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The Board of Ordnance

Reserve Troops,
Artisans and Supply

Whinyates Troop forms the fighting element of the Wellingtons Artillery and is supported the many other roles you can enjoy.


Jane's Historical Kitchen

Janes kitchen is the latest addition to the Board of Ordnance. During the day Jane, Corporal Cook as she is often referred to, prepares food for the officers as well as the troop lunch in the camp kitchen.


The kitchen is a must-visit as Jane cooks authentic 19th-century recipes using copper and brass pots that glisten in the sunlight. Jane also prepares fresh bread daily using Dutch ovens. Jane researches new recipes continually to keep the camp happy and to show the important place that food has had throughout history.


Jane is often helped by other troop members. Jane (aka Tracey Grand) is well known on the re-enactment circuit for her presentation of ‘Jane’s Historical Kitchen’.


Whilst the army did employ doctors and surgeons, they were too expensive for the average solider and rather fond of bleeding you, applying leeches or cutting bits of you off, so being treated by a herbalist may have been a preferable as well as a cheaper option!

Remedies would be concocted to solve digestive distress, sleep issues, foot rot, burns, hay fever, headache, constipation, parasites, cough & colds, baldness, impotence, depression and many more!

The herbs would also be used in cooking to compliment meals, make them more palatable and easily digestible, particularly when the rations were sparse!

Herbalism was primarily a female vocation with the vast body knowledge being refined and passed down over thousands of years. Remedies were seldom written down, passed on verbally and through instruction from a young child.

On campaign children would learn by being sent out to gather local ingredients and helping to prepare them. Each ingredient would need to be used or preserved so remedies could be made throughout the year.

These herbal remedies were within the pocket of the average soldier and served to augment the pay of the women which was very low. This extra money would help the women to buy new clothes, pay for a donkey to carry her belongings, or allow her to buy extra food to increase her (and her children’s) meagre rations.


Quatermaster's Stores

The Quatermaster's Store is the logistical section of the Board of Ordnance. It not only governs and regulates the supply of tools, equipment and stores but also looks after the reserves of the camp.

Maintained by Trooper Grand and his team, from assaulting fortifications to feeding the regiment, if you need it this is where to go.  

Remember "just because you can see it on the shelf, without the request forms it not there for you!"



Reserves and Unassigned Troops

The Board of Ordnance was the Supply and support to the Army on home service and abroad. Where the Army went it followed and was a camp where many Troops went short term until they could meet up with their own regiments.

Whether recovering from minor wounds or sickness, or temporary assigned as a guarding force for the supply train many small groups of Troops were catered for by the Board until they could be assigned back to their own Regiments

You will often see small groups of Riflemen, Life Guards and Redcoats around our camp awaiting the opportunity to rejoin the front and do their part once again.

This unique opportunity allows members to join in many different guises, all trained in foot drill and period weapons, that not only adds colour to the camp but also provides added dimensions to the true living History we can offer.

Pick a Unit that interests you and we will help with the research to bring that role to life.


Camp Followers

In Wellington’s army women could be employed to serve as part of the support services during the Napoleonic campaign. Between 4 – 6 women were employed per company, a ratio of around 60:1000 men. These women were often married to NCOs or above and took part in a wives ballot to be allowed to go.

To earn the pay, rations and protection of the army the women had to be of use and preferably without children. Employment opportunities were restricted to duties such as laundresses, seamstress, nurse, or herbalist.

Should her husband die a woman was given 3 days to gather her belongings and children, her role terminated and was then instructed to make her own way back to England. A woman was rarely allowed to stay as a widow, so she often remarried another solider within those 3 days and so continued her employment. Some were married many times to preserve her pay and rations for herself and her children until she, her children and the company she was attached to was returned to England.

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