To become a member you’ll need to complete a membership form and be accepted into the unit. There is an annual membership fee to pay but if you join at or after the last event of the summer this will entitle you to membership for the following year. Otherwise membership is due on January 1st each year.
If you want to take an active part at events you will need to purchase a uniform or period civilian outfit. Our standards are very high and all items should be either purchased through the unit or checked with the quartermaster. One of the ways we stand out from other re-enactment units is the quality and uniformity of our kit. The full basic uniform will cost over £500, but is generally purchased one piece at a time. Alternatively, to speed things up a new recruit can set up a standing order to the unit. Once this is done we can organise for them to have kit given on a ‘hire purchase’ arrangement which enables the recruit to join the unit on events much sooner. This is organised on a personal basis between the recruit the QM and the committee.
A firelock will be needed to take part in drill and firing displays, unless you wish to be a drummer. We prefer you to have a standard India pattern brown bess musket and bayonet for uniformity. Contact the quartermaster to find out our supply of these. If you want to buy and keep one, you’ll have to get a shotgun certificate from your local police force. To fire it you will also need a licence to handle blackpowder. The unit can assist you in getting these licences but the responsibility lies with you.
All your kit should be well cared for and kept clean. Many of our events in this country portray the unit on home service. Remember that we are representing a unit of the British army and shabby or dirty kit will not be tolerated for these events. Similarly your behavior whilst in uniform should comply to the standards of the time. Ranks should be respected and any duties cheerfully carried out. Don’t worry, we take good care of our members in the 33rd and you will not be forced to do anything you don’t want to.
For those of you who aspire rank be warned. Firstly we ask you to serve a full year as a private before you can be nominated for any rank. Secondly all ranks are elected by the membership at our AGM. Thirdly we concentrate on the ordinary line private and do not have many other ranks in the unit. Remember, we are all ‘actors’ and that nobody can actually order you to do anything. The officer or NCO is merely acting the part when giving orders and we expect members to ‘act’ the correct response.
The unit holds drill sessions once a month over the winter in Leeds to keep everybody up to scratch and to train new members. We hope that you can make as many of these as possible so that everybody can work together as one body at events. The drill looks fairly complex but when broken down to its constituent parts it’s fairly straightforward.
If you’d like to find out more about the company and its members or receive a list of the current year’s events click here.