Wednesday, July 29, 2009

History Alive 2009, Fort Lytton, Brisbane - By Brian Sinclair

A fine picture of Brian. The uniform he is wearing has been modified so that he could take part in the Napoleonic battle. The weapon is also not in period with the QSVC and is instead a musket from the Napoleonic period - Brown Bess?

One of the many “living history” groups appearing at HA09 was the Queensland Scottish Volunteer Corps. The original QSVC was formed in 1885, when the threat of war between England and Russia over Afghanistan (sigh- always in the news, that place, for all the wrong reasons) prompted the formation of volunteer infantry and mounted infantry units around Queensland. The Scottish community in Queensland formed a number of infantry companies around the State, and these men wore (hot and heavy) red woollen jackets, white pith helmets, and kilts in the Gordon Tartan (in honour of General (China) Gordon, who had recently got himself killed – rather messily – in Khartoum not long beforehand).

These QSVC units never saw active service (unless you include intimidating striking shearers at Barcaldine in 1891) and were eventually absorbed into other units in the mid 1890s. Today’s QSVC portrays “A” Company (Brisbane) circa 1888. Fort Lytton, where History Alive is held, was also constructed in the 1880s, and the fort’s interior is the perfect place for the QSVC re-enactors to pitch their tents during History Alive.

The photographs shown here were taken on Sunday 26 July 2009, when the men of the 1st and 2nd squads, A Company, competed against each other for the amusement of the public (thanks for that splendid idea Captain; we were getting bored just sitting in the shade talking to the ladies!) One man from each squad had to don their belt and ammo pouch, run to retrieve a Martini Henry rifle, and then throw themselves down to fire off two blank rounds. The first man to complete the task won a point for his squad. After three pairs of contestants, 1st squad was victorious (Huzzah!) Alas, some of the men managed to catch the back of their kilts in their belts, and ran around with their proud backsides on display. Luckily, the men of the modern QSVC take the precaution of wearing underwear, as otherwise the “Shock and Awe” effect might have done for some of the more mature ladies in the crowd!

1 comment:

Allan and Carmen said...

I went to History Alive for the first time last weekend. The Drill, Bayonet Drill and Fire & Movement display put on by the QSVC was fantastic!

Our two sons 3 and 5 years came away raving about this display and the following one with some knights all week.

Well worth the 3 hour trip from Toowoomba.

I am glad you posted some pics because I forgot our camera :P

Happy Gaming,

Allan