TAKE UP ARMS AND DEFEND YOUR KING AND COUNTRY! (...and take the King's Shilling!)
PLEASE READ THE ITEMS BELOW CAREFULLY
There is a link to our online recruiting form after the information...
To join Thompson's company, you need the following...
1 - You must be a man/woman/other - provided you're human - who is 18 years of age or older and capable of light to moderate physical activity. Anyone UNDER this age will need parental consent and approval from the official Thompson's Company officers/officials. (16yrs to 18yrs needs consent from a parent or guardian, anyone 15 or under will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian and can not use a firelock at reenactments or displays.)
2 - You must have two good teeth... one upper and one lower that can meet to bite open a paper cartridge...
3 - You must be willing to attend meetings and/or training (when necessary) in Mississauga, Ontario.
4 - You will need to learn proper drill and procedures... This usually requires a minimum of a full day drill learning the basics and another day of practice... just for starters, but that's the minimum...
5 - Your time commitment to us must be (after the one mandatory drill date completed above every season for every member,) at least two external reenactments (day trips okay - overnight is not mandatory, but appreciated,) and as many Heritage Mississauga events as possible (events staged by or for Heritage Mississauga within the city of Mississauga and close surrounding areas - usually less than a one day commitment,) and our own "Engagement 1812" event....
...so a grand total of ONLY potentially seven (7) days per year as your minimum commitment!
6 - You understand that continuation of reenacting will require personal expenses... This is a VOLUNTEER organisation. (See below for kit requirement details...)
8 - Any and all weapons and kit you acquire for the purposes of reenacting early 19th century historical battles and lifestyles (think 1790's through to 1817 in Upper Canada) and acting as part of Thompson's Company at an event, kit MUST be approved by the officers and officials of the company.
9 - Access to or ownership of a vehicle is a bonus, but not essential... though you may need to carpool and fend for yourself for transportation.
AS OF APRIL 29TH, 2018 - There is a $20 iniation fee for new recruits OR a $20 Membership Fee at the start of each season for existing members.
If this sounds reasonable and do-able, then considering taking the coin!
OR, better yet, clicking here to fill out our online recruitment form!
...there is more information below about kit requirements, if interested...
Initially, we will do what we can to outfit you for training purposes and to ensure you wish to sign on and join us in the field! There will be no cost to you to get your feet wet in this hobby.
If you do wish to continue, you will need to equip yourself. Items can be acquired used or "on specials" at events or by watching online options (not to mention "we" will be keeping our eyes open for deals to help our members,) but below are some estimates of buying items new.
The accoutrements you will need to purchase for yourself if you follow through the first year are as follows...
- Drop front trousers with suspenders. (est. $130.00)
- Basic green hunting tunic (unadorned) and/or a green militia tunic with red facings and/or a gentleman's early 19th century tailcoat. (as militia, seeing civilian clothing isn't too odd in our ranks.) (est. between $250 and $550)
- Cross belts with a cartridge box and for bayonet. (est. $300.00)
- Stove-pipe shako (soldier's hat) with red-and-white tuft and/or green tuft (please speak to Thompson's officers to ensure the correct tuft,) or an appropriate hat or headgear. (Top hat, straw hat, forage cap, etc.) If you are dressing as a civilian, a shako would not be appropriate... keep that in mind. (est. $100 to $250 depending on the hat type.)
- Short gaiters. (est. $25.00)
- Neckerchief, cravat, or stock. (est. $20.00)
- Shirt. (est. $75.00)
- Black boots (hobnail 19th century British military preferred but modern police parade boots acceptable). (est. $50 to $250 depending on the boot)
- Haversack. (est. $25.00)
- Brown Bess Musket with strap, bayonet, flints, tools, and cleaning kit. (2nd or 3rd model Bess preferred.) (est. $650 to $1700 depending on manufacturer) - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Ranger, Sea Service, or Carbine are all appropriate for 1812 militia use.
CURRENTLY, YOU DO NOT NEED A SPECIAL LICENSE TO PURCHASE A MUSKET IN CANADA. It is considered an "antique replica" and is not considered a controlled firearm in the eyes of the authorities. See this link (click here) for details.
- Mess kit (cup, plate, cutlery, and bowl). (est. $25 to $50 depending on the type of kit)
Remember, you don't need to purchase everything all at the same time... you can spread things out over the course of a season (year) and your company mates will help fill in any blanks while you acquire your kit...
Knowing our officers, you will be "pressed" to get a jacket and hat of some sort, shirt, boots, pants, gaitors, and haversack as quickly as possible... then your firelock (musket) and belting/box.
TRUST ME on this one, you will want to purchase (for comfort and camp enjoyment) a good lantern (about $30,) some candles (less than $10,) canteen (about $50 to $120) or other appropriate vessel to carry some drinking water, and a good period appropriate vest or waist coat (about $80) for casual moments. Inexpensive items that make encampments much more enjoyable!
REMEMBER: All of the above is pretty much a one-time purchase... look after your kit and it will last decades! Most of my (your webmaster's) kit is over twelve years old!
Now, if you love this hobby as we do and wish to go all out, some suggested secondary equipment purchases would be...
- A period appropriate wedge tent (and ground sheet) which will range between $200 to $500 depending on features and manufacturer.
- Wool (or "wool looking") blankets which will cost you probably about $20 to $100 a blanket.
- Some good cast iron cookware... which again, ranges widely in prices. Always keep an eye out at yard sales and thrift shops.
- Barracks jacket (white with red or blue facings) which is about $130
- Latter-day Militia Tunic (Red coat with green facings) which is about $450, but looks sharp and is 100% acceptable in our lines!
- Alternative period correct firelock (Harper's Ferry rifle, Kentucky rifle, Jaeger rifle, Baker rifle, Springfield musket, Charleville musket...)* which range from $600 to $4500 and even higher depending on type and manufacturer.
* - Remember - It HAS to be period appropriate to 1812... so matchlocks should not be considered... nor would American Civil War armourment... and if you do purchase or bring anachronistic items, you will be asked to leave the field or, at the very least, keep them hidden from public view.
Swords and pistols are more officer's weapons... so please speak to the company officers before purchasing these items with an eye to reenacting.
Of course, this is for "fighting men"... we do also welcome people wishing to be camp followers and/or civilian interpretations... and information on that aspect of the hobby is available upon request.
So, READY TO JOIN IN THE FUN AND BURN SOME POWDER!?!