in his endeavours.
Photographs by Terry Underwood
13th September 2009
Dominic and Jane Egre's Wedding
Two of our own were married at St Peter's Church. It was a beautiful sunny day and eight of us formed a musket and bayonet arch when the Bride and Groom left the Church. It was a very happy day for everyone and we wish Dom and Jane all the best from the Militia.
12th September 2009 - Greve de L'Ecq Barracks
Usually this event attracts a good turn out from Militia members, but due to various circumstances it was just seven of us to hold the fort. It was a marvellous sunny day but with a high wind. Nevertheless after a quiet start the Barracks had a good flow of visitors for the rest of the day. Gunners Gledhill, Blythin and Chanyi manned the light 3lb cannon at Fort Catel which is located just above the Barracks. Gunner Bartram manned the table of interesting bits and pieces from the 18th Century on the Barrack Square and Polly Bartram demonstrated her skills at lace making. Gunners Lees and Guiton gave musket demonstrations throughout the day.
Elizabeth Castle - 9 August 2009
The 9th August became a special day in the annals of the 1781 Jersey Militia. It was a very warm, sunny day, and visitors came in their droves to watch the cannon and musket demonstrations and take part in the mid-day parade. The two camp followers were inundated with those interested in seeing lace making, embroidery and lavender favours being made. Cassie Horton visited us for the last time as Volunteer Manager and we all wished her well in her new career. She will be sadly missed.
A surprise proposal was the talk of the island the day after. Private Egre asked his beloved Jane to marry him. Luckily for him she accepted and they will be married before the end of the year.
Photographs by Sue Mould
Minden Day - 2 August 2009
A warm, sunny day saw the Band of the Island of Jersey, the Island's Hampshire Regiment's veterans and the 1781 Militia marched from the Royal British Legion in Devonshire Place to Minden Place. Dean of Jersey, the Very Revd Robert Key, conducted the service and the Governor of Jersey, Lt General Andrew Ridgeway and Connetable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft, and their wives attended. The Governor's wife, Valerie Ridgeway, assisted by Mrs Crowcroft, pinned the traditional single rose and a special Minden Pin to the lapels of the veterans and the coats of the 1781 Jersey Militia members. Sue Mould and Sue Le Galle presented Mrs Ridgeway and Mrs Crowcroft with bouquets. Capt. Le Geyt took part in the battle and is remembered with those of the King's Own Borderers, the 37th Foot and the Artillery with a plaque. The Governor placed a wreath under the plaque before the Militia fired a musket salute in commemoration of the Battle of Minden which took place in Germany on 1st August 1759. The 37th Foot (Royal Hampshire Regiment) took part in the battle and traditionally Jersey men joined that regiment.
Photographs by Pat Dorgan
Elizabeth Castle - 5 July 2009
The weather blessed us once again with a hot day of sunshine for our fourth visit to Elizabeth Castle this year. The tide was down for most of the day and the visitors just kept coming all day long and produced one of the best, if not the best day of the year for visitors to the castle. Our musket and cannon displays went well and the crowd showed quite an interest in the displays with many questions asked of us later. Our tent had been erected and gave a our lace maker and embroiderer good shelter from the sun.
One unusual departure for us was that the ferry that plies between the island and the castle broke down. Since the tide was high it meant other transport had to be arranged and a couple of hours later a local coastal boat came to fetch us off the castle breakwater. It was a very tired, but good spirited militia that made landfall.
Elizabeth Castle - 21 June 2009
The 1781 Jersey Militia made their way to the Castle by ferry for a warm and sunny day on guard duty, parading and undertaking musket drill and cannon duties. The Wise Woman entertained with her tales of herbs and cures on the Green and two lacemakers and an embroiderer showed their craft skills in the Guard House. Visitors were constant throughout the day and we were particularly pleased when the artillery section were pointed out to the crowd, for a great cheer came up from one section. The visitors obviously had some artillery connection and were our greatest supporters. Thank you to Jane Crozier for taking our photographs for the day.
Friendship Visit to Guernsey - St Helier and St Peter Port Parishes - 13th June 2009
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HRH The Queen's Official Birthday - Government House 12 June 2009
Excellent weather, warm and sunny, gave the event a happy atmosphere with many Islanders attending. The Lt. Governor, Lt. General Andrew Ridgeway, announced the Queen's Birthday awards during his speech and the 1781 Jersey Militia were privileged to once again fire the 21 gun salute for the occasion. The Militia then formed up with their guns just outside the exit for the public to see as they left. Many comments of pleasure were received and great interest in the guns and the Militia expressed.
Elizabeth Castle - 26th April 2009
Our first event this year at the Castle. Bright sunshine for most of the day with a choppy ferry sailing over, but John, the ferry driver, as usual excelled and we made a safe landing at the slipway and populated the castle with 18th century life. The Artillery spread out over the green whilst the infantry drilled around the Parade ground. The wise woman, Martha, with her herbs and cures entertained the public by the edge of the Green and Alison was in the militia room with her spinning and well run table of food and drink. Polly and Nell took the guard house with the their lacemaking and lucet demonstrations.
All the demonstrations went well and good crowds of people were made welcome. Little did they know that there were several new recruits amongst us, but they all did well and hopefully will come again next time. Jersey Heritage assisted immensely with a good deal of publicity enticing the public across the causeway and it was a delight to see Cassie Horton, the Volunteer Manager.
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Our youngest Redcoat recruit
Photographs by Graham Tolley and David B Dorgan
21 Gun Salute in Honour of Her Majesty the Queen's 83rd Birthday
This year’s 21 gun salute in honour of the Queen’s birthday was held in glorious warm sunshine with a good measure of support from the public, of all ages, watching the proceedings. The media were there in strength to cover the event and we are most grateful for their kind attention to record the smoke and flame of our cannon as the sound reverberated across the bay towards St Aubin’s Fort. All cannons performed well and the group photograph at the end of the event was taken advantage of by many cameras amongst the public.
Photographs by Pete Laffoley and SteveChanyi
228th Anniversary of The Battle of Jersey - 3rd January 2009
The 1781 Jersey Militia's salute to the fallen at La Rocque to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Jersey 6th January 1781 is held on the nearest Saturday to the anniversary. The Parish Constable, Dan Murphy, once again attended with members of the Honorary Police at Grouville Church. The Parish Rector, the Revd. Mike Lange-Smith held a short service and Terry Underwood, with great difficulty as the church bell began to toll loudly all eleven strikes of the hour, gave a presentation of the events at La Rocque. A minute's silence then prevailed in honour of those Grenadiers from the 83rd of Foot who fell at La Rocque and Jersey Militiamen who died in the Royal Square defending the island against the French invaders.
A descendent of Lieutenant James Robinson attended the commemoration. A Jerseyman, Lieutenant Robinson of the 83rd Foot led the attack on the French at La Rocque and the names of the seven grenadiers who fell are shown on the memorial.
Photographs by Pete Laffoley
The attending crowd enjoyed three volleys of musket fire which ended the event. After a photo session the majority of the Militia marched off to the Pembroke pub for drinks and sandwiches and we were later joined by Constable Dan Murphy. We would like to extend our thanks to the Constable and his team for attending and looking after the surrounding area whilst the event took place. Thanks also to all the local media for their tremendous publicity of the event and helping make it such a special day.
Royal Square - Saturday 10th January
On a very cold and frosty morning the Chairman of the Societe Jersiase History Section, Frank Falle, organised a walk in the footsteps of Militiamen and Major Francis Peirson from St Peter's Church to the Town Hall. The Walkers followed a contingent of the 1781 Jersey Militia through the town to Royal Square. A musket volley was fired and Paul Nicolle gave a talk on the Battle of Jersey. There then followed a further two musket volleys and prayers from the Dean of Jersey before the Militia marched back through King Street to the Town Hall for luncheon kindly arranged by our host, the Connetable of St. Helier, Simon Crowcroft.
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Photographs/video by Pete Laffoley and Graham Tolley
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