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Category Archives: Battle Reports

Reports of VBCW battles, filed hot from the firing line by our team of intrepid war correspondents.

Small Disturbance at Little Bedding

Sir Gilbert Hill, taking time out from his vital efforts in the Civil War, was visiting his cousin, Sir Rufus Pitt-Bulstrode, Squire of Much Rampling in Borsetshire. However, before he had time for a well-deserved snifter, he was made aware that all was not well in the Much Rampling area.

Apparently Sir Rufus, as chairman of the local Watch Committee, had got wind of a planned attempt by some political roughnecks to disrupt the annual fete in the neighbouring village of Little Bedding. Sir Rufus had to make an effort to prevent this happening; the local bobby at Little Bedding, Constable Gravy, had no chance of taking on the hooligans on his own. However, Sir Rufus could not call on any of his employees or tenants because they were all, so he said, vitally employed elsewhere.

Realising what was coming, Sir Gilbert, displaying his characteristic brio, offered to come to the rescue. “Don’t worry, old boy, I’ll send some of my people – they’ll put these scoundrels to the rightabout”. He gave instructions to his man, Stirrup to gather together a suitable group from amongst his followers and sent him off to do battle against whomsoever should disturb the Little Bedding peace.

ALL IS CALM AS THE LITTLE BEDDING FETE GETS UNDER WAY

ALL IS CALM AS THE LITTLE BEDDING FETE GETS UNDER WAY

 

Stirrup assembled the following from Sir Gilbert’s entourage and set out for the village.

Stirrup (Leader)
Fragrance Sweetmeat, Sir Gilbert’s secretary
Roger Gently (Tenant farmer)
Constable Smallbottom
Marlborough, Sir Gilbert’s Dog

 

As the morris men warm up in the park.....

As the morris men warm up in the park…..

 

.....and customers enjoy a drink outside the pub.....

…..and customers enjoy a drink outside the pub…..

 

...trouble is brewing

At the other end of the village, trouble was brewing.

Roughneck Agitators
Cecil Pimms (Leader) aided by:
Bert, Sam, Bill
PLUS 8 local ne’er-do-wells

 

 Constable Gravy, intent on watching the morris men, is still unaware of danger


Constable Gravy, intent on watching the morris men, is still unaware of danger

 

 

 

 Miss Marble, the village school teacher, tells an itinerant she doesn't want to buy a watch

Miss Marble, the village school teacher, tells an itinerant she doesn’t want to buy a watch

 

 

 Stirrup sends his League into the village from the south - Constable Broadbottom on the left; Roger Gently with Marlborough in the centre and Miss Sweetmeat on the right. The morris men head for the pub

Stirrup sends his League into the village from the south – Constable Broadbottom on the left; Roger Gently with Marlborough in the centre and Miss Sweetmeat on the right. The morris men head for the pub

 

From the north, more riff-raff stream into the village

From the north, more riff-raff stream into the village

 

 

The doctor and his wife hurry to get indoors as gang members line their hedge

The doctor and his wife hurry to get indoors as gang members line their hedge

 

 

Miss Sweetmeat, as always, takes up a favourable position

Miss Sweetmeat, as always, takes up a favourable position…..

 

 

....as does Consatable Broadbottom

….as does Constable Broadbottom

 

 

 Meanwhile, 2 female hooligans, brush past staff and customers at the pub in search of a victim


Meanwhile, 2 female hooligans, brush past staff and customers at the pub in search of a victim

 

 

However, the victim - a well known con-man - is ready and deals with his assailants

However, the victim – a well known con-man – is ready and deals with both of his assailants

 

 

 Pimms' Followers now swarm into the park - scattering by-standers (including a reporter and photographer. One miscreant falls while climbing over the wall and breaks a leg - he's out of it...! Constable Gravy remains calm


Pimms’ followers now swarm into the park – scattering by-standers (including a reporter and photographer). One miscreant falls while climbing over the wall and breaks a leg – he’s out of it…!
Constable Gravy remains calm

 

 

 Others (including the sinister figure of Pimms himself) move up the road and through the doctor's garden. The doctor and his wife flee in terror


Others (including the sinister figure of Pimms himself) move up the road and through the doctor’s garden. The doctor and his wife flee in terror

 

 

 Accurate fire from Constable Broadbottom and Roger Gently take out 2 of Pimms' hooligans. Another suffers the consequences of falling off a wall


Accurate fire from Constable Broadbottom and Roger Gently take out 2 of Pimms’ hooligans. Another suffers the consequences of falling off a wall

 

 

Stirrup himself now advances along the main road towards the enemy

Stirrup himself now advances along the main road towards the enemy

 

 

Meanwhile, Marlborough the dog, attacks the enemy as they move through the park

Meanwhile, Marlborough the dog, attacks the enemy as they move through the park

 

 

Personal Message (Online) Re: Small Disturbance at Little Bedding - PA AAR Part 3 now posted « Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 03:40:03 PM » Reply with quoteQuote Modify messageModify Quote Brilliant, Doug. Pure eye candy with a generous dollop of chuckling for good measure. Thanks, Paul. I'm such a fan of your games, this is praise indeed... Cheesy Quote from: d phipps on August 30, 2015, 11:51:05 PM Great stuff! Keep 'em coming. Cheesy If you are not familiar with our Phantom Agent promo, check it out at --- http://store.pulpalley.com/ You can pick up some unique promo Pulp Alley cards, but please be sure to read and follow the instructions. Wink HAVE FUN Thanks so much - been there and placed my request - whooppee...! Quote from: Wolf Girl on September 01, 2015, 04:01:38 AM I love your terrain Love You have some great stuff Thanks Wolfgirl - I appreciate than coming from you - your games looks so gorgeous... Cheesy Right then, let's see if we can wrap this AAR up.... Turn 2 and the formidable figure of Stirrup appears on the scene Marlborough, the dog, rushes to the attack A setback for Stirrup's League - Constable Broadbottom takes hit

A setback for Stirrup’s League – Constable Broadbottom takes a hit

 

 

Personal Message (Online) Re: Small Disturbance at Little Bedding - PA AAR Part 3 now posted « Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 03:40:03 PM » Reply with quoteQuote Modify messageModify Quote Brilliant, Doug. Pure eye candy with a generous dollop of chuckling for good measure. Thanks, Paul. I'm such a fan of your games, this is praise indeed... Cheesy Quote from: d phipps on August 30, 2015, 11:51:05 PM Great stuff! Keep 'em coming. Cheesy If you are not familiar with our Phantom Agent promo, check it out at --- http://store.pulpalley.com/ You can pick up some unique promo Pulp Alley cards, but please be sure to read and follow the instructions. Wink HAVE FUN Thanks so much - been there and placed my request - whooppee...! Quote from: Wolf Girl on September 01, 2015, 04:01:38 AM I love your terrain Love You have some great stuff Thanks Wolfgirl - I appreciate than coming from you - your games looks so gorgeous... Cheesy Right then, let's see if we can wrap this AAR up.... Turn 2 and the formidable figure of Stirrup appears on the scene Marlborough, the dog, rushes to the attack A setback for Stirrup's League - Constable Broadbottom takes hit and is down and out and his Plot Point is up for grabs Matters get worse. Roger Gently races to Constable Broadbottom to rescue the situation and is in turn despatched himself. Finally disaster. Miss Sweetmeat attempts to leap the wall to help her comrades and gets tangled up in her long dress and crashes to the ground.

Matters get worse. Roger Gently races to Constable Broadbottom to rescue the situation and is in turn despatched himself. Finally disaster. Miss Sweetmeat attempts to leap the wall to help her comrades and gets tangled up in her long dress and crashes to the ground.

 

 

Constable Broadbottom and Miss Scarlet had been gathering evidence of Pimm's criminal intentions. In an attempt to secure these, Pimm advances towards the helpless pair. However, in the nick of time, he is confronted by the redoubtable Stirrup.

Constable Broadbottom and Miss Scarlet had been gathering evidence of Pimms’ criminal intentions. In an attempt to secure these, Pimms advances towards the helpless pair. However, in the nick of time, he is confronted by the redoubtable Stirrup.

 

 

At the same time, in the park, the heroic dog Marlborough despatches his opponent, only to fall bleeding to the ground himself seconds later....ahhh

At the same time, in the park, the heroic dog Marlborough despatches his opponent, only to fall bleeding to the ground himself seconds later….ahhh

 

 

Stirrup deals with Pimm despite the latter's great size and strength and then despatched the one remaining enamy with a burst from his smg. The day goes to Sir Gilbert's men at the cost of several cuts and bruises and a nasty rip to Miss Sweetmeat's dress. Marlborough the dog was patched up by the local vet and was soon back on his feet. Most of Pimm's hooligans fled although the local police, led by Constable Gravy, were able to arrest several of the more seriously injured.

Stirrup deals with Pimms despite the latter’s great size and strength and then despatches the one remaining enemy with a burst from his smg.
The day goes to Sir Gilbert’s men at the cost of several cuts and bruises and a nasty rip to Miss Sweetmeat’s dress. Marlborough the dog was patched up by the local vet and was soon back on his feet. Most of Pimm’s hooligans fled although the local police, led by Constable Gravy, were able to arrest several of the more seriously injured.

 

 

This game was played with the Pulp Alley rules to see how they would work in a VBCW-era setting.

Answer? Pretty good. I’ve left out references to Pulp Alley rule devices such as “Plot Points”. As it happens, Stirrup, as the Last Man Standing would have harvested all the plot points if time (ie number of turns) hadn’t run out. So strictly speaking, the game was a draw. However Sir Gilbert, never one to limited by artificial constraints claimed the win and I’m not going to argue with him.

 

 

 

 

 

Dorstone Barricades Stormed by Golden Valley Heroes – Sir Gilbert’s latest triumph

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Once again, Sir Gilbert Hill (Bart) has been forced to abandon the tranquility of rural life and lead his Volunteers, simple folk and humble but embued with an enquenchable determination to secure their freedom against any that threaten it, against the wicked interventions of an alien demagogue.

In order to secure the peace and independence of his valley, the noble knight determined to re-establish lawful authority in Dorstone which has been occupied by a rabble of criminal elements.

 

Dorstone in the hands of criminals who do not shrink from using the most precious possessions of the inhabitants in a desperate bid to deny Sir Gilbert

Dorstone in the hands of criminals who do not shrink from using the most precious possessions of the inhabitants in a desperate bid to deny Sir Gilbert

 

 

 

 

 

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Hoorah for Freedom – Sir Gilbert’s Volunteers arrive to bring hope to the people of Dorstone. Here we see the Bulk Importers Section, supported by a mortar and, in the background, the anti-tank bombers

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At the opposite end of the village, Sir Gilbert’s ally approaches

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More examples of the pitiless misuse by the hoodlums of innocent villagers’ property to make barricades

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Colourful advertisments by the roadside remind all of more peaceful times

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Armed criminals rush to oppose the advance of Sir Gilbert’s Labourers and Artisans section

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A brave sight – the Golden Valley Volunteers advance. Far left, the Labourers and Artisans; in the centre, the Abbey Dore Police Volunteers, supported by the anti-tank section; to the right, the Bulk Importers and Freddie Pitt-Bulstrode and his mortar section

 

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A sight to stir the blood – the arrival of Sir Gilbert himself, alongside his latest recruits – the POUM Ladies Heavy Weapons section, recently returned from Spain

 

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The Police Volunteers advance bravely against the cowardly criminals, cowering behind their shameful barricade. In close support, the anti-tank team and Restitution Trevelyn, the mortar spotter

 

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The Artisans and Labourers swarm over hedges and sweep towards some quaking enemy

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On the Volunteers’ fight flank, the Bulk Importers advance

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The Bulk Importers stream forward whilst, in the background, the anti-tank team make their first, heroic attack on the enemy’s monstrous armoured car

 

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In the centre, the Police Volunteers, sorely depleted by the cowardly defenders, are reinforced by two of Sir Gilbert’s aides, Monsieur Samson Picardy and Mr Barry Glissade. Mr Glissade, in addition to his duties with the Volunteers, is also a newspaper reporter and has provided these notes. Moving up in support – the POUM Ladies

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An overview of Sir Gilbert’s dispositions. Whilst his Artisans have destroyed an enemy section to their front, a large force of so-called Royalists has appeared to their left. In the centre, it can be seen how the relentless pressure from the Police section has reduced the enemy defending the makeshift barricade.

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Sir Gilbert’s armoured section finally move into action on the extreme left. They had been delayed due to the time required to raise steam in their boilers. However, they soon make their presence felt against the so-called Royalists

DSC00338

Withering fire from the POUM Ladies helps to sweep the enemy from the barricades

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The Bulk Importers, their ranks largely made up of raw recruits after losses in previous battles, advance courageously against immensely strong enemy positions

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Drama in the centre as the anti-tank team make continuous attacks on the enemy behemoth and finally effect its total destruction. Despite the tragic striking down of team member Nanny Pankhurst, her heroic colleague “Mad” Wullie McSpaniel pressed home the attack with total success

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As “Mad” Wullie completes the destruction of the enemy armour, the POUM Ladies continue to rake the barricade supported by the Police

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A close-up of the centre where the inevitable defeat of the enemy looks certain

 

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Charge…! The Police storm the barricade, supported by M. Picardy and Barry Glissade. The enemy are defeated and routed

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At the other end of the village, heavy weapons keep Sir Gilbert’s ally at bay

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Confusion in the centre of the village as the criminal hierarchy realise the game is up

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VICTORY – as the Golden Valley men leap the barricade and take the village….

FOOTNOTE: Nanny Pankhurst. As her inert body was carried from the field, it was observed there were slight signs that she yet lived. Dr Bill “Tiny” Savage was summoned. The burly, nineteen stone doctor took out his stethescope and knelt beside the stricken herroine. He reached to undo the top button on her sturdy gabardine macintosh amd that was the last thing he was aware of for the next 15 minutes until he woke up sitting propped against a tree with Nanny Pankhurst waving a bottle of smelling-salts under his nose. “Dr Savage,” she said, “No man has ever dallied with my buttons and no man ever will. Now let me attend to your black-eye.”

Much later, when Violet Ironsides, 2nd-in-command of the Ewyas Harold WI section congratulated Nanny on her amazing survival, she was told:

“Miss Ironsides, in battle, never underestimate the value of whalebone-reinforced corsetry.”

Battle of Bredwardine Bridge

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News of shady manouvering amongst the various seedy factions that support the usurper – fascists, misguided aristocratic ladies and eccentric countryside pressure groups, for example – forced Sir Gilbert Hill to once again turn reluctantly from his benevolent and paternalistic care of his dependents and followers. Although contrary to his fervent desire for peace, he did not shirk his duty when the necessity for armed intervention became evident.

The strategically important bridge at Bredwardine was under threat from the enemy and Sir Gilbert, ably supported by those staunch allies the Bishop of Ludlow and the Reverend Captain Verity, made haste to deny free passage of the bridge to his sinister foes.

Initial deployments

The field was split by the river Wye and both sides had forces on either side.Sir Gilbert and the Anglicans deployed with the Bishop of Ludlow to the west and Captain Verity and Sir Gilbert to the east. Sir Gilbert’s role was to rush men in motor transport to the bridge whilst his armoured section held off Lady Maud’s platoon. Captain Verity was to move through the woods and buildings on Sir Gilbert’s flank and complete the securing of the bridge. The Bishop of Ludlow was to crash through the Malvern eccentrics and take the west end of the bridge, crushing any BUF between himself and the forces of Captain Verity and Sir Gilbert on the eastern side. This plan was made by Sir Gilbert in his customary authoritative style. His allies offered suggestion for minor changes that Sir Gilbert graciously accepted. The plan proceeded smoothly and with total success. Free passage of the bridge was denied to the usurper’s ghastly minions.

The usurper’s forces deployed the detestable BUF platoon, led by the infamous and equally detestable “Captain” Arrowsmith, west of the river accompanied by the reactionary, decrepit eccentrics from the Malvern Hills. To the east, they deployed the colourful force of Lady Maud, a brave but misguided aristocrat of the old school.

Sir Gilbert's First Section begins its successful race for the bridge, supported by the steam armoured car. Opposite, Lady Maud's force approaches tentatively.

Sir Gilbert’s First Section begins its successful race for the bridge, supported by the steam armoured car. Opposite, Lady Maud’s force approaches tentatively. In the background, the fascists slither forward.

Sir Gilbert's 1st Section

Sir Gilbert’s 1st Section

Lady Maud's armoured car crawls forward

The forces of the Bishop of Ludlow prepare to strike righteous fear into the hearts of the Malvern decrepits

The forces of the Bishop of Ludlow prepare to strike righteous fear into the hearts of the Malvern decrepits

The disorderly Malvern throwbacks, with some support from godless BUF infernal machinery

The disorderly Malvern throwbacks, with some support from godless BUF infernal machinery

BUF running-dog, fascist hyenas begin there short stay on the bridge

BUF running-dog, fascist hyenas begin their short stay on the bridge

 

 

BUF armour supported by eccentric units of the Malvern eccentrics

BUF armour supported by eccentric units of the Malvern eccentrics

 

 

Sir Gilbert's magnificent, modern, motorised force advances. The force is led by the 1st section, dashing for the bridge in their van. They are spported by the steam-powered armour and the WI section, advamcing on foot to cover the flank

Sir Gilbert’s magnificent, modern, motorised force advances. The force is led by the 1st section, dashing for the bridge in their van. They are supported by the steam-powered armour and the WI section, advamcing on foot to cover the flank

Lady Maud's armoured car deploys to oppose Sir Gilberts steam car.

Lady Maud’s armoured car deploys to oppose Sir Gilbert’s steam car

The Bishop of Ludlow's mighty machines prepare to smite the foe

The Bishop of Ludlow’s mighty machines prepare to smite the foe

Sir Gilbert's 1st Section deploys fpr action, su[[prted by the stam car. In the background, a fascist wasves flags

Sir Gilbert’s 1st Section deploys for action, supported by the steam car. In the background, a fascist waves flags

Sir Gilbert's attack proceeds according to plan

Sir Gilbert’s attack proceeds according to plan

Sir Gilbert's steam tank single-handedly holds off the massed might of Lady Maud's attack

Sir Gilbert’s steam tank single-handedly holds off the massed might of Lady Maud’s attack

Lady Maud's ladies advance towards Sir Gilbert's WI section

Lady Maud’s ladies advance towards Sir Gilbert’s WI section

A detached section of Lady Maud's advances towards Sir Gilbert's 3rd section - the Welsh gangsters Nationalists

A detached section of Lady Maud’s advances towards Sir Gilbert’s 3rd section – the Welsh gangsters Nationalists

Fascist hooligans creep across the bridge, supported by an armoured quadricycle

Fascist hooligans creep across the bridge, supported by an armoured quadricycle

Sir Gilbert and allies complete the denial of the bridge to the enemy

Sir Gilbert and allies complete the denial of the bridge to the enemy

Sir Gilbert, as ever. on the front line, is handed an important message by his butler

Sir Gilbert, as ever on the front line, is handed an important message by his butler

Sir Gilbert's 1st section in hand-to-hand combat with the fascists at the bridge. They may lack fine uniforms but the men of 1st section more than make up for this with their fighting spirit

Sir Gilbert’s 1st section in hand-to-hand combat with the fascists at the bridge. They may lack fine uniforms but the men of 1st section more than make up for this with their fighting spirit. In the foreground, Mad Wullie McSpaniel seeks to come to grips with the enemy armour

On Sir Gilbert's right, the ladies of the WI prepare to halt the advance of Lady Maud's platoon

On Sir Gilbert’s right, the ladies of the WI prepare to halt the advance of Lady Maud’s platoon

The defeated BUF hooligans retreat ater their drubbing at the hands of the 1st section. The beastly, squat form of the BUF tank sits immobile, trapped between Sir Gilbert and The Bishop of Ludlow, The bridge is denied to the usurper's lackeys and Sir Gilbert and allies triumph once again

The defeated BUF hooligans retreat ater their drubbing at the hands of the 1st section. The beastly, squat form of the BUF tank sits immobile, trapped between Sir Gilbert and The Bishop of Ludlow, The bridge is denied to the usurper’s lackeys and Sir Gilbert and allies triumph once again

Minor Skirmish at Longtown

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Reports of aggressive intentions towards the Golden Valley Protectorate by some of Sir Gilbert’s neighbours were received by him more with sorrow than with anger. He was well aware that many of his fellow land-owners and minor aristocrats were inclined to behave like spoilt children (he’d been to school with most of them, after all). So he determined on a response which mixed firmness with understanding.

The high standard of training and readiness attained by The Volunteers was amply displayed by the speed and efficiency with which this modern, fully motorised force mobilised and moved out to confront the misguided delinquents, now in arms and foolishly challenging Sir Gilbert in the vicinity of Longtown. The Volunteers were  joined by two platoons of enthusiastic (if deluded) chaps calling themselves “socialists”. Ranged against them were the forces of Sir  Giles Clive, an amiable nonentity and Lady Bramton Bryn, a forceful lady, led astray by a combination of inadvisable reading and weak intellect.

 

The Volunteers arrive, fully motorised and eager to get to grips

The Volunteers arrive, fully motorised and eager to get to grips

 

 

A platoon of "socialists" advance up the main road in theirarmoured wagon, towed by an armoured steam engine

A platoon of “socialists” advance up the main road in their armoured wagon, towed by an armoured steam engine

 

 

On the right, more "socialists", known bizarrely as Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists. move up on foot

On the right, more “socialists”, known bizarrely as Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists. move up on foot

 

 

 

Some of Lady Bramton's "gels" form up in defence

Some of Lady Bramton’s “gels” form up in defence

 

 

Lady Maud's section prepares to vadvance

Lady Maud’s section prepares to advance

 

 

 

A scarecrow? Or a sentinel of the sinister Twiggy Mommets? Sir Gilbert's platoon will need to be careful

A scarecrow? Or a sentinel of the sinister Twiggy Mommets? Sir Gilbert’s platoon will need to be careful

 

 

 

The worst news for a modern, fully motorised force...!

The worst news for a modern, fully motorised force…!

 

 

 

Nothing else for it but to debus and use shanks' pony

Nothing else for it but to debus and use shanks’ pony

 

 

 

Sir Gilbert's WI section prepare themselves for the advance on foot

Sir Gilbert’s WI section prepare themselves for the advance on foot

 

 

 

Meanwhile, in the centre, busloads of infantry move in support of the steam engine

Meanwhile, in the centre, busloads of infantry move in support of the steam engine

 

IMG_5052s

 

 

Sir Gilbert's Steam Armoured Section leads The Voluntees advance. To gain maximum traction in the muddy conditions, the Tank deliberately proceeds in reverse, contrary to scurrilous rumours from the enemy

Sir Gilbert’s Steam Armoured Section leads The Volunteers’ advance. To gain maximum traction in the muddy conditions, the tank deliberately proceeds in reverse, contrary to scurrilous rumours from the enemy

 

 

 

Lady Maud's section advance to contest the large farmhouse with the "socialists"

Lady Maud’s section advance to contest the large farmhouse with the “socialists”

 

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Slight confusion as Sir Gilbert's sections debus and form up

Slight confusion as Sir Gilbert’s sections debus and form up

 

 

 

Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists steadfastly advance, determined to uphold Sir Gilbert's rights

Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists steadfastly advance, determined to uphold Sir Gilbert’s rights

 

 

 

In the centre, the "socialists" gain the centre of the village and deploy the armoured truck to hold the position

In the centre, the “socialists” gain the centre of the village and deploy the armoured truck to hold the position

 

 

 

Lady Bramton's reserve section and artillery support

Lady Bramton’s reserve section and artillery support

 

 

 

Sir Gilbert, surrounded by his staff and accompanied by Marlborough, the dog,, emerge from the trees, ready to impose his iron will on the proceedings

Sir Gilbert, surrounded by his staff and accompanied by Marlborough, the dog, emerge from the trees, ready to impose his iron will on the proceedings

 

 

 

The "socialists" head for the large farm

The “socialists” head for the large farm……..

 

 

 

....to be met by Lady Maud's section. Close combat...!

….to be met by Lady Maud’s section. Close combat…!

 

 

 

With debussing complete and perfect order restored, Sir Gilbert's formidable, modern platoon moves off

With debussing complete and perfect order restored, Sir Gilbert’s formidable, modern platoon moves off

 

 

The action in the centre is fierce as more "socialists" enter the fight for the farm and members of Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists advance on their right

The action in the centre is fierce as more “socialists” enter the fight for the farm and members of Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists advance on their right

 

 

 

Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists break through the massive hedge in front of the church

Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists break through the massive hedge in front of the church

 

 

Lady Bramton's HQ section deploy.

Lady Bramton’s HQ section deploy

 

 

Sir Gilbert's platoon advances in perfect open-order. he steam tank has now turned to face forward

Sir Gilbert’s platoon advances in perfect open-order. The steam tank has now turned to face forward

 

 

Members of Sir Giles Clive's platoon advance against Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists

Members of Sir Giles Clive’s platoon advance against Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists

 

 

Sir Gilbert's new anti-tank team, Mad Wullie McSpaniel and Nanny Pankhurst, storm forward in search of prey

Sir Gilbert’s new anti-tank team, Mad Wullie McSpaniel and Nanny Pankhurst, storm forward in search of prey

 

 

Victory at the farm enables the "socialists to consolidate their position in the centre

Victory at the farm enables the “socialists” to consolidate their position in the centre

 

 

The "socialists"  miners section lead the advance through the centre of the village

The “socialists” miners section lead the advance through the centre of the village

 

 

In the face of Sir Gilbert's inexorable advance on the left, Lady Bramton orders the withdrawal of her baggage

In the face of Sir Gilbert’s inexorable advance on the left, Lady Bramton orders the withdrawal of her baggage, covered by the reserve section and artillery

 

 

Sir Gilbert's steam tank causes casualties in Lady Bramton's HQ as his platoon exerts irresistible pressure on Lady Bramton's platoon

Sir Gilbert’s steam tank causes casualties in Lady Bramton’s HQ as his command exerts irresistible pressure on her  platoon

 

 

Ferocious fighting in the churchyard between Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists and Sir Giles' men, skulking behind the gravestones

Ferocious fighting in the churchyard between Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists and Sir Giles’ men, skulking behind the gravestones

 

 

The "socialist" miners press on in the centre

The “socialist” miners press on in the centre

Looking across the battlefield with Sir Gilbert's platoon in the foreground, the "socialists" (still with their distinctive omnibuses) in the centre and on the far right, Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists

Looking across the battlefield with Sir Gilbert’s platoon in the foreground, the “socialists” (still with their distinctive omnibuses) in the centre and in the distance, on the far right flank, Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists

 

 

A chaotic scene in the centre with the "socialists" following up the retreat of Lady Bramton and coming under fire from Sir Giles' armoured car. Mad Wullie McSpaniel can be seen rushing to where the fight is fiercest

A chaotic scene in the centre with the “socialists” following up the retreat of Lady Bramton and coming under fire from Sir Giles’ armoured car. Mad Wullie McSpaniel can be seen rushing to where the fight is fiercest

 

 

Sir Gilbert's platoon advances in perfect order, sweeping all before it

Sir Gilbert’s platoon advances in perfect order, sweeping all before it

 

 

The "socialists" have the upper hand in the centre. On the right, Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists battle for the church with Sir Giles' men and on the left, Sir Gilbert has total control

The “socialists” have the upper hand in the centre. On the right, Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists battle for the church with Sir Giles’ men and on the left, Sir Gilbert has total control

 

 

Tressell's Enlightened Philanthropists continue to press Sir Giles, despite encountering fire from a heavy machine gun

Tressell’s Enlightened Philanthropists continue to press Sir Giles, despite encountering fire from a heavy machine gun

 

 

Lady Bramton's artillery, covering her platoon's retreat, engages Sir Gilbert's police section

Lady Bramton’s artillery, covering her platoon’s retreat, engages Sir Gilbert’s police section………..

 

 

....and inflicts the only casualties suffered by The Volunteers during the engagement. Despite this, Sir Gilbert's platoon comes forward in fine style

….and inflicts the only casualties suffered by The Volunteers during the engagement. Despite this, Sir Gilbert’s platoon comes forward in fine style

 

 

As night falls, Sir Giles' armoured car manages to stem the flood of the "socialist's" advance in the centre

As night falls, Sir Giles’ armoured car manages to stem the flood of the “socialist’s” advance in the centre

 

And so ended the skirmish at Longtown in which Sir Gilbert achieved all his aims. His misguided neighbours were shown the error of their ways but not destroyed or humiliated – they may be wrong but they are still “our class”.

 

The “socialists”, whilst also being misguided were able to experience the benefits of fighting under the leadership of an experienced and skilled campaigner in Sir Gilbert. There is hope that they may renounce their wrong-headed politics and return to their station as honest sons of toil.

 

The Battle of The Frontier – Golden Valley in Peril

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After some weeks of relative quiet and calm since his resounding victory at Strangford, weeks which Sir Gilbert put to good use strengthening his volunteers with men and matériel, news of ominous threats to the peace of the Golden Valley began to circulate. To the east of his domain, Anglicans, Royalists, Fascists – even, it was suggested, Socialists, were jostling for power and control. There was talk of an accord between Anglicans and Royalists to hand over the person of the wretched Bishop of Hereford. Sir Gilbert had no interest in the bishop or of who owned his person; if he needed religious expertise, he could call on the ever-co-operative Bishop of Monmouth. What did interest Sir Gilbert was news of Fascist forces operating on the edges of his territory. This violation of the pastoral perfection could not be tolerated. Sir Gilbert prepared to defend hearth and home.

Sir Gilbert's tranquil borders, under threat from the BUF

Sir Gilbert’s tranquil borders, under threat from the BUF . Defensive positions prepared in advance to counter any fascist incursions

The final moments of before the tranquility is shattered by sounds of war

The final moments of peace  before the tranquility is shattered by sounds of war

Sir Gilbert moved his Volunteers with lightning speed to confront the fascists and soon they, in conjunction with an Anglican League detachment, were in position to halt the enemy in their tracks.

Sir Gilbert's 1st Section (The Golden Valley Labourers and Artisans) and 4th Section (The Abbey Dore Division Police Volunteers) stand ready supported by the Mk1 Steam Armoured Car and Miss Violet Ironsides the artillery oserver

Sir Gilbert’s 1st Section (The Golden Valley Labourers and Artisans) and 4th Section (The Abbey Dore Division Police Volunteers) stand ready, supported by the Mk1 Steam Armoured Car and Miss Violet Ironsides, the artillery observer

The 2nd section (Ewyas Harold/Pontrilas WI) stand ready in reserve. Sir Gilbert and his HQ are in the background

The 2nd section (Ewyas Harold/Pontrilas WI) stand ready in reserve. Sir Gilbert and his HQ are in the background

Waiting for the enemy

Waiting for the enemy

Sir Gilbert and his ally were in position not a moment too soon. A sinister sound was heard – the unmistakeable rattle of tank tracks…! The squat grey monsters  lurched into view, one coming directly down the road towards Sir Gilbert’s 4th section whilst two others moved against the Anglican League positions. Behind the tanks came trucks loaded with infantry. Things looked uncertain for the Volunteers and the Anglicans. They had very limited capability against armour. Would they be swept aside?

BUF armour and infantry advance against Sir Gilbert's positions

BUF armour and infantry advance against Sir Gilbert’s positions

BUF artillery is also deployed in the centre whilst more tanks are seen on the right, advancing towards the Anglicans

BUF artillery is also deployed in the centre whilst more tanks are seen on the right, advancing towards the Anglicans

Sir Gilbert's Anglican allies holding the right of their joint position

Sir Gilbert’s Anglican allies holding the right of their joint position

The centre of the Allies' position. Restitution Trevelyn, artillery observer, is in the circular emplacement whilst behind the barricade are concealed an Anglican sniper and anti-tank rifle team

The centre of the Allies’ position. Restitution Trevelyn, artillery observer, is in the circular emplacement whilst behind the barricade are concealed an Anglican sniper and anti-tank rifle team

Emboldened, perhaps, by the proximity of the renowned Sir Gilbert himself, the Anglican League commander decided to advance two sections of infantry towards the oncoming fascists.

Anglican League infantry move up

Anglican League infantry move up

Ranged against them were BUF infantry and tanks – the latter bristling with cannon and machine guns.

The BUF threat opposite the Anglican League

The BUF threat opposite the Anglican League

Meanwhile, the BUF advance in the centre crept menacingly forward.

An intimidating sight

An intimidating sight

Resolutely opposing the behemoths, the stalwart British bobby…!

Rifles against tanks

Rifles against tanks

Yet more examples of overwhelming BUF strength appeared on Sir Gilbert’s left – the thunder of hooves heralded the arrival of BUF cavalry.

Mounted support for the BUF

Mounted support for the BUF

Under threat from armour, infantry and cavalry, the 4th section made a controlled withdrawal.

Faces to the enemy, the 4th section re-deploys

Faces to the enemy, the 4th section re-deploys

The fascist juggernaut approaches

The fascist cavalry approach the 1st section

As the BUF tank forced a temporary withdrawal of Sir Gilbert’s men in the centre, fascist infantry began deploying behind the cover it provided.

The BUF seek to consolidate in the centre

The BUF seek to consolidate in the centre

Restitution Trevelyn, Sir Gilbert’s artillery observer, saw his chance. Signalling to the Anglican gun which had been seconded to The Volunteers, he brought down a storm of fire upon the deploying enemy infantry. The cover of their vehicle availed them little as shells crashed into their ranks.

BUF infantry cower before the storm of steel

BUF infantry cower before the storm of steel

On the right flank of the Allies, the Anglican League infantry moved to support its heavy machine gun which was faced by a mixed armour and infantry attack from the BUF. Also hurled into the fray was the formidable Anglican tank, its comforting presence lifting the morale of the League defenders.

Anglican infantry and armour move against the threat to the right flank

Anglican infantry and armour move against the threat to the right flank

A solid support - the Anglican tank moves up

A solid support – the Anglican tank moves up

Faced by the apparently unstoppable tank and the advancing BUF cavalry, Sir Gilbert’s 1st section retired along with the 4th section. The GVR Mk1 Armoured Scout Car (Steam) remained in support, it’s HMG ineffective against the armour but a real deterrent to the cavalry. If only the car could survive the attentions of the tank…! As a sign of Sir Gilbert’s confidence and support of his men, Wrench, the Volunteer’s Standard Bearer rushed to the centre of the action, accompanied by Doctor Bill “Tiny” Savage, the Volunteer’s medical man.

Sir Gilbert's b utler Wrench, bears the Volunteer's standard to the thick of the action

Sir Gilbert’s b utler Wrench, bears the Volunteer’s standard to the thick of the action

Meanwhile, on both flanks, the BUF continued to advance.

BUF cavalry take the Herefordshire hedges in their stride

BUF cavalry take the Herefordshire hedges in their stride

BUF infantry continue to advance on the Anglicans

BUF infantry continue to advance on the Anglicans

In the centre, Sir Gilbert played his last card against the all-conquering BUF tank – he ordered forward the morrismen bomb throwers.

the morrismen bomb throwers advance

the morrismen bomb throwers advance

But miraculously, the danger was, if not averted, certainly reduced to a manageable level. Because the Anglican League anti-tank rifle team, displaying courage and skill in equal proportions, scored a devastating hit on the rear of the tank as it moved against the Volunteers police section. Although it continued to fire its cannon and machine guns, it was unable to move…!

The heroic anti-tank rifle team disable the fascist tank

The heroic anti-tank rifle team disable the fascist tank

With the tank disabled, Sir Gilbert’s infantry were able to stabilise their front. Reinforcements in the attractive shape of the 2nd section (Ewyas Harold/Pontrilas WI) moved forward.

The Volunteers advance on the right flank

The Volunteers advance on the left flank

At this point the 1st section (Artisans and Labourers) were able to show their mettle. Roger Gently, the section lewis gunner poured effective fire on the BUF infantry which had advanced behind the tank. At the same time, the Armoured Scout Car (Steam), opened up with its HMG against the fascist cavalry and emptied many saddles. The tide of battle was swinging away from the BUF and in favour of Sir Gilbert and his League ally.

Facing down the cavalry

Facing down the cavalry
The left flank holds firm

The left flank holds firm

Despite taking crushing losses to its infantry, the BUF deployed an HMG in the centre and this succeeded in exacting some revenge by driving the Anglican League infantry into the path of the tank guns advancing on the BUF left.

The fascists cling on in the centre

The fascists cling on in the centre

Sir Gilbert’s attached field gun continued to exact a terrible price from the BUF infantry.

The field gun in action

The field gun in action

A battle for armoured supremacy continued on the right with the disabled BUF tank trying vainly to knock out the Armoured Car whilst it decimated the BUF infantry and ensured that the BUF cavalry, which had retreated to cover, did not attempt to advance again.

Tank and Armoured Car vie for supremacy in the centre

Tank and Armoured Car vie for supremacy in the centre

BUF cavalry seek cover from the Armoured Car's deadly HMG in the woods

BUF cavalry seek cover in the woods from the Armoured Car’s deadly HMG

With the BUF in the centre reduced to a single HMG and damaged tank and the cavalry held in check by the Armoured Car,  Sir Gilbert gave the order the Volunteers had longed for:

“General Advance….!”

First to move were the 1st section, scrambling through and over hedges as they sought to get to grips with the BUF’s reluctant cavalry. The Armoured Car moved in support.

Disregarding the danger from the BUF tank, the Armoured Car advances

Disregarding the danger from the BUF tank, the Armoured Car advances

The morrismen also seized the initiative and advanced upon the damaged tank.

Tank hunters in full cry

Tank hunters in full cry

The BUF survivors in the centre and their right began to stream away, led by the cavalry who had no stomach for facing the Armoured Car.

Cavalry take to their heels

Cavalry take to their heels

The Volunteers 1st section, although unable to catch the fleeing cavalry, press on to secure the flank.

1st section secures the left

1st section secures the left

A solid bastion to anchor Sir Gilbert's left flank

A solid bastion to anchor Sir Gilbert’s left flank

2nd and 4th sections join in the advance

2nd and 4th sections join in the advance

In the dying moments of the day, a lucky shot from the fascist tank damaged the Armoured Car –

A minor misshap

A minor misshap

but this had no effect on the outcome of the battle and indeed was more than balanced by a simultaneous hit by the field gun on one of the BUF tanks on the other flank. In fact, the damage to the Armoured Car was soon being put to rights by the boilermakers of the GVR in the Pontrilas engine sheds.

BUF tank hit by field gun. It sustaned damage to its weapons

BUF tank hit by field gun. It sustained damage to its weapons

And so resulted a magnificent vistory for Sir Gilbert and his ally.

Once again, superior martial skill, courage and genius had taken Sir Gilbert to victory over great odds. The sanctity of his peaceful domain was  secured and potential disturbers of that tranquility have been sternly warned of the inevitable consequences of bearing arms against this great and good man.

IMG_4840

Read more about the battles on all three tables (yes, even those ones with inconsequential squabbling) here:

On the VBCW forum: http://vbcf.freeforums.org/herefordshire-big-game-8th-march-2014-t2695.html

Jon’s Overview: http://hereford1938.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/swap-shop-herefordshire-big-game-8th.html

Giles’ definitive account, there’s five or six posts here so don’t miss any: http://hereford1938.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/swap-shop-herefordshire-big-game-8th.html

Dramatic Despatch from The Other Side of the Hill – Battle of Camrose

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Sir Gilbert's wayward nephew Ronald “Ronnie” Bigsworth-Hill

Sir Gilbert’s wayward nephew
Ronald “Ronnie” Bigsworth-Hill

A civil war can result in some uncomfortable situations. As an example, Sir Gilbert has had a letter from one of his nephews, Ronald “Ronnie” Bigsworth-Hill. Ronnie is the only son of  Sir Gilbert’s sister who formed an unhappy union with Ronnie’s father, a travelling salesman from North Shields. Bigsworth senior was a silver-tongued layabout whose main legacy to his son was a firmly held set of values that could safely be used as a definition for bigotry. Ronnie’s father, also called Ronald, left his wife and son to their own devices after fourteen years of tempestuous married life.

Ronnie soon attracted the attention of the police – he was an unsuccessful petty criminal with a violent streak – and was sent to a work camp in mid-Wales to learn how to become a better citizen. On his release, he stayed in Wales, finding intermittent employment as a labourer, before discovering an outlet for many of his dubious energies in the BUF. He joined the Sir Thomas Picton Cohort less than a year before the outbreak of the civil war and the combination of his violent criminal background, his extreme bigotry inherited from his father and the veneer of upper-class polish from his mother ensured a rapid progress through the ranks so that by the time the war had started, he had become a Storm Leader, 2nd Class.

Throughout his chequered life, Ronnie kept in touch with his uncle, Sir Gilbert. A man of undisputed probity, nevertheless Sir Gilbert has always had a buccaneering side to his character. Although superficially, the respectable minor aristocrat was worlds away from his errant nephew, he always kept a sympathetic eye on the young man’s progress through life. Sir Gilbert was, and is, never a man to let politics interfere with what he considers the best interests of him and his own and consequently the fact that his nephew is now fighting on the opposite side to that which Sir Gilbert supports doesn’t prevent him taking a benign interest in his nephew’s career. Therefore, it was with pleasurable anticipation that Sir Gilbert received a letter from his nephew that described the young man’s participation in his first battle:

Dear Uncle Gilbert

Guess what? I’ve been in my first battle! And jolly sporting it was I have to say. I’ll give you a swift canter through what happened and luckily one of my lads had his Kodak with him so there’s some snaps to show you as well.

Where should I start? Well, as you know, I’m a Storm Leader 2nd Class which is about the same as a Second Lieutenant in the old-fashioned army. I know you’re not too keen on the jolly old BUF and some of the fellows are a bit rough round the edges but then, so am I. My time in the work camp wasn’t totally wasted, I’ve had to put some of bad lads in  their place from time to time but they appreciate it and that’s how it is in the BUF; you earn respect, you don’t inherit it. No offense, old uncle – I don’t mean you.

So, there had been a major scrap nearby and our side didn’t do too well so, as usual, they sent for the Sir Thomas Picton Cohort – my lot – to sort things out. We were sent in to capture a useful bridge and a village beyond called Camrose. Here’s some photos.

You see that bridge? Well, we had to secure that, cross the river and assault the village on the ridge beyond. No problem for the Sir Tom Picton Cohort

You see that bridge? Well, we had to secure that, cross the river and assault the village on the ridge beyond. No problem for the Sir Tom Picton Cohort

A collection of local riff-raff defended the ridge. As you can see, they had some witches with them. Takes more that magic to stop the BUF

A collection of local riff-raff defended the ridge. As you can see, they had some witches with them. Takes more that magic to stop the BUF

Here we go, once more unto the breach and all that. The best Cohort in the BUF advancing on the enemy

Here we go, once more unto the breach and all that. The best Cohort in the BUF advancing on the enemy

And there's my lads..! That's me in the centre with my trusty Tommy gun and soaked to the skin after wading that river.

And there’s my lads..! That’s me in the centre with my trusty Tommy gun and soaked to the skin after wading that river.

Some support from our Loyal Landsker Legion (mounted). Also, and Old-Army tank from some posh sounding regiment actually manages to crawl forward.

Some support from our Loyal Landsker Legion (mounted). Also, an Old-Army tank from some posh sounding regiment actually manages to crawl forward.

Our Storm Commander crosses the river and we sweep on up the ridge.

Our Storm Commander crosses the river and we sweep on up the ridge.

The final moments - We advance on the remnants of the commie yokels

The final moments – We advance on the remnants of the commie yokels

So, we wiped the floor with them, of course. There was some whining about a pinko medic getting shot and the landlord’s daughter tried to get off with our lads in the middle of the fight. I don’t blame her – we’re a lusty crew but we know that victory brings all those rewards anyway so when I shouted “leave the tart for now lads, plenty of time when we’ve won the fight” they responded with a throaty roar and piled forward, driving the rebels before them like the sheep they share their houses with.

I still have hopes of persuading you to our side, uncle. I know you don’t sympathise with the communist and socialist rabble. In the meantime, wherever the fortunes of war lead us,

I remain

Your loving nephew

Ronnie (Storm Leader 2nd Class, Sir Thomas Picton Cohort, BUF).

Historical footnote: This report is based on a game fought at Wargames Association of South Pembrokeshire with R. Mark Davies and his splendid band of gamers. They can be found online here:  http://wargamesasp.freeforums.net/

Bridge Over the River Wye – Sir Gilbert’s Volunteers join the fray

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Things were not proceeding too well for the Anglican League in Hereford. The situation is recorded in some detail here

Whilst not having any strong ideological ties to any faction, Sir Gilbert does have very strong ties to his own personal interests. The success of the BUF-backed Royalists has every appearance of running counter to those interests. So, having already taken steps to assemble a force with which to protect what is his, Sir Gilbert placed his platoon at the disposal of the Anglican League and was requested to march on Strangford.

Sir Gilbert's Road to            Strangford

Sir Gilbert’s Road to
Strangford

Sir Gilbert’s approach brought him in on the right flank of the Royalist’s position in Strangford. This was his first command in battle but his inexperience did not hamper his direction of the fight. With a grasp of tactics which astonished his opponents, he quickly assessed the situation and made the necessary dispositions.

Having first ensured a strong reserve in the form of the Ewyas Harold and Pontrilas Women’s Institute and the Wormbridge, Abbey Dore and Pontrilas Morris side (both sections being motorised) Sir Gilbert then threw in the Golden Valley Labourers and Artisans, followed by the the Bulk Importers Volunteers. The Labourers and Artisans were armed with shotguns and he sent them on a swing round the open flank of the defenders with order to occupy the centre of Strangford. The Bulk Importers, all armed with sub-machine guns, were sent along the road to the outskirts of Strangford with orders to drive in the defenders. They were supported by a mortar, on detachment from the Anglican League regulars.

The Artisans and Labourers head off to the left whilst the Bulk Importers follow the Strangford road

The Artisans and Labourers head off to the left whilst the Bulk Importers follow the Strangford road

The plan was a success in every respect. The Labourers and Artisans took some buildings commanding the cross roads in the centre of Strangford at a cost of only two casualties thus denying the enemy passage through the town. As a last resort, the enemy brought up a field gun with the apparent intention of engaging over open sights but judicious use of smoke bombs from the mortar successfully masked this threat.

Members of the Labourers and Artisans in the centre of Strangford

Members of the Labourers and Artisans in the centre of Strangford

Meanwhile the Bulk Importers, with crucial first-aid assistance from Dr Savage, had driven the South African Royalists from the edge of the village and cleared the way for the reserves to storm up the road with the intention of completing a famous victory.

The Bulk Importers storm the village

The Bulk Importers storm the village

The reserves move up

The reserves move up

Hostilities petered out at this stage leaving the Hill Volunteers in a strong and formidable position. There could be no dispute that the debut of Sir Gilbert’s force was a triumph, both of the Volunteers in the ranks and of the natural tactical genius of Sir Gilbert himself.

IMG_2933

Sir Gilbert with his HQ was never far from the firing line

Details of the inconsequential scuffles that took place elsewhere on the battlefield can be found here , here and here .

Sir Gilbert apologises for the quality of the photos that accompany the report of his exploits – the photographer was not as relaxed upon the battlefield as Sir Gilbert would have hoped. He has now been replaced by a more experienced war photographer.