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Monday, 27 August 2018

CHOSEN PUP! Alice Takes The King's Shilling And Enlists In The 95th Rifles...


A great day out at Military Odyssey today, the weekend-long celebration of all things military.

Thanks to being able to rent a mobility scooter for the day, and the weather being much reasonable than last year, it meant we were able to stay for hours and look round pretty much everything.

One of my highlights of the day was meeting up again with Rifleman Harris (aka Jason Salkey), from one of the greatest TV shows of all time, Sharpe . He’s such a lovely fellow and was very taken with Alice as well.

We were chatting about the making of Sharpe, and the book he's working on about it, and Jason told me that Paul McGann (aka The Eighth Doctor to me) was originally cast in the lead, but several days into filming he injured himself and the role had to be recast.

It's genuinely impossible to picture anyone other than Sean Bean in the role of Richard Sharpe, so I was genuinely gobsmacked by this revelation.

How different would the face of television have been if McGann had stayed on as the lead in Sharpe... perhaps he might not have taken on the mantle of The Doctor in the Doctor Who TV movie and maybe Sean Bean might not have been cast as Ned Stark in Game Of Thrones!

Can you imagine it???



Another highlight of Military Odyssey was being able to operate the machine gun in the back of a Huey as we looked for Charlie in the jungles of 'Nam.

Well, okay, Alice and I sat in a static helicopter while Rachel snapped pictures of us, but it was still really cool.

Alice's first time in a helicopter...

Unfortunately, even though she got to ride in my lap, on the scooter, as much as she wanted, Alice was still pretty freaked out by all the noise, which was somewhat distressing to us as we'd hoped she would have gotten more accustomed to it. When, in truth, she seems to be getting worse!

That said, as might be expected, she got a lot of attention - and cuddles - from strangers, which did help to distract her.

Besides fudge and a new Rifleman Harris autograph, the only other purchase of the day was three 70-year-old wartime newspapers, which I was very taken by.

These are genuine, not replicas, papers from 1942, 1944, and 1945 with frontpages about the introduction of the "jet-plane" to the RAF, the Battle of Midway, and the meeting of the American and Russian forces at Torgau.


These papers are marvellous artefacts from the Second World War and I look forward to reading through them in time, seeing what nuggets I can find.

We visited with living history demonstrators from across time, learned about the role of female war correspondents, watched parades, nosed around plenty of stalls, and chatty with bevy of very friendly people.

While the pre-gunpowder era is represented at Military Odyssey, and is more my thing (despite me being decked out in an SSR t-shirt and 101 Airborne jacket this year), the event is largely focused on the 1800s onwards - with Napoleonics, Wild West, the Redcoats, American Civil War, Second World War, Vietnam War, and more modern conflicts getting the lion's share of acreage at the Kent County Showground.

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