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Wherever you are we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year
and great re-enacting in 2013
Militia Christmas Dinner - 8th December - Mermaid Inn
The wide wooden table had gone, as had the Regency style chairs but it was still a wonderful evening with good food, great company and friends old and new. The 18th century tavern had had a face lift, a coat of paint, as well as a new furniture, some of it retro. So from an 18th century point of view it had changed but the holly and ivy on the table with the glow of the candles had not.
Poppy Day Appeal
Saturday 3rd November 2012
A small turn out on a windy day for our Militia Poppy Day Appeal. We were lucky with the weather as the rain held off until late morning. Tom brought the 6lber down (thank you Tom) to be set up in Peirson Place and our secret weapon, young Sam, did us proud again this year selling his poppies like hot cakes.
Sunday 19th August & 16th September 2012
Both events followed the same weather trend of 2012 starting dull and cloudy but ended up quite hot. We enjoyed good crowds who asked lots of questions and enhanced our day. As always it was sad to leave the castle at the end of our season but we look forward to our return in 2013.
Sunday 22nd July 2012
For our third event at Elizabeth Castle this year the weather couldn't have been better. Sunshine all the way with many visitors. A very enjoyable day. Private Sam Arnold (8) marched with the conscripts and, for the first time this year, the women were able to take their places in their tents with their crafts, together with baby Hedley and 3 year old Hannah accompanying their parents.
Many thanks to Sam and Tom Arnold for use of their photographs.
Visit of HRH Prince Charles and HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Wednesday 18th July 2012
HRH Prince Charles and HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the island as representatives of the Queen for Her Diamond Jubilee. A Redcoat and Artilleryman from the 1781 Jersey Militia were proud to guard the St Lawrence stand during HRHs visit to RJ&HS during the afternoon. Private Guiton and Gunner Blake were engaged in conversation by the Duchess of Cornwall. In the evening our Hon. Colonel and his wife were privileged to be amongst 80 islanders presented to their HRHs before a dinner for over 300 people in a marquee at Samares Manor .
HM The Queen's Official Birthday
Friday 15th June 2012
Sir John and Lady McColl hosted their first levée for Islanders to celebrate the Queen's official birthday and announce those islanders included on Her Birthday Honours List. The 1781 Jersey Militia were proud to be asked once again to fire a 21 gun salute. It started well but heavy rain began to fall half way through and as a consequence the smoke from the cannons shrouded us all making it difficult for the Colonel to see the second hand on his watch when timing between shots. The crowds headed rapidly for the marquee and gave a round of applause when firing ceased. The band of the Island of Jersey, La Ronde Concert Band and the Caledonian Pipers provided music and the TA and the Army Cadets the military contingent. We are grateful to Government House for inviting us to attend this event.
Thanks to Tom and Sam for their video - see it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P6McP_Kq2o and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pG3SZE8IP0&feature=relmfu
and thanks to the Alexandre family for adding photographs of this event to our 1781 Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/287039981347536/ with more photographs at:
Sunday 10th June 2012
Our second event at EC was regretfully a repeat performance of the first with almost continuous soaking rain throughout the day. However, the morning saw around 150 German visitors who braved the elements to visit the Castle. Gunner Underwood was kind enough to entertain us with a very informative and impressive rendering of an 18th century Regimental Surgeon's life over lunch in the Militia Room. The weather made the erection of tentage impractical so the ladies were unable to accompany us again today.
HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee 21 Gun Salute
Monday 4th June 2012
What a lovely night for our first night shoot. Great weather, no rain and everyone ready to celebrate Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. There was an air of quiet confidence from the gunners as they went about their business of setting up. The order to load was soon upon us and we all knew that this was something special. Eight minutes later our six guns lay silent and we had done our job. The smiles on our faces said it all. Our first night event had gone well and the light, supplemented by small torches, had been sufficient for the gunners to see. For us a night to treasure forever.
See video produced by Callum and Gill at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSU3xMXMvVE&feature=youtu.be
Sunday 13th May 2012
What a day. It began overcast and windy and then about 11.00am, when we were just beginning the first part of our event, down came the rain. It had not stopped by 2.00pm and with about 20 people in the castle we went home wet through. Not a good start to our Elizabeth Castle season and not a photograph taken.
21 Gun Salute
Saturday 21st April 2012
Another good event which was made even more special as it is the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year. Apart from a very stiff, head-on wind, we were lucky that the rain stayed away long enough for us to have a good afternoon without getting wet. It was the first time we were able to put seven guns on the field and a great effort was made by everyone who attended.
Battle of Jersey Commemoration
Saturday 7th January 2012
Not having time to enjoy coffee at Grouville Militiamen and their followers drove to De La Salle College car park and were met by St Helier Honorary Police who transported them to the Town Hall for the next event of the day. Walkers were already arriving from St. Martin's Church, together with contingents from the Jersey Field Squadron Royal Engineers and cadets from the recently formed Royal Jersey Militia Army Cadet force, the latter force being led by our own 1781 Militiaman Dominic Egré. Hon.Col. David Dorgan led the troops and walkers from the Town Hall through King Street and Pierson Place into the Royal Square. All troops lined up and the 1781 Jersey Militia fired their muskets in salute to those who fought in Royal Square on 6th January 1781. St. Helier Connétable, Simon Crowcroft addressed the public, introducing Martin Walton who gave a short talk on the Battle of Jersey. Connétable Crowcroft urged the public to take part in a cameo of the John Singleton Copley painting of the Battle of Jersey and afterwards the 1781 Militia then fired two more volleys before leading the march back to the Town Hall for a very enjoyable lunch.
St Helier Deputy, Rod Bryans, has published his own very good photographs of the event at: http://parishpics.blogspot.com/2012/01/battle-of-jersey-commemoration-2012.html
Photographs on row above: Hon. Col. Dave Dorgan with CTV reporter Leah Ferguson; local historian Alf Pipon and St Lawrence Connetable Deirdre Mezbourian; Frank Falle; local historian Ian Ronayne;
Mrs Key, the Very Revd. Robert Key, Dean of Jersey and St Helier Connetable, Simon Crowcroft.
This year the weather was kind. It was mild and dry. It was good to see more of the public attending than usual and we hope this is a continuing trend. Grouville Connétable Dan Murphy was on hand to represent the parish and welcome visitors and the Revd. Mike Lange-Smith kindly took the service again on the 231st anniversary to commemorate those who fell at La Rocque when the French attempted to invade the Island. His wife, Wendy, and her helpers organised coffee to be served afterwards in the Church for those who attended. Gunner, Terry Underwood, addressed the crowd telling of the events in 1781 which led to the deaths of those commemorated in the Churchyard. Thanks to all the media for promotion and coverage of the event. BBC Radio Jersey handled publicity well as it was difficult to encourage walkers to go to St Martin's Church at 9 am and then switch to encouragement for attendance at Grouville Church at 10.50am. Channel Television also were kind enough to publicise the events of the day on their flagship programme Channel Report in previous days and their reporter/cameraman Eric Blakeley MBE skilfully filmed the events for the day's news.
e-mail Dave Dorgan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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