Upper Thames Military Reenactment Society

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"More from Morier: A Series in Detail" by Ryan Gale

This keynote workshop will examine in detail the series of paintings by Swiss artish David Morier often called Morier's Grenadiers.  Mr. Gale will show enlarged images of the grenadiers and focus on often overlooked details.

Ryan Gale began his career as an artist and photographer, designing a writing many history related websites and books.  He is an avid French and Indian War and Revolutionary War reenactor.  In 2007 he published "A Soldier-Like Way: The Material Culture of the British Infantry, 1751 -1768," a book that has been very well received in the reenactment community and beyond.


"Handstitching for Period Construction and Finishing" by Sue Spencer
Fine Hand Stitching (a.k.a. the difference between "home made" and "hand made")
Explore the techniques for sewing and finishing commonly used before the widespread adoption of the sewing machine, including backstitch, blind stitch, blind hemming, easy rolled hems, French seams, strong tear mends, and lace application. In the course of the workshop, we will also include a discussion on how to hide the fact (on the outside) that you have used a sewing machine to make most of an authentic garment.  Both ladies and gentlemen are encouraged to attend.  Kit includes all materials required; participants should bring scissors and a pen, and, if required, reading glasses.
Susan Spencer can't remember when history was not an important part of her life.  Thrust into sewing at an early age by a mother frustrated by constant "borrowings" of garments from her closet -- which garments usually ended up as portions of costumes -- Susan took her first "1st prize" in historical costuming at age seven and never looked back.  To no one's surprise, she ended up working at Fort Edmonton in the late '70s, where she cut her teeth in the business of making history interesting to the public.  Life events caused a long professional hiatus from the world of history, but in 1993 she found her way back and founded Spencer's Mercantile, which has now grown to be a leading supplier of historical reproduction goods.
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"Lucy Patrick: An Early Settler to London tells her story" by Pauline Grondin
The story of Lucy Patrick, her husband Abraham, and their 12 children will be told in first person by professional storyteller Pauline Grondin.
Abraham was a soldier in the 1st Middlesex Regiment of Militia during the War of 1812.  He was one of the first settlers to Lambeth (present day London, Ontario) in 1809 and proved loyal to his new country.
Lucy will tell the family story from the year 1855, looking back over the years as an early pioneer.
The accompanying session will help participants create their own first person as reenactors.
Pauline Grondin is a "multiheretorial," a professional storyteller, historical interpreter, and heritage performer who has delighted audiences of all ages in Canada and the British Isles.  Following her French Canadian and Irish roots, she presents a potpourri of fairy tales, myths, legends, folk tales, self-penned and first person stories of Canadian history.

"'You can't handle the Truth:' Crime, Punishment and the British Soldier in the War of 1812" by Robert Henderson
This seminar will examine what crimes were committed by the common soldier and how the British army dispensed justice, formally and informally.  Finding appropriate punishments to fit the crime was never an easy task.  Adding the need to maintain army discipline in a time of war only complicated matters.  How these dynamics played out will also be studied.
Robert Henderson is a former military curator for Canada's National Historic sites.  He has served both as as an archival technician at the National Archives and has been and interpretive and educational specialist in Parks Canada.  He has authored several works on various historical subjects.

"'Woolen War Paint:' Uniform of the British Infantryman in the War of 1812" by Peter Twist and Robert Henderson
A head to toe look at what the British infantryman wore and why will be examined.  The attendee will discover how this dress was adapted to the North American climate, and how it was impacted by manufacturing and supply issues, along with wear and tear in the field.
Peter Twist has a background in engineering, fine arts and teaching and manages his own company, Twist Miniature Design.  Peter has hosted workshops, lectured and written on various history topics, and is active in the heritage community as a museum board member and event organizer. 

"A Very Pretty Object: The Socially Constructed Landscape of Burlington Heights, 1780-1815" by Michael McAllister
Landscape is a way of seeing.  It is a social construction.  Land is viewed, used and transformed by the humans who inhabit it.  The Mississauga were egalitarian stewards of the land finding in the natural features a spiritual potency.  Merchant Richard Beasley built material prosperity and influence which he demonstrated by developing his property in picturesque style.  Faced with the prospect of losing complete control of the Niagara Peninsula during the War of 1812, the British Army occupied the Heights and exerted a tyrranical influence across a landscape that it considered indefensible, devious and unhealthy.
Michael McAllister is currently the Co-ordinator of the Hamilton Military Museum and the Hamilton & Scourge Project.  He has a B.A. in Anthropological Archaeology from UofT and an M.A. in History from McMaster.  He has worked in museums and archaeology for the last 25 years.  His research interests include the War of 1812, the picturesque landscape movement of the late 18th/early 19th century and human settlement frontiers.

"Illuminating Dark Corners: Uncovering the Records of Upper Canada" by Greg Stott
By means of case studies and examples, Greg Stott will discuss ways by which genealogists and historians can use readily available archival materials to uncover the stories and lives of people in the late 18th and early 19th century Upper Canada.

"Historic Unmentionables: The Evolution of Women's Undergarments in the Victorian Age" by Sheila Johnson
Sheila Johnson, Executive Director of Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London, Ontario, will present how undergarments changed the women's shape throughout the Victorian age to meet the strict dictates of the latest fashion.  Replica garments will be on display.

"Roman Technology" by Robert Norton
This will be a condensed look at several ancient weapons and how they shaped modern technology.
Robert is a member of Legio XXX and he portrays a second century Roman Legonnaire.  His reenactment group is based in Southwestern Ontario.

"Typical 1800's Fare for the Gentleman and the Common Man" by Jen Papak and Melissa Vuk
Keep it Simple Soldier!!! That was the British Armys mentality when it came to feeding an army on the march. This lecture will examine typical fare for all classes from the basic Soldier to the Wealthiest Gentleman. We will be discussing what foods were popular and how to prepare them. This lecture will feature such topics as: "Location, Location, Location!!!: learning to focus on your surroundings and the season" and "If its imported you probably can't afford it: Planning a menu for the common man". So come join us as we go beyond salted pork and oatmeal and discover the many options to spice up your reenacting weekend.

"Musical Warriors: Musicians of the British Army" by Ross Flowers
Ross will speak about music and its role in the British Army during the Napoleonic War and War of 1812 time frame.
Ross serves as Drum Major for the "Drums 1812."  They are a highly regarded fife and drum corps who not only support the Crown Forces at War of 1812 events but have also performed in a number of significant parades and ceremonies across North America.  Much of the success and reputation of Drums 1812 is due to Ross' hard work and dedication.

"Nineteenth Century Mourning Practices" by Denise Ward

Nineteenth century mourning customs reached cult-like levels following the sudden death of Prince Albert in 1861. Queen Victoria became the epitome of Christian widowhood, and dictates of black at court set the fashion for the social classes. This presentation will examine Victotrian mourning customs, from the day of the funeral through the minimum 2 1/2 years mourning for a widow. We will look at the clothing required for the different stages of mourning including accessories such as hair and black jewelry, as well as other practices such as post-mortem photography, that accompanied death in Victorian times. A small exhibit of artifacts will complement the presentation.
Denise Ward has been involved in living history for over 25 years, focusing on the social and cultural position of women in the nineteenth century. She has researched and constructed Victorian clothing that have won national competitions, and has contributed to museum exhibits and living history conferences in the U.S.A. on the topic.

"From Dream to Reality: The Development and Implementation of an Education Day Program" by Jeff Brown
Based on actual experiences encountered in developing a WWI themed Education Day for Grade 10 students.  Featuring a power point presentation with plenty of great photos and numerous props and illustrations from the actual event.  This session will be of interest to anyone who may have considered putting an Education Day Program together and to everyone who enjoys actively engaging the public in a meaningful and captivating manor.  Engaging, interactive, fun and informative.

Quilting with Lynne Stott
This workshop will take two sessions.  Participants will creat a small quiliting project during the two sessions.  All materials will be supplied.

"Toward Building a Better Impression: Simulating Wear and Distress on your Re-Enactment Clothing" by Glendon Hovey
Glendon will speak on various methods of simulating wear on re-enactment clothing.  He will also discuss what the differences between the wear of "age" and the wear of "use."  Samples will be used and participants are invited to share their work.

"Bog Iron" by Chris Carter (author of Tour Olinda: Essex County's Only Ghost Town)
This workshop will cover the early iron industry in Canda.  You will learned abou the beginning of iron making in Quebec in the 1700's, then Ontario in the 1800's.  You will learn the value of the products made to the early settlers as well as the reasons for the business being in Ontario.  Time will also be taken to tell you abou the ghost towns that were created by these mining villages.  The workshop will use Olinda, Essex County as the main topic town with Normandale (sister town) and Marmora being used to fill in necessary information.
Whenever we visit a furnace, it must be remembered that countless individuals lived, worked and died at these sites.  You will learn the importance to the settlers in the area.  These towns built our province.
Contact Chris

"George Ferguson's War" by Ray Hobbes
George Ferguson was a pious Irish Methodist who joined the 100th Regiment of Foot, and served throughout the War of 1812 in Canada. He was a member of the Light Company, and took part in six battles throughout the war. Yet, he was a pacifist. This led to a lot of soul searching and his personal reflections shed an interesting light on his personal life, but also on the prominent role of Methodists in Upper Canada during the War.

"Toys Have Always Been With Us: Eighteenth Century Toys and Games" by Jim Gilbert
This workshop will have a hands-on, experiential learning focus to it.  Toys and games from the past will be briefly explained and then ample time will be given for participants, of all ages, to play with them.  Contests and prizes will enliven this session, and, based on years of experience, no one is too young or too old to enjoy this playful trip into the imaginative past.
Jim Gilbert is a former secondary school teacher and vice principal.  He was co-founder of one of Canada's most successful War of 1812 events in Chatham, Ontario (the Faire at the Forks).  Currently he is a partner in Faire Tyme Toys selling toys and games from the 18th century to museums, living history sites, and individuals throughout North America and beyond.  He is also co-founder and tour guide for both "Ghost Walks of Chatham Kent" and "On the Final Trail of Techumseh."

"Sheep to Yarn: Spinning with a Handspindle" by Janice Watterworth

This is an introduction to the history and creation of woollen yarn with a handspindle.  Handspindles are small and portable for re-enactors. Participants will learn the basics of spinning on a handspindle. Spindles and rovings will be provided for the workshop.


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"The POW experience of the British Prisoners after Moraviantown" by Tom Fournier
This workshop will be an examination of the Officers and Rank and File, primarily of the 41st Regiment, during their captivity in Ohio and Kentuky following the tumultuous events of 1813.  Prison camp life, retaliation through close confinements, high desertions rates and numerous prisoner deaths are all elements of this experience.
Tom Fournier is a War of 1812 enthusiast who has developed an interest in the history of the war beyond the commonly accessible literature associated with the War of 1812.  This has centred on reserach with original source documents examining the service of British soldiers, particularly the 41st Regiment of Foot in Canada from 1799 to 1815.  He currently serves as the Commanding Officer and Chairman for the 41st Regiment of Foot MLHG.