Thursday, 14 April 2011

Scottish Re-enactors

A couple of posts I've typed up for the blog recently have brought to my attention some military re-enactors based in Scotland.

I have found a few on the internet which I'll list below but if anyone knows of others please let us know. The flip side of that is if any of these organisations no longer exist please let us know too.

For example there seems to be a Napoleonic 95th Rifles unit in Scotland but I can't find anything about them. There also used to be a Napoleonic Royal Scots unit based in Edinburgh but I don't know if that has disbanded. Also I've found references to a medieval group called 'Gaddgedlar' but can't find any details of them.

Quite a few cover the same period so I don't know if there is friendly rivalry or snobbery within re-enactment?

Anyway we'd be happy to publicise any forthcoming Scottish re-enactment events either here or on our facebook page so if you belong to any of these groups please get in touch

There is a Second World War German re-enactment group based in Scotland but don't bother contacting us about them. They rightly deny they are a non-political group but I still don't like the idea of promoting a group which re-enacts units of Nazi Germany.

The words used below are from the re-enactors own web pages and I have no involvement with any of them so can't comment on their authenticity or aims.

The Antonine Guard

We are a Scottish based Living History Re-enactment Society and have adopted the Legio VI Victrix Pia Fidelis as our parent legion,this being one of the legions which built the Antonine Wall and Hadrians Wall.

The Glasgow Vikings

Bringing history to life for over 25 years.

The Glasgow Vikings are one of Scotland's oldest re-enactment groups. We pride ourselves on our skills both on and off the battlefield. We regularly train in a variety of weapons, from dagger to dane axe, spear to seax and most in between.

We also have a fully certified school visiting team.

Marr agus Fibh

"Marr agus Fibh" is a local group of Regia Anglorum, the UK's premier re-enactment society for the Anglo-Saxon and Viking age.

It is the aim of Marr agus Fibh to recreate, as accurately as possible, life throughout the period roughly between 950AD - 1070AD. This period of history is an incredibly exciting and complex time, with people from Northern Europe, partcularly Scandinavia, entering Britain and spreading their culture, religion and other influences across the lands of the native people. The main "eras" which we recreate are that of the Scots, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Normans, each having their own fascinating history and culture. Battles between kings and powerful lords in this period are commonplace and we try to recreate these combats using authentic weapons and fighting techniques. Everyday life is also an important area which we try to recreate, as the majority of the people would not be involved in such warfare and lived simple, peaceful lives. We use two main resources to help us recreate these periods, the Living History Exhibition and battle reenactment.

Carrick 800 Battle Re-enactment Society

Founded in 1986 the Carrick 800 Battle Re-enactment Society re-enact Mediaeval Scots, Viking and Mary Queen of Scots period living history camps and battle scenes throughout Scotland.


Aberdeen and North-east Scotland's premier group of mediaeval re-enactors, primarily portrays Scottish life during the late fifteenth century. We also re-enact the period of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce (1297-1329) and that of the Jacobite era of 1745-1746.

We depict historical events and stage banquets, focusing on the art and culture of the time. Group members make and wear costumes appropriate for the domestic, commercial and military sides of mediaeval life. Schiltron has performed throughout Scotland at castles, fairs and other locations, indoors and outdoors; including Traquair House, Castle Fraser, Drum Castle, Fyvie Castle and Aberdeen city; and also at mediaeval events at Dinan in France and Tewkesbury in England.

The Company of Saint Margaret

The Company of Saint Margaret is historical re-enactment group operating mostly from Edinburgh, Scotland. Our current focus is on the time periods around the year 1300 and the later end of the 1400's.

At present we try to represent a travelling Medieval household. This includes a lord and his lady, their family, retainers, household servants and craftsmen.

We provide a living history encampment with displays of medieval life, crafts and combat. We also take part in medieval battles, foot combat tourneys and archery competitions.

The Borderers

"The Borderers" is a small group of enthusiasts, from all over Britain (as well as some members who travel across from the Netherlands) who have come together in order to pursue and research the way of life of the Border Reivers - "The Steill Bonnets" -and is carried out through a programme of "Living History".

The group is based at Old Buittle Tower in Dumfries and Galloway Region in the South West of Scotland, not too far from the ancient haunts of the Reivers. The Tower is home to Jeffrey and Janet Burn who provide the facilities used by the society, which include horses, stables, a forge, a dyeing facility and a recreated Period Kitchen and Medieval Hall. The work of the Society can be seen by the public at weekend shows. The Easter and August Bank Holidays events are open to the general public. Other events are held approximately every six weks apart from Easter to December (see “Diary” page).

Earl of Loudoun's Regiment of Foote

As part of the English Civil War Society the Earl of Loudoun's Regiment of Foote, which belongs to the Armie of the Covenant, participates in the accurate re-enactment of 17th century life and warfare.

We are a Lowland Scots infantry regiment based on the actual recorded regiment which was raised in Glasgow and which saw extensive military service on the smokey battlefields of the 1640s. We meet at "musters" which can vary in size from small "living histories" and small drill displays up to full blown "majors" or battles. All arms of military life are employed in the society; regiments of infantry armed with pike and musket, squadrons of horse (cavalry) and batteries of ordnance (cannon). The regiment prides itself on its skill at arms on the battlefield, its historic realism both in combat and lifestyle, its individual members knowledge of the period and above all its friendly family atmosphere.

The regiment also gets involved in re-enacting periods beyond the life term of the actual regiment, in fact anything between 1638 and 1746. Preston 1648, Worcester 1651, Killiecrankie 1689 and Prestonpans 1745 are battles which have been re-enacted by the regiment, obviously in a different guise from Loudoun's. We have alter egos in the form of Pirates and Jacobite Highlanders.

Col Hugh Fraser's Dragoones

Fraser's Dragoones today are the most northerly regiment of the Sealed Knot society and were formed in the 1970's by a group of friends at Aberdeen University. Today the majority of our membership still lives in the North East of Scotland but we have active members from all walks of life living all over Britain.

As well as travelling throughout the UK to take part in the Sealed Knot's "major muster" battle re­enactments Fraser's Dragoones also organise other events at historic properties throughout Scotland, visit schools and museums to give educational presentations and have an active social scene.

On the Sealed Knot battlefield we portray a veteran musket unit as part of the Scots Brigade and as such can be deployed, depending on circumstances, as either Parliament or Royalist.

We are proud of our authenticity and attention to historical detail and our aim is to recreate 17th Century military camp life and display the use of musket, pike and artillery in an educational way which is exciting for visitors and participants alike. Our extensive "Living History" camp is a full immersion experience and as well as soldiers we portray the armourers, barber surgeons, cooks, beggars, washer women and other camp followers who would have lived under the colours of the regiment. There is a place in Col Fraser's for everyone.

With the opportunity to participate with friends and comrades in events at such prestigious castles as Edinburgh, Stirling, Urquhart, Edzell, Drum, Blackness, Dumbarton and Duart as well as other locations throughout Scotland, what better way to spend a weekend!

Manus O'Cahans Regiment of Foot

Manus O’Cahans Regiment of Foot are a group of reenactors, and form part of the Sealed Knot, Europes premier Reenactment Society

Manus O’Cahans has active combatants both male and female, of all ages and occupations, based in Central Scotland and with membership throughout Britain and Ireland

Manus O’Cahans takes part in, and organises, events all over the British Isles and Europe, from battles and skirmishes to living history displays and talks. During the winter months we have training events and banquets, and many of the members meet socially on a regular basis all year round. We also have a regular regimental newsletter, and The Sealed Knot has a full colour bi-monthly magazine.

The Gordon Highlanders 1914-1918

The Gordon Highlanders 1914-18 exist to re-create as accurately as possible the life of the soldiers of the Gordon Highlanders during the Great War 1914-18.

We believe we are currently the only living history group in the United Kingdom devoted full-time to portraying the Highland Soldier in the Great War.

Commando D Living History Group

We revive and teach the original training methods of the WWII Commandos and Allied forces. Specialising in the close-quarters system of Fairbairn and Sykes in the hand to hand, knife fighting and pistol shooting, plus we also raise money for veterans with sponsored speed marches

The Scottish Military Re-Enactment Society

The Scottish Military Re-enactment Society was raised in 1993. The intention was then, and is now, to ensure that the memory of those men and women who fought for the allied cause during World War II, shall never be forgotten. The Society is a non profit making organisation although it has taken part in fundraising events for various charities, including the annual collection for the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

The Society participates in many events during the year. A typical weekend can include the static display of equipment, uniforms, weapons and vehicles. We also have a large tent which houses our audio-visual presentation as well as a "hands on" equipment display.

Training weekends can be arranged for Field-Craft, Map Reading, Weapons Handling and, if you are really keen, Drill! (Photos opposite show a Small Scale Raiding Force in operation).

Units within SMRS include: a Combined Operations Section in particular the Small Scale Raiding Force, the Special Operations Executive, Airborne (British and American), Infantry, Royal Navy, Home Guard and the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

The G.I. Guys

The GI Guys have a passionate interest in the WW2 period.


We are located in West and Central Scotland and combine to provide living history displays at WW2 /1940’s themed events, parties, school and club talks.

We class ourselves as Amateur Historians, with a good knowledge and understanding of several aspects of WW2, including the British Home Front, US Airborne Forces, the US Airforce, the US Navy, the French Resistance, Arctic Warfare and the SOE/OSS (Clandestine Warfare).

We feel that by doing this, we are playing our part in keeping the spirit of the 40's alive......a time of great sacrifice but also a time where nations united for the common good, where community spirit and helping a neighbour was the order of the day, a time when people survived on very little and the make do and mend mentality ruled supreme.

Although this is a hobby, all displays are presented in a proper, respectful and safe manner. We are affiliated to the All Forces Reenactment Association

Liberte SOE

We are a small group of like minded individuals with a long standing interest in the WW2 Period. We are located in central and West Scotland and have been involved in the Military Vehicle/Living History scene for a few years now.

We can mount small to medium displays and have access to a Wartime Jeep, original Wartime equipment, including our very own Air Raid Siren!

We also attend Primary schools to engage the children and assist in their studies of Britain and WW2. We do this by offering sessions on the lead up to WW2, The Blitz, Evacuation, rationing, local history relating to WW2 (tailored to each school) and finish with Wartime James Bond.

These groups covers several periods.

Fire and Sword

Fire and sword was started in 1998 by Hugh Robertson. He was soon joined by like minded folk, they started doing shows at local museums and private events.

Within the year they had progressed to the pinacle of Historic Scotland properties.

With time came a well rounded show of arms, displaying the use of the norman sheild wall, the famouse scottish schiltron, the dreaded war bow and amazing combats from quarterstaff though to axe and shield to the sword fight.

Now, with new members bringing other skills and ideas and with other members studying the original fighting manuals, Fire and Sword has

expanded it's ideas and now can do displays from the early 1200's all the way to the 1700's including everything from padded armour to plate, from plaid to red coat,

The Historic Saltire Society

The Historic Saltire Society is an organisation dedicated to two things. The first is living history and the second is Fun!

From humble beginnings in Inverness, the group now has members from all over the country, and travel the length and breadth of Scotland to various venues to perform for our audiences.

The society has many members, ranging from noble knights, their squires who help put on their armour, their enlisted peasants who end up doing most of the fighting, ladies of the court in fine dresses who, when not too busy with their embroidery, look on anxiously, to the craftsment and tradespeople who just get on with their jobs, from candlemaking to pole lathing.

The Society was started many years ago when our wise and venerable (not to mention old) leader, Alan, picked a fight with a baldy man called Alistair. The two have never looked back, and have seen the group grow over the years to its current large size.

Northern Alliance

Recreating the Wars of Independence, the 15th Century and the Jacobite Risings in the North of Scotland

Northern Alliance is a historical live interpretation group based in the Highlands of Scotland. Although the group’s core is based around the Inverness area, we have members from all over Scotland, and even some from England. The group organises, and takes part in battle recreations, and living history presentations portraying elements of three distinct periods of Scotland’s history: The Wars of Independence; the fifteenth century; and the Jacobite Risings of the early/mid eighteenth century.

Live interpretation is a very powerful communication tool, and as such should be used responsibly. However, it does provide an immediate, tactile and accessible interpretation of the past which is popular with historic sites around Scotland. Presentations can re-enforce mistakes and myths or they can be used to correct misconceptions and educate in an entertaining manner. Our history is often more exciting and enthralling than legends and modern films portray.

Northern Alliance thoroughly researches all elements of their presentations and displays, in order to educate through entertainment, and undertakes valuable experimental archaeology; for if the events and lives portrayed are not historically accurate, not only in material detail but more importantly in attitudes and social consciousness, increasingly our present lives will be based on a fictitious past. The ethos and driving force behind the group is to represent, as accurately as possible, the lives of ordinary people from our history, who often lived through extraordinary times.

Although Northern Alliance takes the accuracy of their displays seriously, enjoyment can be had from mixing with a group of likeminded people, sharing their interests and their passion for history. Members get the opportunity to learn and experiment with historical skills and discover how our ancestors lived their daily lives. Throughout an event, all food is cooked in a period manner, and everyone lives in a historical camp with period clothing and authentic accommodation. This level of commitment to accuracy and detail is continued when participating in battle recreations where the armour, equipment and skills have been thoroughly researched to present faithful recreation of Scottish soldiers on military campaign.

Why do members do it? There are various reasons, but these frequently include getting away from the hustle & bustle of the everyday life, taking a step back into the past, learning traditional skills, and making friends with people who share their love of our history, these friends often become friends for life. Members get the opportunity to meet and learn from people with different experiences and expertise, pooling ideas to enhance the overall experience and discover new things about our past or learn skills in danger of being forgotten.


Lothene is a historical re-enactment group specialising in aspects of Scottish history, in particular the 16th Century and the Viking era.
We recreate both combat and the civilian life of the era.

We have also taken part in recreations of Saxon era life, the 18th Century and the Wars of Independence in the 13th and 14th Centuries.

Swords of Dalriada

We are the Swords of Dalriada (pronounced 'Dal-ree-adda'), a Scottish historical re-enactment group based in Ayrshire, who perform all over Scotland (and occasionally outwith). Our group focuses on bringing the conflicts that shaped Scotland to life. The time periods we cover include; the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Viking invasions, Iron Age Caledonia and the Jacobite rebellion. We do both living history and battle re-enactment. This means that not only do we recreate battles, we also demonstrate what life was like throughout Scotlands history.

Our work covers a large range of shows and displays. From working by ourselves to working with other groups. From taking part in large scale shows to putting on small displays for gala days and fetes.

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