With the 200th anniversary of Waterloo only two months away, this year’s re-enactment at Ickworth House was bound to be bigger than ever.
And so it proved, with 250 enactors from all over the country and more than 4,700 visitors advancing on the park of the house built at the height of the Napoleanic wars.
The annual event is organised by the 95th Rifles who are also leading the British contingent to Belgium for the battle re-enactment on June 18, for which all units must be accredited. Ickworth was the first training camp of the year.
The aim is to show people why Wellington said of his men “I don’t know what effect these men will have on the enemy, but by God, they terrify me”, without actually hurting anyone as the muskets blaze.
Visitors not only saw Wellington’s regiments in action against Napoleon’s 45eme de Ligne (45th Regiment of the Line) but were able to walk around authentic looking military encampments of the period and learn about how the soldiers and camp followers lived on campaign.
Liz Thomas, Ickworth’s event co-ordinator, said: “Sunday equalled our fourth busiest day last year with just over 3,000 visitors.
“It’s an apt event for Ickworth. The 4th Earl of Bristol had his whole collection of treasures confiscated by Napoleon in 1803.”