The unrelenting sun beat down on my face as I wondered if the SPF60 sunscreen would work. I felt the sweat form on my brow and run down my face onto my shoulders. The sparse trees inside the fort stood at attention like the reenactors in front of them; there was no wind to give us a respite from the heat. “God save the King” and “Rule Britannia” played on and on with fife and drum. Every note played brought us closer to being able to break our formations to find the nearest shady spot and have a drink.
With the temperature reaching 41 degrees Celsius with the humidex and heat stroke an ever present threat (an even larger one when you are wearing a uniform made of wool), hydration was key. Bless whoever invented Gatorade.
Along with a few dozen of my Second World War and Vietnam War reenactor friends, I traveled to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario this past weekend to take part in Echoes of Niagara’s Past – a military timeline event. A living history event showcasing Canada’s military history from 1812 to the present day. Taking place inside historic Fort George, the event drew a large crowd over two days. Events included a vehicle parade through the historic downtown, uniform and camp displays, day and night battles (with real guns firing blanks and REAL EXPLOSIONS), and even the “dapper soldier” fashion show which showcased the changes in uniforms over 200 years of evolution.
Of course I took photographs again, but I went one step further one more time and again used film. Here’s what I shot.
Photographs are of World War 2 (1944) and Vietnam Reenactors (1969).
All images captured on Kodak EKTAR100 colour film.