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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Monday, 19 March 2012

I have a penchant...

... a penchant for militia units, second line troops, garrison chaps, Corps of Invalids, volunteers. It was that, I suppose, that led me, after many years, to write my history of Britain's Home Guard. But it also affects my troop raising:

Here we see some stout fellows, Loyal to His Majesty, garrisoning New York, some time after the liberation of that city from rebels in the Fall of 1776. In the background, a Provincial officer discusses the turnout of these most Loyal Americans with a professional. Aaah, how times have changed. Now all is noise, bustle and division in that Imperial metropolis. But, for a moment, leather soles tramp over cobbles, and birdsong can still be heard.


  1. Super photo of your splendid chaps in an atmospheric setting.
    I can well understand your desire to collect/paint/raise milita units and ,as I look back ,have often done the same. my favorites are the Danish Militia of the Napoleonic era and their plucky defence ( perhaps a bit of an overstatement) against Wellington at the battle of Koge in 1807.
    When I review my current lead mountain/painting table figures I note tthat many fall into the militia class...

  2. Thank you! I have wondered about this penchant, which you clearly share. Perhaps it is because of the less warlike role (the military enthusiasm of a wargamer with a Quaker's sensibility?), the oddness of some units, equipped with cast-offs, or the recognition that one would never have made a 'professional' oneself. Who knows?