- Fort Cumberland Guard
Newhaven Fort will be filled today with the
sounds and smells of mid-nineteenth century soldiery, as the
Fort Cumberland Guard re-enact the lives and work of sea soldiers
in the period between 1830 and 1860. The ‘soldiers’
(they’re non-enlisted men doing this as a hobby) will
be dressed in the period uniforms: double-breasted, tail-coated
and of high-collared Prussian design. Not great in the hot
sun then, especially as each soldier will also be loaded down
with a 9lb muzzle-loading percussion musket which is 4’7”
long even before the addition of its 17-inch bayonet.
The group are based along the coast at Portsmouth’s
Southsea Castle where they put on regular re-enactments. Last
year they played a major role in the Trafalgar 200 celebrations.
In Newhaven, they will be performing various activities throughout
the day, including ground drill, musket firing and rifle drill.
Expect smoke, fire, shouting and a whole lot of banging from
the Corps of Drums, who will also be present in the Fort today,
wearing the slightly later 1860’s uniforms. As it’s
Easter, there will of course also be a ‘hunt’
on hand, this time in the form of an Easter quiz and a bunnies
and chicks trail around the museum’s exhibits. NW