Welcome to the website for the Napoleonic French 1st Regiment of Foot Artillery, Australia.
Our aim is to recreate the life of the ordinary French artilleryman in the service of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. We research and create the arms, accoutrements, drill and life of the ordinary artilleryman through primary sources and living history. Our group participates in period camping, drill and engages in battle re-enactments. It is a proud member project of the Living History Resource Group.
The 1er Regiment d'Artillery-a-Pied forms the artillery arm of La Brigade Française which is aligned with the Australian Napoleonic Association. Our group consists of 2 sections. Section 1 is based in the Sydney Metropolitan area, commanded by Mark Peters. Section 2 is based in Canberra/Monaro, commanded by Capitaine Tony Miller.
Regimental Uniform and Gear
Gunners and crew are expected to dress as French artillerymen from an early stage in the war (say, around 1806 or earlier). This need not be expensive as you can start with a simple great coat, blue pants and black shoes and work up from there. It is important to always wear wool to protect your chest from fire.
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 Corpse 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 ceramic mug, a 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 sleeping bags should be hidden.
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 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.