Here are the answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about the 33rd.
Who are you?
The 33rd Regiment of Foot, Inc. is a 501(C)3 non-profit public benefit educational corporation based in Southern California. We are a group of people who share an interest in bringing history to life. As member unit of our parent organization, The British Brigade, we work to fulfill their purpose: to keep alive the life and times of the soldiers and people who served in and traveled with the 33rd Regiment of Foot during the American War for Independence. To that end, we have recreated, as accurately as our research has allowed, a battalion company of infantry soldiers of King George the Third's 33rd Regiment of Foot.
What is the 33rd Foot?
The 33rd Foot was one of the British infantry regiments that served King George III against the rebels in North America during the Revolutionary war. A crack regiment, the 33rd was commanded by Lord Cornwallis himself, and distinguished itself in most of the major actions of the war. The 33rd was widely regarded by friend and foe alike as one of the best of the King's regiments. The 33rd Foot lives on (over 300 years after its founding in 1702 by the Earl of Huntingdon) as The Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment - a combat unit in todays modern British Army. Our unit depicts the Colonel's Company of the 33rd Foot, uniformed and equipped as it would have been from its arrival in America in May of 1776 through the surrender at Yorktown in 1781.
What do you do?
We portray the military life and custom of the period in all its aspects. Far from being the mindless automaton represented in popular mythology, the British soldier was a formidable adversary who won most of the battles. We present "living history" demonstrations of drill, camp life, and field tactics. We present shows and talks to schools, as well as interested civic and fraternal groups. We travel to take part in re-enactments of Revolutionary War battles with other members of the Brigade of the American Revolution and British Brigade. We have even been to England as escort to Queen Elizabeth II for the Royal opening of the Royal Armouries Museum in Yorkshire, and we marched with the Dukes in the Tercentenary celebration of the founding of the Regiment.
Where do you get your uniforms and equipment?
All our members are volunteers, and bear the cost of their own uniforms, equipment, and travel. We make everything that we can ourselves. What we can't make is purchased from vendors who specialise in quality recreations. Our uniforms and equipment are the product of years of research, and we take great pride in their accuracy. The Duke of Wellington's Regimental Museum was impressed enough by our work that they asked for one of our uniforms to display. Only accurate materials are used - wool, linen, brass, pewter, leather, steel, wood, &c., and we use period tailoring and assembly techniques throughout.
How much does it cost?:
The basic required uniform, arms, and equipment runs close to $1500. Travel expenses to events Back East can run to $300-$400 per event. Individual annual membership dues are $25, with a discount for additional family members.
Why are you doing a British unit? Aren't you patriotic?
In order to tell the entire story of the times, all sides must be represented. By depicting the British soldier as he was - tough, capable, and courageous - we educate the public, debunking many inaccurate ideas about the British that have been handed down for generations. Being part of the 33rd certainly does not mean that any of our members think our Founding Fathers were wrong to fight for our freedom. We believe that an accurate portrayal of the infamous Redcoat will bring increased respect for the hardships the Founding Fathers had to overcome to create this great nation. Doing a British unit is also much more difficult. The standards of drill, discipline, and dress can be much higher than for the rebel side. Knowing this, many of our members relish the challenge.
Who can join?
We have no special requirements, nor is membership limited to decendants of participants in the war. In order to take the field as a soldier under arms, you must be at least 18 years of age, and physically able to handle a musket. Children may participate as long as their parent or legal guardian is an active member of the regiment. There is no upper age limit.
What about the wife and kids? What can they do?
The armies of the time had a number of civilians attached, and as living history is definitely a family oriented hobby, hubands, wives, children, and sweethearts of our modern day soldiers can take part by depicting their 18th century counterparts. The men, women, and children interpreting the various supporting civilian parts play a vital role in portraying the camp life of the time.
What battles did the 33rd participate in?
The 33rd Regiment of Foot landed at Cape Fear, North Carolina, in May of 1776 and saw action at: