More of the army in it's infancy:
Although La Journee is dedicated to Verneuil and the battles of the 1420's during the HYW it would seem trite not to give a mention to the fact that it is now 597 year ago that a ragged band of Englishmen stood facing the combined might of France seemingly with little hope of surviving the day.
I think back to those few hours where England defeated the might of the French army with somber thought to all that died in those couple of hours. It reminds me that we are effectively still at war and brings me around to thinking of the brave souls (often in their very early manhood) we have to fight yet again in foreign lands. Whether you agree with the war in Afghanistan or not, they are still young men that we send there to fight and sometimes die!
Below you can see a couple of diagrams of the initial positions of the contending kingdoms. One a superimposed image of the probable initial positions and another showing how the French were probably offset and would have arrived in a somewhat piecemeal manner at the English lines.
It's probably worth mentioning that soon I will be starting work on a 28mm demo game of the Battle of Agincourt that will be shown at Salute on the 600th anniversary with a friend. It should be a real treat for anyone interested and I'll be keeping you all up to date on this blog so there's something to look forward to.
The rest, as they say, is history and I'm sure that if you are reading this blog because you have an interest in Medieval warfare you will not need me to describe in any detail what happened that rainy day on October 25th, St Cripsin Cripsianos Day.....
I suppose that we have to leave the final words to Mr Shakespeare (whome ever he was!).....
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.