Battle of Cheriton reconstructed

The reconstruction last weekend.

The reconstruction last weekend.

First published in Winchester Romsey Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A HISTORIC battle near Alresford was brought to life, as two county groups came together.

The Battle of Cheriton Project teamed up with Hampshire Royal British Legion to stage a two-day event in memory of the 1644 clash.

History through the Ages brought arena displays, military encampments, entertainment, stalls, and re-enactments of the battle, which was fought in fields a short distance from the showground at Scrubbs Farm near the village.

Organisers hailed it a roaring success, despite Saturday’s torrential rain which meant the programme was called off an hour early.

Chairman of the organising committee, Gillian Gray-Knight, said: “The show provided by the various re-enactment groups was impressive and really slick. It provided tremendous entertainment for the public. We were particularly impressed by the support we received from groups of young people, particularly the 14th Eastleigh Scout & Guide Band, the Young Farmers who managed our car parking arrangements and members of the Army Cadet Force from Bordon who acted as arena marshals and stewards.”

County officials, Poppy Appeal fundraisers, members from the RBL’s women’s section, and the Riders’ Branch were all found in the Legion’s marquee.

The World War II trench walks conducted by Airborne Division re-enactors proved popular, and on Sunday one tour saw 200 people visiting the forward observation trench, watch a medical officer and padre attending a severely injured soldier in the medical area, before watching a gun crew strafe the enemy from their dugout.

Two-hundred members of the Sealed Knot re-acted the English Civil War battle on both days, and on Sunday they held a grand parade and commemorative service. Re-enactors representing the Union and Confederate armies of the American Civil War brought the event to a thrilling but noisy finish, with their musket fire crackling across the showground and echoing through the woods.

Any profit made will help fund an archaeological dig at the historic battlefield site, and swell the RBL’s Poppy Appeal fund.

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