Thursday, 21 May 2015

Number 5 Company at Westfield - May 24

Number 5 Company, Crown Forces North America depicts British Army infantrymen from 1815.  Its members are drawn from War of 1812 re-enacting units across southern Ontario who will be travelling to Belgium in June to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.  They are here today to help prepare for their trip by performing authentic early 19th century military drill and musket firings.
This year is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.  In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte returned from exile, marshalled his French forces and again threatened Europe.  The British and their Prussian allies together defeated the French on the rain soaked farm fields of Belgium near Brussels on the 18th of June.

There probably weren’t many Canadians, if any, in the British forces at Waterloo in 1815, but in the 200th anniversary re-enactment of the battle over 100 Canadian re-enactors will join the British Forces.  In preparation for the expedition, members of Number 5 Company of the Crown Forces North America will be training at Westfield Heritage Village in Hamilton near Rockton. The members of Number 5 Company come from Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton.  They have been training together as a unit at Fort York and Fort George since January. All 16 of the red coated soldiers in the Company portray infantry and are members of various British, War of 1812, re-enactment regiments.

At Westfield, on Sunday the 24th, they will be practicing early 19th century battle drill, manoeuvres, and tactics. The uniforms they wear and the weapons they use, are exactly the same as the British equipment of the period.  The re-enacted Battle of Waterloo will be fought on the same ground as the original battle and will be the largest Napoleonic era battle re-enactment ever held with over 5000 infantry, cavalry and artillery on the field.

Members of the public are welcome to visit Westfield Heritage Village on the 24th and witness the soldiers of Number 5 Company practice.  There will be demonstrations of black powder musketry and members of the re-enactment group will be pleased to answer questions and discuss Napoleonic era battle tactics.
Westfield is a stunning collection of over 30 historical buildings which has made Westfield one of the most interesting historical destinations in Ontario. Carefully restored and staffed with costumed interpreters, the buildings capture the true charm and spirit of early Canadian culture.  Westfield is located at 1049 Kirkwall Road (formerly Regional Road 552), off Highway 8 in Rockton. For more information, call 519-621-8851 or e-mail:   Westfield is open Sundays and holidays from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. April to October. Special events run from March to December, hours may vary.

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