Welcome to our website. We are members and supporters of a small Australian living history group seeking to recreate the life of French artilleryman in the service of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. We participate in period camping, drill, and take part in battle re-enactments with like minded groups and individuals.
We are currently expanding our interpretation to recognise the French contribution to Australian history (and international science) during the time of the Baudin expedition (1800-1804).
“1er Régiment d'Artillerie de la Marine” means the “First Artillery Regiment of the Navy”. We are a member project of the Living History Resource Group and part of the artillery arm of "La Brigade Français” in Australia. We respect the distinguished history of the regiment now known as "1er Régiment d'Artillerie de Marine" (First Marine Artillery Regiment) and do not represent them. We are re-enactors. They are heroes.
Regimental Uniform and Gear
Gunners and crew are expected to dress as French artillerymen from an early stage in the war (around 1806). This need not be expensive as you can start with a simple great coat, long pants and black shoes and work up from there. It is important to always wear wool to protect your chest from fire. Here is our generic gear that everybody should work towards. The naval artillery uniforms are slightly different but most public events require these essentials.
Over time you will need:
1) Buckle shoes.
2) Black gaiters.
3) Dark blue fall-front trousers.
4) White or natural coloured period shirt with black cravat or neck stock.
5) Dark blue vest, with or without sleeves. Brass artillery buttons with our regiment number.
6) Dark blue long artillery habit (pre 1809). More brass regimental buttons.
7) Bonnet-de-Police cap or shako.
8) White cross belts with cartridge box and sword. We don't need muskets or bayonets as they'd only get in the way when using the cannons.
9) Haversacks are optional, but look great.
All of these items can be purchased from the Corps Sutler at http://corpsutler.tripod.com/index.html.
Each position on a gun crew requires different skills and equipment. These can be provided.
Firer: Leather belt pouch for fuses. This may also be used by the vent tender.
Vent tender: Leather thumbstall and pouch for a pricker or gimlet.
Rammer: Heavy leather gloves (such as modern welding gloves).
Loader: Leather satchel to hold cartridges (similar to those used during the American Civil War).
In order to fit in with the camp, you will need period eating utensils. This means no stainless steel items. The cheapest way to start is with a ceramic mug, wooden bowl, and fingers. Tin cups, bowls and cultery are all prone to rust so take good care of them. Canteens are also recommended but not essential.
Unlike our historical counterparts, we sleep in the comfort of tents when camping. When the tent flaps are open, everything visible should be period correct. That means modern sleeping bags should be out of sight.
Our cannons fire blank charges but are potentially dangerous. For that reason we expect all gunners and crew to take their roles seriously and that begins with abstaining from alcohol during an event, and up to 12 hours before. It's not worth the risk, or the hang over.
Our biggest event of the year is "Ironfest" and it gets very cold in Lithgow. Don't say you weren't warned.
Gunners are qualified with a P634 cannon permit (Commissioners Permit - cannon) from Firearms Registry. Gun crews need to be trained and certified on a P635 form before an event so it's never too soon to contact us if you'd like to don the uniform and fight for the Napoleonic ideals and the Code.
For information about the law pertaining to cannons for reenactment, visit the Firearms Registry web site.