Photograph: Tower Hamlets Trayned Bandes

Every bit as important as the roles of the soldiers are those of our regimental civilians. The Tower Hamlets Trayned Bandes seek to recreate a military unit of the Civil Wars and at large battle recreations the emphasis understandably is on the soldiers. At smaller events in period locations and at living history events, however, civilians are brought much more into focus and are of special interest to the public for the contrast they create with the soldiers.

Photo: John Beardsworth

The Tower Hamlets Trayned Bandes were, by their nature, a social as well as military organisation. This is also especially true of the recreated regiment and is reflected in the civilian roles – craftsmen make useful items and repair equipment, musicians entertain us and the public, preachers watch out for our moral well-being, servants and clerks bring order to the lives of officers, and goodwives and families lend their support and cater to the inner man!

Civilian roles also provide an additional outlet for some who may represent soldiers at larger events and are a great opportunity for those who do not take part in pitched battles, including children, to come to the fore of regimental life.