Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Glorious Obsession Part 3; The War diaries of my toy soldiers 1990 -

Barry Hilton - My Scottish battalions in particular have had more attention lavished upon them than any others. I may well have leant towards the Jacobite cause if alive at the time but have always been fascinated by the mercenary regiments from Scotland who fought for the French and the Dutch.

This sketch is the facing page for the records of Dumbarton's Regiment. Known under a variety of titles between 1685 and 1714 the oldest line regiment in the army was on the English establishment and not the Scots. My battalion features elsewhere in the blog but here it is again.

One of the first units I painted was General Hugh Mackay's and they have the largest single number of entries running to about 74. Although I repainted the originals once and completely re did the battalion with Foundry figures I kept the continuity of the record. Below is the facing page from their journal;

Mackay's giving fire in some tight spot or another

Within my recording of their exploits their are the writings of Sergeant Robert Munro, a literate common soldier who occasionally contributed long narrative diary entries of significant battles. Here are a couple of Munro's entries written in pseudo Old Scots to give a little bit more flavour. These were done purely for my own amusement and have never been read by anyone else before.

The above two entries cover a disastrous river crossing at Namur under fire in 1695 and the defence of the village of Laer  during the battle of Neerwinden in 1693. 

This entry concerns a fight against Monmouth's Rebel Army near Reading in 1685. Mackay's regiment have by far the most written about them with in excess of 10,000 words.

Ramsay's Regiment are also old campaigners and they have somewhere near 70 entries in their journal including specific details where all battalions of the brigade managed to serve together (the third being Balfour's which I never painted but which occasionally took the field with my own regiments.
This is the facing page of Ramsay's journal.

Ramsay's have a pretty good record as this random double page shows. Several good performances recorded in some detail.
In the shot above they are awaiting a Highland charge during our recent Derby weekender. Four encounters which have as yet NOT been recorded in their journal despite the fact that they faced down a charge for the Cameron's of Locheil during one of the encounters!

This last journal facing page was for the Earl of Leven's Regiment who. despite being very pretty, had to my recollection an extremely undistinguished career. So much so that during one of my frequent reorganizations they became the Royal Fuzileers who they remain to this day.

So at last, some although not all has been revealed. What could I have done with all this time if I hadn't wasted it on pointless writing? Painted more figures, watched TV, gamed, gone to the pub, read a book.... Hmmm, I think I did all of that too!


  1. Really enjoyable article series! Part of me wishes you published this journal as a source of entertainment and inspiration for all of us! Perfect timing as my first order of Warfare Miniatures arrived and will start painting now!

  2. Great read. Why didn't you painted up Balfour's regiment? You have the flags in your store. I'm kinda in the same predicament, have the other two, but not that one for some odd reason.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Great stuff, Barry! MacKay's account of the campaign was the focus of my undergraduate thesis, so always love seeing his regiment represented. I plan to recreate them for Donnybrook.

    Wasn't Leven's Regiment the one raised by the Convention of Estates in Edinburgh...and became the King's Own Scottish Borderers?

  4. My goodness! I am delighted that you are all interested and not laughing! Dave had me convinced I was some kind of lunatic!
    With regard to Balfour's, I never painted them as another of the guys we gamed with then had Balfour's so there was no need for me to paint them. He has not been around for years now. I should really consider doing the entire brigade over with Warfare. That would be a nice project for me.. maybe in 2014 then.... Thanks for all of your comments.

    1. We all know you are a lunatic, but we like you just the same. 8-)

  5. And yes, Leven's did become the KOSBs.

  6. This kind of OCD is similar to my D&D campaign world. When I started playing D&D in the late 70's (crap!), I began designing my own setting. I never stopped. I haven't even played D&D in the last three or four years, but I still enjoy spending spare moments to filling in details... nations, characters, guilds, knightly orders, trade routes, resources, history, plots, rumors... This information might simply a scrawled note on a post-it or a compiled digital file with graphics, digital layouts, etc., but I have EVERYTHING I've ever developed for the campaign. The stack of notebooks, folders and binders takes up a whole shelf of my bookcase!

    1. I used to do this back in grad school when I would set up Pirate games using Lego minifigs and ships. I even went so far as to do histories of the uniforms! I re-discovered my old notebooks in my basement recently. Good nostalgic fun!

  7. Barry,
    I think that we are all awed by the details you included in you notes, the many details you wrote down and the remarks you placed there yourself. Very impressive, Sir!

    What Mr. DOB's like to say or not is his belief but of course not mine:-) Wasn't it in Mathematics that minus and minus gives plus? So, if one lunatic blames another to be a lunatic...well?

    Your notes will work well on Regiments with one Battalion.
    But in my case that would be a bit far more extensive than your notes!
    48 Battalions in Regiments of 1,2 or 3 Battalions would be alot of notes...!

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I knew the topic was of specific interest to you Gunter hence the three part article.. (you are now getting custom articles too!!). Of course all 48 Saxon battalions will not be taking the field together... or will they?? That should be more manageable!

    1. You mean I should start with those 16 Battalions that played poker with the Devil last time in Derby? Yep, that maybe a start.
      If all Battalions go into one Battle will mostly depend on what Scenario will be played at the next weekenders;-)

  9. I have to admit those are quite good illustrations from a lunatic 8-)


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