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Victory Show 8-10 Sept 2017


Hi folks, it's been asked of me to write a few lines on the Victory show, so this is a Grandads point of view!


It's been on the cards for a few months that several groups would join together for this event and show British 3rd Division 44'45 in their glory. Luckily for us no re-badging involved. 

So, I arrived on Friday, all excited for my first event of the year. Some lads already in and others arriving throughout the day. Numbers were well up for the East Yorks as everyone was expecting it to be a good show. 

We all messed around with the trenches a bit and soon realised the organisers had given us only half the area needed....a great shame. It turned out we would field around 50 men between the groups. 

The atmosphere was good and moral very high. It was decided by the big wigs we would alternate sections to the pits, one hour on and two off. So on Saturday and Sunday this is what happened and it worked very well. 

The weather was only 'OK'...... On the Saturday morning the show announced cancellation of the air display due to weather conditions. This was very disappointing for us but more so for Joe Public who were, it appears, charged full whack. This affected the footfall no doubt, as much as the bad weather forecast. 

 We all thought the public were thinner on the ground this year as was armour and some other groups were missing. Made obvious by large gaps in the display field which we could have used well if we'd been given some more space. 

Many of us have attended other events with very few Brits so it was great to see this turned around at this event and have a big contingent of Brits. I felt very proud. 


I feel because we do it right more and more people see this and are coming our way, which is great. 

It was really nice to see so many old faces and with such a good turnout we were able to fill positions we often can't due to numbers. So special thanks should go to these men; Phil, Dave, Al, Bob and more - great to see you. Nice to see Chris Bell all the way from Canada and the Tigers who have been in this show since the start. 

The battle went well for us again both days. Well commanded sections working together and doing it right. I watched the battle myself on Sunday and I thought it would be rubbish but you know what, guys it was really good. Even though, the organiser had thrown in a Rambo that no one knew about! Cpl Heaton handled this very well indeed. 

Generally the feeling was that we had all enjoyed ourselves. We did a good representation. We handled the events problems well. We were pleased to work with other units. 

For us, it all worked and went well. Thanks to all concerned;
Suffolks 
Warwicks
East Yorks 
Leicesters
Middlesex 
RAMC 
DR 
Provosts 
Officers and NCOs
And if I missed anyone I'm really sorry. 

I hope we can repeat this someday 

Pte Etherington 

York Army Museum Military Memorabilia Road Show

The East Yorkshire Living History Group maintains close links with the York Army Museum and over the years we have supported them at a number of their events in the heart of York. These events are always very rewarding, with large numbers of people who might never visit a living history event interacting with the group. On Saturday 12th August, whilst most of the group were representing the regiment at Spetchley, myself and Pte Dixon set up a small weapons and kit display outside the main entrance of the museum in conjunction with their Military Memorabilia Roadshow. This free event encouraged people to bring in their military objects for appraisal by experts, with free entry to the museum, we were there to add an extra dimension to the day and help draw visitors into the museum itself.


As expected the day was a busy one, people were coming up to us as we were setting up and a full hour before the roadshow was due to start. The day was thoroughly enjoyable with many interesting questions posed by the public, as well as many ex-servicemen and women stopping by for a chat a chance to reminisce- some common themes came out: they all loved the Bren and hated the Sten! The highlights of the day included one gentleman who had brought an original D-Day invasion jerkin that he allowed Pte Dixon to model, to those of us who are ‘kit anoraks’ this was a rare opportunity to examine something most will only see in replica form.

However for me the memory that will stay with me for many years to come was the chance to speak to a veteran from the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment who had been amongst the first wave to land on D-Day. This gentleman, now 94, had joined the regiment at 14 in 1938 and served throughout the war. He had brought with him a folder containing copies of the War Diaries relating to D-Day and a map of the invasion, it was very humbling to hear him explain what had actually happened and to point to the route inland he took on the map. These sort of opportunities are rare indeed today with so few veterans left alive so it was a very special half hour.

The day ended around 4pm and the museum had reported that an unprecedented number of visitors had been inside, we certainly saw a lot of people at our display. These events are a great opportunity to bring a small piece of our history to life and to reach an audience who would never normally take an interest in the Second World War, indeed one young American couple stayed and chatted for over forty minutes and we seemed very popular with a number of Chinese tourists!

Plus we received a piece in the local newspaper! read it here

PTE Hallett

Spetchley Park

Friday evening me and PTE Heaton set off to our event at Spetchley Park Gardens in Worchester. It was a clear run all the way down, done in just over two hours. Thankfully SGT Hebden had taken the 14 man tent down for us and the rest of he unit had helped to set up, so we could just put beds in.

We met up with the unit under the shelter half and enjoyed a few beers while catching up, then down to the beer tent. They had the "pub" again this year, a small trailer fashioned in to a 40s pub, selling draft Ale and at £3 a pint is cheap for these events.

Saturday morning came, everyone set up the "Camp Display" with PTE Haycock RAMC joining us with his medical display,  then we waited for first parade, SGT Hebden picked out the ones who where letting the unit down and made them shave! This included me.


After some football, I took PTEs  Roberts, Klejnow & Heaton for foot drill, PTE Klejnow had injured his wrist and couldn't manage rifle drill, this worked out well though as we managed to perfect the halt, about turn on the march & officer on parade while falling out.

ATS Mellor made us lunch, an all in stew with bread, and cake for afterwards.


We took part in the set piece battle, our part was small but nice to join in, we got plenty of nice comments from the public, and lots of good feedback from the other reenactors.

The final parade took place late afternoon, where all periods of history gather, from vikings to us, to show respect for each other.

Saturday night we again attended the pub, we had worked up a thirst through the day....

We watched the meteor shower from the tables outside, and then walked back to camp for a better view.

Sunday was again the same setup, but this time we played some cricket, CPL Lycett showed us his skills at bowling, going to the same private school as Jeffry Boycott pays off! We had to stop playing in the end, as we kept hitting PTE Pozniak's radio set up and knocking the news off..

The battle was better this time, we showed how British infantry tactics worked while moving up the fields in bounds, then cleared out the Germans of their position, and going in to all round defence while others checked for intelligence.


Again ATS Mellor with the help of PTE Hancock, made us lunch, this time a stew with a nice curry kick....

The parade finale came at 15.30 pm. As per the Saturday and unlike everybody else we did this properly in 'parade style' with just best belts soft caps and lanyards.  It was rather nice to  pick up a compliment from one of the public as we marched along in formation and to attention and with arms swinging when we heard someone say: 'At last, someone who can actually march!' This marked the end of the weekend for us.

Really enjoyable multi period event in a beautiful setting.

Persons in attending

SGT Hebden, CPL Lycett, CPL Heaton, ATS Mellor, PTEs Heaton, Klejnow, Pozniak, Hancock, Haycock & Roberts 

CPL Heaton. 

Pateley Bridge 1940s Weekend 29th & 30th July 2017

It started raining well before we set off on the Friday evening giving a sense of foreboding of what was to come over the weekend. In the end it was a very enjoyable weekend.

Arriving at about 7.30 at the show ground to which we had been relocated, we were lucky to find that the rain had stopped. This gave us time to get the 14 man tent up in the dry. Between the many helpers it took about 10 minutes. Something of a record I think and we managed it just before the heavens opened again. With low lying clouds over the hills and mist in the low lying areas it was a damp evening. It was thought necessary to retreat to a nearby hostelry, just for the benefit of comfort purposes of course. It rained heavily throughout Friday night and early Saturday morning but had just about stopped when we arose. The day gradually brightened up as it wore on. 

The theme of our display was a previously tried ‘Company HQ’ set up. With a NAAFI wireless playing period music and news reports etc. and even an episode of ITMA in the shelter half, along with Morse Code coming from Bill’s radio set placed elsewhere in the display, a period atmosphere and effect was created. This was further enhanced with the use of some period cricket equipment for a knockabout from time to time  and a ‘Harry Seacombe-esque’ performance of speed shaving by Adam as shave-or with a cut throat razor and me as the victim/shave-ee. Lunch was communal with an ‘all in stew’ which was much photographed by the public as is always the case. Saturday night was a pleasant repeat of Friday night but with a different justification for a visit to two local hostelries. Friday had been about keeping dry and drinking beer. Saturday was just about drinking beer!




Sunday dawned nicer that Saturday. It was pretty much a repeat of Saturday though breakfast was communal this time with SPAM Sandwiches being rustled up by Adam (very nice indeed). After a torrential downpour just before lunch time, the sun came out and it was glorious all afternoon.

Both days we had much attention from the public and the displays of compo rations, what a soldier wears, carries and why, along with the display of small arms went well. Both days we had lengthy visit from representatives of the local constabulary’s armed response squad but fortunately they were social visits. Nothing about deactivation certificate checking and all about interest on what we had on display. On both days the STEN was of great interest to them.    
     

This was the second year we have done this event and it was much better for being on the actual showground itself rather than a random field as was last year, not least because there were proper toilet facilities, but also because the ground  is well drained and it did not turn to a quagmire with the quite substantial rain we saw over the weekend. I can see this event growing in popularity if the organisers keep with it.


All in all another very enjoyable weekend with a decent turnout of familiar and welcome faces.

Report by: Private Dale Heaton. 

Yorkshire Wartime Experience

The Weekend of 9th & 10th July saw us at the Yorkshire Wartime Experience near Cleckheaton. The weather was warm and dry all weekend with periods of glorious sunshine. Some of us arrived on Friday night to set up camp on a hill top with a fabulous view.

Saturday morning saw us doing some home improvements to our usual spot on the edge of the arena/battlefield and soon all was in order again. Adam had made a visit to the site a few days before to set the ball rolling.

Cooking and brewing up on a newly made Benghazi Burner was the focus of much attention from the public and an extra detail added to our trench scenario display along with a new sign warning drivers of the danger of making too much dust (courtesy of Adam’s sister, my daughter Alana).

The mock battle towards the end of the day went fine but we thought there were areas where improvements could be made which we would implement on the Sunday. Adam’s new STEN behaved just like a, well, STEN being a bit of a hit and miss. Inspection of the magazines after  revealed congealed oil had attracted grit. We cleaned them thoroughly and did not oil them again having heard that no lube is better for a STEN than wet lube. Dry lube being best of all.

The amount of armour attending the event  was down on previous years but there was enough to put on good displays and a good mock battle and how often do you get to see a Panzer III and a M36 (Jackson) Tank Destroyer charging around having a race?

There was a flypast by a Spitfire during the afternoon but because I was not wearing my ‘Captain Mainwaring’ type glasses all I could see was a blur so I have no idea which one it was. It sounded good though as it zoomed overhead. 

A good evening was had by all on the Saturday evening in the beer tent and three of the lads decided to be totally authentic by spending the night in one of the trenches using just the kit the veterans would have had back in 1944. 


My idea of getting a ride in a Sherman turret alongside the ‘Oddball’ lookalike by dressing up as his side kick ‘Turk’ had come to nothing as no Shermans had  turned up and neither had the ‘Oddball’ lookalike so I wore the outfit to the beer tent. Only one person seemed to recognise who I was supposed to be!

Sunday was pretty much a re-run of Saturday however Adam and I decided to get a shave in the trench using period razors including original razor blades. Mmmm, I think we will have to find some modern razor blades which fit our original razors before we do that again!

The mock battle went much better this time. I donated my rifle to Alex and watched instead of taking part. I have to say it looked really good with two (wartime strength) sections advancing  carefully in the company of a Valentine D.D. Tank (the only one in the world no less) and then spreading out and moving up in fire and movement leaps to engage the enemy. This time Adam’s STEN behaved much better and it was nice to hear extended bursts coming from it. It seems to be a bit choosy on the brand of blanks it likes but we have now found one it does like.

After the battle the event wound down very quickly and there really was no point in sticking about until the bitter end at 5.00 before moving  so we gradually packed up and ended the day with a reasonable getaway time.

All in all a very enjoyable weekend made even more so by the company who were there. It was nice to see a couple of the newer faces with Rob for both days and  Keith for the Sunday.

Next event is Pateley Bridge 1940s weekend on 29th& 30th  July.

Article by: Private Dale Heaton.        

Harrogate Valley Gardens

"Today was Father's Day, and also Harrogate Valley Gardens fundraiser for the well. We have supported this event for many years now and watched it grow. 


With the dining shelter with weapons and small webbing/rifle display by PTE Dixon. PTE Dixon spent all day in full kit talking to the public, while me CPL Lycett, SGT Hebdon, PTE Heaton & PTE Sprague manned the shelter display. 

Mr Lazonby and PTE Roberts came along to say hello, ATS Dennis brought her family to see us. All packed up by 5.30 and away." 

CPL Heaton 

Driffield Vintage Show 29th May 2017

The Driffield Vintage Fair is only on on the bank holiday but we were able to arrive on the Sunday evening to set up camp. By the time I got there Dave H and Christine and Alex had the set up well underway.
The sky was a little overcast but the evening was mild and dry. After some food we sat under the dinning shelter, drank beer ate crisps and put the world to rights.
It was raining when we got up in the morning but gradually clearing. By the time we had breakfasted and got into kit the rain had stopped. We were joined by new member Keith. He was quickly kitted out in spare kit. We were soon answering questions with a constant flow of interested public. There was a great deal of interest it the East York's and their role on D-Day. It is sad that even in the regiments heartland their history is not well known.
The day passed quickly and the weather held so we got the tentage down dry. Always a plus point.
This event is quite relaxed and although we made the usual efforts for authenticity we were next to an old music organ. The owner of which parked his very large John Deer behind the tentage. However it is the interest in the East Yorks that makes this event worth attending.








York Army Museum 14th May 2017

On Sunday the 14th we put on our second display for the York Army Museum. The museum is the regimental museum for the East Yorks so it is a pleasure to be able to support them.
We all turned up in good time to get the display ready. The site had been occupied by the local goose community who didn't look like they wanted to move. However, once we started to erect the dining shelter they decided that it was time to move on.
The museum had offered to cover the cost of parking in the very expensive Tower car park. This turned out to be about £20 per car for the day. I think we had eight cars to park which to my mind was far too much to ask the museum to pay. The pressure was somewhat relieved by the York Hilton Hotel who very kindly managed to find space for a couple of cars.
Joining us this year we had the Howarth home guard WR28. They had managed to liberate a couple of Yank Jeeps to make the journey to York.
All in all the display was much bigger than last year and we received a great deal of attention from the public. What is interesting about this event is that the public are just people passing by. Having said that there is no shortage of interest. Ed and Andy had to miss the both the starting parade and the end parade due to a constant audience at the weapons display.
The museum provided Tea, and as it was the museums birthday, cake. In fact so much cake I don't think it all got eaten.
We had a really good turnout for this event. We had ten on the display and the Howarth Home Guard had another six or seven. Our new member Rob Pie brought his M20 motorbike which also received a lot of attention. There was also a male goose that was protecting its nest that was in a small raised flower bed just outside the Hilton. The goose was causing a bit of a problem and soon fell under the protective custody of the Sarge. People kept trying to shoo it away which provoked a very hostile reaction, several people getting a nip. We watched in disbelief as a lady tried to walk her Weimaraner dog passed the goose, fortunately, she had the dog on a short lead and was able to separate them quickly. I don't think the dog will forget that encounter in a hurry.
The weather was kind and we had the odd drop of rain but other than that a fine and sunny day.
One minute's silence was observed at the starting parade in memory of our dear friend Alf Ackroyd who sadly passed away earlier this year. Alf was a great man and friend to the unit. He will be greatly missed.








Craven Arms

"This was our first time at the Craven Arms and our first event of the season, a nice little pub in the Yorkshire dales.
we set up our mortar display at the bottom of the field and through saturday carried on woth set dress, the rain killed the day at about 13.30.

Sunday was better weather and PTE Klewjnoff  was needed to capture a German spy, he later along with CPL Heaton took part in a bridge capture so a vehical convoy could cross.

After the excitement it was time to pack up and set off home."

CPL Heaton