Oporto and Albuera Despatch - May 2009

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CM Steven Hars

Oporto and Albuera Despatch - May 2009

Post by CM Steven Hars » Tue May 12, 2009 9:28 pm

The 95th Rifles Living History Society representing
1st Battalion 95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot (1/95) and 2nd Battalion 44th East Essex Regiment of Foot (2/44)
participated at:

Oporto, Portugal - 7-11 May 2009 - 200th anniversary of Wellington's crossing of the Douro, 12 May 1809.
Albuera, Spain - 14-18 May 2009 - 198th anniversary of the Battle of Albuera, 16 May 1811, by the British/Portuguese/Spanish Army under General Beresford.

Got back last night from Porto. Alan and Les Earp and the rest of the 44th stayed over there for Albuera, lucky gits!

The battles were the best I've ever taken part in including a night street battle on the south bank of the Douro. But the best was the crossing of the river in five port barges, landing on the north bank, taking the French by surprise and forcing them into an ignominious retreat through the streets of Porto. The sound ricocheting off the buildings was deafening and the huge crowds were really encouraging the redcoats!

The 44th were the only English heavy infantry there but we were ably assisted by the Dutch 92nd Highlanders as well as the Portuguese. I have to admit that our volleys were awesome, I've never fired so many in a battle, and unusually, there was no shortage of powder.

Alan Earp upheld the honour of the 1/95th showing the few other sweeps (Portuguese) there how it should be done while Les took loads of video. We were mgnificently led by Major Parker and Captain Surgeon Page took care of our bodily needs.

Oh, and beer only 50 cents a bottle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All in all - awesome!

I had to come back and the other lucky buglers have gone on to Lisbon, Badajoz, Albuera and Madrid!!!! :mrgreen:

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Alan Earp
95thRLHS Secretary
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Location: St Albans
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Re: Oporto and Albuera Despatch - May 2009

Post by Alan Earp » Tue May 19, 2009 10:07 pm

Quick summary:
Oporto:
2 street battles, one at night - awesome.
1 practice river crossing and then for real for second battle.
Loads of rounds fired, extremely loud.
Medal at the end of the campaign.

Badajoz:
Les and I walked round the whole walled sections, me in uniform. I did a storming of ditch and wall - got up the ditch and about 4 metres before sheer, vertical wall beat me. All captured on video, must warrant a VS for being in Badajoz in uniform and being 21st Century forlorn hope!

Albuera:
3 battles, including one street where we all were slaughter on the steps of the old church.
Field battles - extremely close and bloody loud cannons that shook the ground, loads of smoke canisters of varying colours (was there mustard gas?), loads of cavalry, loads of troops in a small area of the battlefield where the French launched their feints. Pyros exploding all around, constantly, sharpnel everywhere. Accompanying music as well. Terrific for the huge crowds.

All captured on video by Penfold and I must say he's done a great job from viewing the rushes.

Talavera:
Return trip to Madrid, the motorway crossed the battlefield so we got a quick view of the environs.
Lt Col Alan Earp
Commanding Officer 1/95


"True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders"

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Penfold
Q/M Serjeant Major 1/95th
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Re: Oporto and Albuera Despatch - May 2009

Post by Penfold » Wed May 20, 2009 11:54 am

I am still cream crackered after all that walking in extreme heat and eating all that funny food but well worth it!! I also had the honour of carrying the colours on two parades thanks to Major Ed and the 44th! :D
QMS Les Earp
1/95
No. 1 Coy No. 87

CM Steven Hars

Re: Oporto and Albuera Despatch - May 2009

Post by CM Steven Hars » Wed May 20, 2009 12:30 pm

The link below shows the River Duoro and the Rabelo Boats (Port Barges) which we crossed the river in. No doubt there will be Penfold pics to follow. Unfortunately the barrels were empty!

http://www.pbase.com/joseelias/image/93283652

http://www.pbase.com/joseelias/image/58074249

Another couple of Youtube clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsY6Ud1-KNs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjiLu4BE ... re=related

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Alan Earp
95thRLHS Secretary
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:14 pm
Location: St Albans
Contact:

Re: Oporto and Albuera Despatch - May 2009

Post by Alan Earp » Wed May 20, 2009 7:47 pm

Image

1/95th & 2/44th crossing the Duoro:

Image
Lt Col Alan Earp
Commanding Officer 1/95


"True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders"

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