So your new to reenacting and I'm sure I will have address lots of questions you may have from all the pages of information I have added to the website. However, I have been tasked with recruiting and have started to talk to new people coming into the hobby. This has proved useful for both parties, for me to gain an insight into what its like being new and for them to pass on my knowledge. In regards to the former, I informed them that anything they said would probably be used on the website to help others... some of these chats have almost turn into something like a police interrogation. Apologies for that!
DM - So are you new to reenacting, or have you done anything similar?
Enquirer 1 - From a re-enactment point of view no I’m a complete newbie. I recently got into airsoft a few years ago and go to Pickering for the WW2 railway In wartime and the re-enactments in Whitby.
DM - I started in a similar way, I used to run one of the first WW2 airsoft team about 20 years ago* (* at this point I then realise how old I am) then I moved onto reenacting. Do you have any kit yet?
Enquirer 1 - No not got anything as of yet. Waiting for the big man to come then I’ll start looking into everything. I hope I’ve been nice enough, either a nice ICS M1 Garand or a WE-tech M1A1 Thompson
DM - If you can go with a M1 Garand, do that, you'll start in almost every group at the bottom rung of the ladder and a rifleman is always so desirable for all groups.
Enquirer 1 - Yeah thinking about getting an airsoft M1 Garand that way I can use it for airsoft too! Got to make your way up the ladder somehow. I’m from Sheffield so might be a trek down south.
DM - Events are spread right across the country, so some will be far, some will be local, that's just the way it is. Every group doesn't really have a home location. Everything is dealt with online like memberships and we just meet at events, or if some members are close enough we meet up.
Enquirer 1 - Do you pay on arrival then and do you have to have public liability insurance etc.
DM - Members all get into the shows for free. After all, without us and other groups, there is no show! We pay subs to the group and those pay for the less exciting things like insurances, cooking gas and things like that. Money also goes into buying more exciting things like display items. There is a whole list of things we would like to own!
I had a friend request on Facebook, nothing too unusual; but this time I got a message almost right away asking -
Enquirer 2 - How do I get into reenacting? I messaged ****** group but they ignored me.
DM - Hi, so pleased you messaged me. It is a really easy hobby to get into. What did you want to reenact, anything in particular?
Enquirer 2 - What do you mean 'what do I want to do?'
DM - As you know in the army there are a 1001 different trades and professions, well the American Army during ww2 was no different. From the different types of combat troops, the most common being rifleman, to other specialities like Bazooka, mortar man, LMG crew, radioman etc. you could take a very alternative route and become something non combat, combat medic, doctor, dentist, typist, clerk, driver, mechanic, quarter master... you name it, we can fit you in.
Enquirer 2 - I see that’s good thank you, I just want to be regular infantry.
DM - Perfect, well every group is always short on regular Troopers, so that would suit us perfectly.
Enquirer 2 - What kit do I need?
DM - There is a complete list on the website, however the best thing I think you should do as a brand new person coming into the hobby, is to get the very minimum of kit. Which is the M42 jump suit, jump boots and an M1 helmet. You can then attend an event and be apart of everything. You'll get to meet us all, see if you like us and if we like you. As long as your not an bayonet wielding nutter who's going to try and stab us all then you can join properly. From then on-wards you'll have to pay subs, but you'll be a part of the group.
Enquirer 2 - Do I need to apply for a license to shoot?
DM - No licenses are required to own blank firing guns, you'll have to jump through some hops to purchase one, but nothing we can't help you with. If you want to own a live firing gun and shoot blanks, then you'll need to jump through thousands of hoops, buy a gun safe and have it mounted in your house etc. However, it does give you options for other guns.
Enquirer 2 - where are the meets? I’m based *******shire
DM - We have members spread right across the UK, some are really local to you. Because we are spread almost nationwide, it gives us the ability to attend a huge spread of shows. We are all attending the Stoneleigh Militaria show in February. If your attending, we would all love to meet up with you, its also a great place to buy kit and get some bargains.
Enquirer 2 - Oh great, what do they sell there?
DM - *laughs* well, how can I put this, everything!
Enquirer 2 - but like what?
DM - Everything military related since time began, but mainly ww1 & ww2.
Enquirer 2 - sounds great, I will come and meet you.
DM - Great, in the meantime if you have any other questions or need advice just let me know.