Over the weekend I went to the Military Odyssey living history show in Kent. I've been to this show several times over the years but rarely in such good weather. This is a multi-period event with reenactors covering everything from Ancient Greece through to the present day. Some of the groups were small in number but all were as enthusiastic and friendly as I have come to expect at this show. Indeed the organisers had put special emphasis on engagement with the public this year and there were some very interesting displays across the site. As usual, I shot a lot of pictures and here is a small selection of my favourites. As usual with these sort of events, there was a preponderance of WWII related equipment on display, so I'll start with that. M8 Greyhound armoured car - This 6x6 armoured car entered service in 1943 and was used throughout the war by the Allies (some were still in service in foreign armies as late as 2006!). It was fast and reliable but was generally accepted to be too lightly armou
We flew back into the UK early on Sunday morning and two days later I still haven't fully recovered from the exertions of our holiday or the lack of sleep incurred on the flight. I have however been able to sort through nearly a thousand photo's (!) and here is a very small selection of the wonderful history we explored. Probably not a good idea to wear a black t-shirt!! Exploring the remains of a Byzantine-era fort in Paphos4th Century BC coins in the Cyprus Antiquities Museum with the face of Alexander the Great on themLead slingshot dating from the Hellenistic periodBronze Hellenistic Period helmet Heading into another hole in the ground...lucky I had a torch!18th Century firearms displayed in the Limassol Castle MuseumThe Young Padawan was my trusty sidekick through many dusty adventures exploring the archaeology of the islandDown in the Tombs of the Kings (no actual kings were buried here...just very rich noblemen)The spectacular amphitheatre of Kourion is not to be missed. Now
Saturday I went to the War and Peace Revival show at Paddock Wood in Kent. This time I accompanied the Veterans and saw another side of the show that I haven't encountered before. I'm normally straight into the Living History areas of the show or hastening to the arena to see some armour in action. This time my day started with a service of remembrance surrounded by some highly decorated veterans.Don and Albert look through a book of D-Day photo's. Inside the Veterans MarqueeParade of heroes. Some very decorated men and women in this lineupThe drumhead remembrance service was very movingJohn and Don have a 'little' snifter! As the service came to an end, so did the rain so we headed out for a very quick look around the showground. Luckily I've been here many times and I knew to wear some waterproof shoes! Let's just say the roads around the side had gone from plain old mud to mud-coloured soup with the passage of thousands of visitors and hundreds of military vehicles.This replica StuG is often seen
Over the next two days, the Imperial War Museum Duxford is having a special air show called DAK's over Duxford. It gathers together dozens of Dakota aircraft that served in WWII, many in the D-Day invasion and later in Operation Market Garden. As members, we were able to have access to the site on Sunday to watch many of these aircraft arriving from across the world. Later in the week, they will be performing a mass flyover to Normandy, replicating the huge airborne armada that mirrored the seaborne landings below them. Unfortunately, I won't be in Normandy to see that, as I'm accompanying local D-Day Veterans to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for a special anniversary service. As usual, I took a load of pictures of the aircraft but rather than bore you with yet another museum photo report here's just a handful of pictures from the day. This C-47 was built in 1943 and towed Waco Gliders on D-Day and later dropped Paratroopers during Market Garden.A C-47B Skytrain built 1943 which a
On Monday we visited Audley End near Saffron Walden in Essex. We've been here plenty of times before but not for several years. This weekend they were hosting a special event "All the Kings Horses" for a Restoration period reenactment. The theme is 1670 and King Charles II has recently purchased Audley End and is hosting a horse race on his way Newmarket. The Kings Cavaliers show off their exceptional horsemanship while the Merry Monarch indulges in the fun of the Restoration period.I'm thinking "Ray will love this, all curly wigs and frilly cuffs..."Ready for a chargeAt the canterA figure ratio that every wargamer will recognise! I've seen these guys somewhere before...?Big flags. It took skill to handle these properly, especially in high winds. Its a pity the weather was a bit inclement on Monday otherwise we would have stayed longer.
I usually have a range of choices for Living History events that I can go to each year. I never make it to all of them and as I drag my family along with me we try to vary which events we attend from one year to the next. This year I have missed all the usual events over the summer (including the War and Peace Revival show) so this weekend we decided that come-what-may we would go to the Odyssey show. Its been a couple of years since I last attended Odyssey and I'm glad we made the effort. The show is a multi-period event with groups depicting everything from ancient Greeks, medieval knights, English and American Civil Wars, WWI and WWII and even some later conflicts such as Vietnam. As always I went a little snap-happy with the camera but here is a small selection that you may find interesting.A row of American Half TracksA Vietnam era HueyA display showing of the work of RE Bomb Disposal in WWIIThe 1942 Steyr Staff Car of General Hans-Jurgen van Arnim, captured by the British when the Germans trapped in Tun