Braidhurst High School January 26th 2013
Our season began a little earlier this year with a Saturday morning event at Braidhurst High School in Hamilton. We had what we all thought was a great turnout of 36 young men and women all keen to volunteer for King and Country. The Rector and another six teachers came along to help. The morning began with a few pupils tentatively popping their heads round the corner and quickly disappearing again. They were not at all sure what to make of us. Once they were all brought into the assembly hall, Captain Clarke introduced us and we began issuing attestation papers. With the papers signed and oaths sworn to the crown, the fun could begin. Tallest on the right, shortest on the left, single rank, FORM! A bit of a shocked look on some of the faces but they sprang into action with lots of big grins. Two ranks were then formed and the recruits were given some “gentle” foot drill for 15-20 minutes, just to get everyone warmed up. After this, the group was divided into two, with half marching off to learn about gas attacks, caring for the wounded and the home front, from Capt and Mrs. Clarke and Mrs. Bangs. The remainder remained to learn how to get up close up and bayonet the enemy which was done with great enthusiasm! Putting on your “war face” seemed to dispel the last of the inhibitions. Following bayonet drill we moved on to the contents of the haversack, rations and some taste testing of Bully Beef and Hardtack. A generation gap was apparent when no-one could gain entry to the can of Bully! An explanation of the different type of uniforms and why we would change our appearance for a trench raid and why and when we would carry out such a raid held their attention very well. The morning was rounded off by a hands on session with the soldiers uniform and kit and finally completed by an “over the top” charge to burn off what excess energy they had remaining. The whole thing was an enjoyable experience not only for the pupils and teachers of Braidhurst School but most definitely also for the detachment of Gordon Highlanders who attended the event. We owe a big thank you to the school for looking after and feeding us well.
Yorkshire Trench working party March 2nd/3rd
Many thanks are due to Stewart for leading a small but dedicated working party to visit the trench site of the Yorkshire Wartime Experience, to carry out some vital repair and maintenance work in preparation for the main event in July. The weekend started off well, with a rendezvous at Robbo's pub, the New Inn, in proper Gordon tradition. We discovered that our reputation preceded us with framed pictures of the Gordons at last year’s YWE and a small photo album to boot! We started work after brekkie at our wonderful B&B (a luxury!) and put in a good days work, being helped by Stuart from YWE, Sue and Tim from the Lancashire Hussars and Will from the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Amidst lots of banter, mud-slinging and tea breaks, we put a lot of work into filling sandbags, sorting out the revetting and levelling the floor of the trench. We also created some A frames to support the weight of the backfill on the walls of the trench, strengthening it greatly. Colin, Richard and Adam worked hard on the dugout. Saturday night in the New Inn with Robbo was a good laugh, with much banter in true Jock style. Sunday was another hard-working day, where Brown's Dugout was completed, the revetting was shored up, the parapet was made ready for more clumps of earth and sandbags and a start was made on the machine gun post. Fraser worked very hard on creating duckboards for the floor, and a good stretch of trench was given flooring. All in all, a hard-working weekend broken up with copious tea and banter breaks, getting the trench in a defensible state. It was grand fun. Particular thanks to Tim, Sue and Will, who we look forward to seeing again at the main event.