Having been wargaming for over 60 years, I thought I would set this website up as a record of my activities.
The “About” page contains a history of my wargaming over the years, and since I grew up in Southampton, which many might regard as the spiritual home of wargaming in UK, you will notice some well known pioneers of the hobby mentioned there.
There is also a section on Military Historical Research, containing a number of items of straight (ie not wargaming) matters which I have researched over the years. This section comprises two drop down sub-sections, one on Organisation and one on Tactics. The former includes a paper on the Authorised Establishments of the British Army (1802-1815), which has details of the organisational structure of infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineers and supporting units. It also includes a paper on British Converged Light Battalions, the latter formed by converging all of the light infantry and rifle companies in each brigade, plus several further papers.
The right end of the Top Menu has a Contact page and a Search button.
The postings on the Blog record my current model soldier production or wargaming activities. I also use this to announce any new pages published on the website. The blog postings below are in reverse chronological order, but can also be accessed by subject through the side menu.
Finally, I have recently set up a new website to give details of my portfolio of Military History Talks (currently 19). This can be viewed here.
Hedges may well have featured in several actions during the Jacobite Rebellion, but the main one in which they are mentioned is the Battle of Clifton on 18th December 1745. I covered this battle in a previous post (here) and my model of the battlefield is below, with the field surrounded by hedges in the centre.
A feature of most Scottish towns, and larger villages, was a Mercat Cross, an indication that the town or village had been granted the right to hold a market. The history of these is here, and there are 126 surviving ones in Scotland, although many have had substantial renovations.
One of the better known is that at Culross in Fife, which featured in the Outlander TV series and also in the 1971 version of the Robert Louis Stevenson Classic “Kidnapped”. The Culross Mercat Cross is below.
My Jacobite Infantry Brigade Commanders are on foot, but all of my senior Jacobite Commanders and staff are mounted, as shown below, with from the left, an Army command sabot containing Prince Charles, Col O’Sullivan and a Standard Bearer, a Divisional command sabot containing Lord George Murray and his ADC, and another Divisional command sabot containing the Duke of Perth and his ADC.
However, at Prestonpans all of the Jacobite commanders were on foot, so I decided to model some alternative dismounted figures for these.
On 20th September 1745, the day before the main battle of Prestonpans, a Jacobite detachment of Camerons occupied the church and churchyard, just to the north of the village of Tranent. This detachment successfully ambushed a reconnaissance by the Customs Officer Walter Grosset, who had volunteered to help General Cope. The Cameron detachment had been placed there by Colonel O’Sullivan, without consulting Lord George Murray. It was a perfectly sensible military precaution to occupy such an advanced position, but Lord George Murray ordered them to be withdrawn. The church is shown on this map.
One feature of the Prestonpans battlefield was a wooden railway track. This ran from the open-cast coalmines at Tranent down to the port at Cockenzie, using coal wagons pulled by horses, similar to the pit-ponies used in underground mines. The history of this railway track, or waggonway, is here.
The railway track is shown on this map of the battlefield (from the Osprey “The Jacobite Rebellion 1745-46” by Gregory Fremont-Barnes).
I need a number of walls for my Jacobite Rebellion set-up. I had previously made some Paper Terrain ones for my Napoleonic set-up, but these were white, from their Mediterranean collection. I had used Paper Terrain North European Houses for most of my Scottish houses and these Paper Terrain sets also came with walls, in a cream stone colour which matched those houses.
I had made a few of them when I took the picture of Prestonpans which is used as the banner at the top of the website, as can be seen enlarged here:
The ones above were the only ones which I originally had and I really needed a lot more, so this post is about how I made them.
I haven’t posted anything on this site for 9 months. I had a knee replacement in early February, then with the Coronavirus lockdown other things have occupied me, including completing two more Military History talks, on the Battle of Fuengirola and Battle of Barrossa. Details of these talks can be seen on my other website here.
During the lockdown I watched one of my favourite films “A Bridge to Far” a couple of times. Inspired by this I have been reading a lot on the Market Garden campaign and decided to make a World War II set-up to recreate this. I have planned all of the Allied forces which I want to recreate and bought figures and vehicles for the British ones. I need to finish planning the Germans, then start modelling this. I will write about it in a future post.
Meanwhile, I thought I would complete my Jacobite Rebellion setup before starting a completely new project. I started by reviewing my scenery for Prestonpans. The only house which I originally created represents Preston House and can be seen on the banner at the top of this website. A larger version of that image is below:
I originally modelled a 6 man crew for the merchant brig which transported Jacobite siege artillery across the Forth in January 1746. However, when I modified that same brig to represent the French transport, La Renommée, I gave it six guns. I therefore needed more crew for its original merchant brig role.
When I wrote my original post about the capture of HMS Hazard in Montrose Harbour in November 1745, I understood that the French ship involved was the 26 gun French Frigate “La Renommée”, which is what Christopher Duffy said on page 527 of his “Fight for a Throne”.
However, I have since had an online conversation with David Stockman, the author of the excellent (and free) PDF booklet on that famous French Frigate. He kindly shared the original French report of the action at Montrose with me, which makes it clear that the vessel involved was a much smaller 12 gun chartered French merchant transport, also of that same name. I therefore amended my original post and also needed a model for that merchant vessel.