Posted by: Wayne Robinson | April 24, 2010

Cowan Drill

Suppose They Held a Drill and Nobody Came?

Nobody to pike with

Fortunately, that wasn’t the case this time, although the “leisurely drill in the afternoon” experiment wasn’t as successful as it might have been.

The second drill of the year was held on a sleepy Sunday afternoon in picturesque Cowan Park. The songbirds arrived early and put on an excellent demonstration of Display Dining (TM) in preparation for Linwood House in May.

Drill started a little late (due to the baggage train catching every damn red light between the Ms4 and 2 and M2 and F3) but the Captain soon whipped us in to shape. We must have been an awe-inspiring sight with our ensign, drum, two muskets and 1.6 pikes. It was nice to see the Kent brothers so well represented on the field.

A fine body of (ahem!) men

This and subsequent photos by Vixen

Some very rusty manouvres were practised, first while standing and later on the march. Going from shoulder to charge and charging to the rear were a bit of a challenge. The Captain promised to avoid using the “recover” commands as much as possible, to avoid  the ranks recovering to three or more different positions. Some discussion ensued on the question of what the musketeers do while the pikeman handle their pikes. This will now be followed with deep consultation of drill manuals.


Wheelings and counter-marchings were vigorously practiced in both line and file, and when the Captain was satisfied we were of reasonable firmness, took us on a route march from the park looping around the town and back again. Interestingly, in that part of the woods, the powerlines are lower than a pike at the advance. An emergency shoulder avoided messy complications. By the time we’d returned to our origin, we’d attracted quite a band of camp followers.

Camp followers

We packed in record time and retired to the pub for the greatest discovery of the day: Strongbow Dry no longer contains pear juice and is drinkable again!



  1. […] nipped off for a quick pike drill in the park and when we came back 40 minutes later, released the clamps and removed the […]

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