Sunday, October 31, 2021

When life gets in the way


  I have busy with other things as of late hence no posting for a while.  Or at least no wargame material or answering emails.  instead we have been traveling and celebrating Janine's birthday and then getting ready for my return to the working world.  Yes my retirement has ended and looks like I will be returning to work at JetBlue.  But at Boston and not Worcester.  For her birthday Janine had wanted to getaway to a warmer climate, okay some golf and see some (Amerucan) football.  So we went off to Orlando Florida for a week.  Neither of us are golfers but we took a couple lessons and by the end I was hitting more balls then pieces of grass and dirt. Janine used to play a lot with her father and is pretty goid.  Neither of us are very competitive but just enjoy getting out and hitting the ball.  If nothing else it was a pleasant way to get out in the sun.  We also took in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs the Chicago Bears .  it's the second game this year I gave been to.  The first was in September with my sun Nathaniel when we went to see the Buccaneers okay the Cowboys.  Interestingly Nathan likes a game that goes down to the last minute (final score was 31 to 29) while Janine likes a more relaxed game (i.e. a blow out, 38 to 3).  Both like it when their team wins!  Both got the type of game they wanted and I was just happy to get out and enjoy football in person again. 

  The reports of my retirement have been premature.  Back in 2020 the airline closed our station and I was retired.  I am not ready to retire and although I found things to do and enjoyed the time getting in a good number of games I was seriously adrift.  It wasn't the way I wanted to end my second career and honestly I liked getting out and working.  So I had been looking for some work (part time not full time) to pass the time.  Nothing really interesting but I did note that not many places are interested in hiring a person of my age.  So it was with a bit of surprise that JetBlue reached out and wanted to know if I would return to work, part time in Boston.  I will be going off to training in early November run back to Boston.  Of course getting back to work just before the holidays and just as winter hits is going to be interesting.  

  Since I will be busy working again we decided to celebrate  by continuing our road trip but this time heading north to Acadia in Maine.  We plan on walking to trails and coast line and just relaxing a bit.  



Friday, October 8, 2021

Sudbury Historical Society Talk


  On Saturday morning I  attended a tour of the  Wandsworth cemetery at Sudbury Massachusetts.  The cemetery is located on the lower slope of  the hill where Captain's  Wadsworth and Brocklebank and their  companies fought on 18 April 1676.  Most of the men killed during that action were buried in a mass grave near here and later moved to the large monument in the center of the cemetery.

The tour was put on by the Sudbury Historical Society.  In addition to talking about the Sudbury fight in 1676 it also talked about a number of the individuals  buried there.  Members of the society dressed in period clothing stood near that Igrave to tell you a little about them. It was most interesting and entertaining. 

I was particularly interested and enjoyed talking to the World War One "veteran" dressed in an authentic uniform of a member of a medical company.  My grandfather Edward McNamara served in the medical company of the 101st regiment 26th "Yankee Division."

Following talk I took a quick drive past some of the sites associated with the 1676 fight.  Looking at the picture of the monument the colonial companies had been fighting up the hill from where the monument is located today.  Driving up Concord road to Lancaster road you go between Goodwin and Green hills.  This is the area the Native warriors ambushed the companies marching from Marlboro to relieve the Haynes Garrison house.  The militia held if the warriors for a number if hours until they were forced to retreat down the hill when the grass and brush are set fire.  As they raced down the hill most were overtaken an killed.  Later their bodies were collected and buried about Fifty yards to the right of the monument.  When the monument was built in 1852 the mass grave was dug up and the bones re buried under it.  

About eleven militia men escaped the fight and took refuge in the Hop Brook Mill at the foot of the hill.  This is located by Concord road and Route 20 (The Boston Post Road) in Sudbury today.  The area has been built over and nothing remains of the battleground.

On the way home I made sure to go pass the Haynes garrison house site.  Its about two miles from the cemetery.  The site today is marked but very overgrown.  

There is also a good view of the area where the Concord river runs in the distance. Its along the modern tree line.   A small group of eleven men from Concord marched along the river to come to assist the town of Sudbury.  This view from the Haynes site showed the view the members of the garrison  might have had of the approach of the Concord men.  Near where the bridge is today (to the left of the tree in the distance) they were ambushed with only a single individual escaping.  Later the bodies were burning by the Bridge.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Fife and Drum muster at Wayside Inn


  On Saturday 25 September Janine and I went to the annual Fife and Drum muster at the Wayside Inn at Sudbury Massachusetts.  This was the 50th anniversary muster and it was outstanding getting together again after missing last year due to covid.   The weather was great, there was cold draft beer available and plenty of great Fife and Drum groups.


The muster field opens about 10:00 am.  Once you arrive to watch fund a patch of ground to set up on for the day.  

  There are various vendors selling crafts and such.  One vender made toy soldiers out of clothes pins!  And he hand made A really neat castle also.  

 During the morning there are also some demonstrations like 18th century military drill and dancing. 

Middlesex Fife and Drum 

 At 12:00 A grand parade is held where all groups present march onto the field and pass in review.

The Ancient Mariners

Stowe Minute Men

The Old Guard (3rd US Infantry)

William Diamond Junior High School Fife and Drum Corps.

Grand Republic

For the remainder of the day each group gets to perform.  They set up in the center of the field and are in the spot light.  

After that is over a few individuals get together and jam together.  That is great fun.

A bunch of friends I have not seen in over twenty years!

Fritz meets up with his old friend

And a chance to see old friends again after a long time.  It was a wonderful time and wonderful day.  I am already looking forward to next year.


See you next year!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Franco Prussian game


At club game night I played in a most excellent Franco Prussian war game.  Kevin put on a great game with his beautifully painted 25mm figures and terrain.  The French Corp was dug in by a cross road and had a naval detachment with a couple large guns to anchor their right flank.  The Prussian had to advance and capture the cross roads.  Rules used were "Noch Paris " and figures were 25mm.

The French dug in along the cross roads, taking advantage of every inch of cover.

The Prussian army had A tough nut to crack.  First, they massed their artillery on the left (5 batteries), in the center (3 batteries) and on the right (3 batteries).  These guns concentrated on the French guns in counter battery fire.  By the fourth game turn they had silenced all but two guns.

At thus point the Prussian started to advance.

Good cover did not protect the infantry from the massed batteries.  Slowly in the French center and left flank battalions were forced back.

After artillery forced the defenders to abandon this building the Prussian infantry moved into it.  There was little the French could do to retake it as each time a battalion moved up it was forced back by artillery fire.

One bright spot for the French was a massed charge by their cavalry!  they managed to hit A Prussian battalion before it could deploy, and forced the batteries on the Prussian left to retire.  But it was a fleeting moment and the decimated cavalry was soon fleeing the field.  Followed by this the  Prussian left flank moved his infantry forward into the open.  But before they reached the enemy they were cut down by rifle and artillery fire.

By the end of the game the Prussian left flank was recovering.  But in the center and French left the Prussian infantry was slowly pushing back the French and taking key positions.  

It was a very good game that certainly captured the feeling of the war.  The Prussian artillery was deadly and certainly the key to the battle.  It think,in future games it is perhaps not as numerous as in this one.  That said its a fascinating period and very colorful and I hope this is the first of many games.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Mr Ed's Big Book Give Away


  "If you don't go, you'll never forgive yourself " said Janine.  She ment if I did not go to "Ed's Big Book Give Away" Wednesday night  I would never forgive myself.  

  Ed, is Of course Ed from "Ed M's Wargames Meanderings Blog" and on Wednesday night at 6:30 pm he was having a once in a lifetime book give away.  He was clearing out his wargame room to make improvements and told us he was giving away a number of books.  Actually nine boxes of books.  And if you know anything about Ed its that his library is more then excellent.  What treasure would we find?  Be there at 6:30 and fund out.

  So I drove from my house the hour and a half up to the wilds of New Hampshire to arrive at his door step.  Ed's wife Amanda had made a big pot of chili and the small group of us (George, Byron, Ralph and myself) enjoyed a delightful meal before moving to the living room and pawing through the treasure chests of books like pirates looting a ship or Vikings sacking a town.

What did I come away with you ask!

Funcken Uniforms:

I have been trying g to get a copy of "The Lace Wars" for years and years.  Imagine my delight when the first thing I see is the hardback copy.  Oh joy of joy!  I can now die a happy man.  (but let's hope not yet of course!)

And to also get the Napoleonic set!  This was the best day ever!

Greece and Rome at War:

Another beautiful and informative book.

Osprey books: 

always useful and a easy read.

Napoleonic Wars:  

Chandler's "Napoleon's Marshalls" and also his "Campaigns of Napoleon";  Elting's "Swords around the Throne" and two outstanding battle studies on "Austerlitz" and "Eylau to Friedland.". The last two are beautiful coffee table style books with outstanding maps and uniform plates.

Military miniatures and Wargames: 

Outstanding books here.  Charles Grant Jr has wonderful books that both delight and inspire you.  " Wargames in Miniatures" was the first book I read about fighting battles with toy soldiers.  And the David Wilson book on the French army of the War if Austrian Succession is packed full of great stuff.

Books I always wanted to read but haven't:

Classics like Nolan's "The Iron Brigade" and "Zeppelins over London.". " The War birds " is an outstanding memoir from WW1.  And finally "Silent Night" about the Christmas truce.

An old sentimental favorite:

my parents got me this book when I was very young.  Not sure what ever happened to it.  Possibly read it till it fell apart.  So I grabbed this for the memories and because it was a fun read.

  Quite a haul of  books!  Now to fund A space for them all.

Thank you again Ed!  It was a very momentous night.