The Battle of White Plains 1776 was commemorated at the Jacob Purdy House once again. The White Plains Historical Society were fine hosts throughout the day. At 10:30, the Union Flag was raised by the 35th and the 42nd Royal Highlanders to mark the start of the "occupation" and at noon there was a brief salute and raising of the Colours with General Washington. The background of the battle was explained to the public by "Abigail Purdy" and the names of the American Continental soldiers who died in the engagement were read with a drum roll for each name. The event had a few brief moments of drizzle which may have kept some people home, but there were bands playing military music throughout the afternoon and the reenactors were fed a lovely stew. Crafts, a surgery, and military life were on display throughout the event, remembering and commemorating a battle of particular significance to the 35th Regiment in particular and the New York campaign in general.
An extraordinary time was had by all at the Royal Engagement 1839 celebration held on the lawn of Willow Hall in Morristown. Our largest early Victorian event to date, we had Kim G. portraying HM Queen Victoria and Shane P. as HRH Prince Albert in addition to 6 soldiers and 5 ladies-in-waiting to the Queen for a total of thirteen Victorians in peak style.
The occasion was 183 years to the day when Victoria, as social superior, proposed to her cousin, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Their union was sealed on February 10, 1840, and lasted 21 years until Albert's death from what is believed to have been typhoid fever. Victoria never really recovered from losing her beloved husband and thereafter seen as having changed from the vibrant mother of the nation to the somber monarch in perpetual mourning.
Our event, however, was a universally happy one. The 35th Royal Sussex Regiment had an Other Ranks mess alongside the royal picnic, attended by those of quality. A luncheon was served for all, followed by a tea at 3:00 and a hearty dinner of stew, bread, and pie in the evening. Compliments are extended to Tony S. who served as cook for the day as well as to Sharon for all her efforts with food preparation. Shane brought his silver and finery along with additional furnishings to elevate a humble camp into a place fitting for a regal yet relaxing afternoon out.
Military drills were carried out to practice the men in the particulars of marching and musketry. A feu de joie was fired for Her Majesty on the joyous occasion.
Her Majesty also presented the captain with a brilliant knight commander's breast star for what has since been dubbed the "Order of the Diamond." This, she said, was in recognition of his 20 years serving as the Royal Sussex Society's president and commander.
Our team came together to assemble a fantastic event. Once the event ended, thanks to working together, took down and packed up one of the largest camps we have made in quick time, leaving no trace behind on the grounds.
Pictures below by Ari Lopez Wei, Meredith Barnes, Athena Wu, Ryan Schmelzer, and Sir John Van Vliet, Bt. KCD.
Overview of activity, events, and other news for the Royal Sussex Society.