The 21eme Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne is a Napoleonic reenactment society based in the UK. We provide living history displays and attend battle displays to portray as accurately as possible the uniform, drill, life and tactics of the soldiers of Napoleon's Grande Armee. We attend reenactment events across England and Wales, and once or twice a year we make trips to Europe to attend larger continental events.
We can also provide extras for relevant film work
Our film work includes Vanity Fair (1998), Weekend Warriors (2015) and Vanity Fair (2018).
HOW WE CAME TO BE
The 21eme re-enactment group was first formed in the 1979 by a few English enthusiasts of the Napoleonic Wars. Over the years the regiment has gone from strength to strength, adapting and updating its portrayal of uniform and drill as research continues to develop. In 2018 the 21eme affiliated with the Napoleonic Association and became an integral part of the Association's French Brigade. Together, with our fellow UK French units, we strive for close co-operation, progressive improvement in our kit and routines, and comradeship both within and beyond the UK French Brigade!
In re-enactment, we believe there's always something we can improve upon, and if something can be done in a way closer to history, we believe in doing it. It's important to us to keep up with the latest research and work with other units, both in the UK and beyond, to improve the many aspects of our portrayal. Keeping the hobby fun for our members is also a priority. After all, at the end of the day, what we do is a hobby, and we wouldn't do it if it became a chore! So striking a balance and ensuring members have as much personal choice as possible is equally important to us.
There are several aspects to our portrayal of the 21eme that we are conscious of:
Uniform & Equipment - Research into the uniform and equipment of the 21eme is constantly being updated. When we learn of pieces of kit that our regiment would have had, we strive to adopt new uniform and equipment. We give ourselves reachable targets every re-enactment season, this way we improve our appearance every year.
Drill - We spend extensive time reading translations of the drill manuals of the time, primarily the 1791 'Reglement concernant l'exercise et les manoeuvres de l'infanterie' . We aim for high standards with our drill to make our movements as close to the drill as possible. We train on our Ecole de Soldat as a unit, and with our fellow UK French units, we practice our Ecole de Peleton for larger scale manoeuvres. When we go on trips across the continent, we practice the Ecole de Bataillon with our fellow units to portray the French tactical formations that defeated the armies of Europe.
Camp Life - We work to find how the French Napoleonic soldier experienced the average military day. We research into activities to show to the public rooted in history, such as inspections, parades, roll calls, discipline and pay distribution. These displays are aimed to education the public of a French soldier's life outside of battling and campaigning.