The East Norfolk Militia

The East Norfolk Militia is a red coat Napoleonic era re-enactment group recreating the British Army's militia of the Georgian period of 1803-1815.

Blame Nelson!

The seed for the unit arose from the Gt. Yarmouth millennium celebrations, which centred around the local hero, Lord Horatio Nelson. Although fought on the 1st of August 1798, Nelson did not return to Britain for two years. Arriving at Yarmouth on August 6th 1800, the Town feted the returning hero along with his mistress Lady Hamilton. The men making up the nucleus of the Militia made up the numbers of some of the units formed for this occasion. The pictures show both marine, fusilier and line battalions greeting Lord Nelson as he arrived in the Napoleonic frigate Grand Turk - veteran of many maritime films and festivals.

In 2005 it was decided to make a celebration of the bicentennial of the death of Nelson at the battle of Traflagar. Great Yarmouth and Norwich Councils came together to make something of the occasion. The high spot was to be a pageant at the Norfolk Show. Many re-enactor units were called upon to provide the window dressing for the display. The veterans of the millennium pageant got together and with funding from Bernard Matthews, the unit was formally established. With the 9th Norfolk Regiment and 95th Rifles, the Militia to centre stage at the Norfolk Show ( it must be said here that often dodgy units were place between seasoned units to stop them running away)

We even got to meet HRH Prince Andrew. Our officers spent some frantic moments trying to work out what to say when they were asked,"And who the hell are you?" Since then, our unit has slowly grown in numbers. Better equipment has been obtained. Haversacks, water bottles and back packs have all appeared. The replica guns are now outnumbered by firing muskets. Black powder licences and health and safety documents both complicate our lives but our unit gets better.