Getting ready for a right old battle!

The Gordon Highlanders 1914-1918 are proud to appear again at the World Wars Experience at the National Museum of Flight.

We greatly value our continued relationship with the National Museums Scotland and look forward to doing our best once again, to recreate the life of the soldiers of the Gordon Highlanders during the First World War.

First World War Gordon Highlanders at ease in the trenches
First World War Gordon Highlanders at ease in the trenches.

Preparing for an event of this nature involves quite a bit of work behind the scenes. First and foremost, we have to make sure that we know exactly what the organisers want. Each show is different and we need to make sure we tailor our performance to deliver both what is required and what is compatible with the site. We need to work out a programme with the organisers, do a recce of the the site and decide with the organisers, where the camp-site and other static elements of our display will go.

First World War Gordon Highlander in the trenches
First World War Gordon Highlander in the trenches.

We find out what PA system is available, and ensure arrangements are in place for food, washing and toilets.  We have to decide on appropriate kit for the event, and also whether or not we are able to use pyrotechnics – if so, we have to obtain them.  Members are briefed on how to get to the event site and transport arrangements made accordingly.

On the weekend itself, we have to transport all the stores, including tents, props, spare kit, display boards, and youngsters’ kit for dressing up and set-up the camp-site, normally the day before the event. Finally we have to work up our presentations, making sure that any new features are properly rehearsed before we deliver them. So, nothing much to do really…

First World War Gordon Highlanders' camp
First World War Gordon Highlanders’ camp at World Wars Experience in 2011.

At the World Wars Experience, we will be delivering a range of presentations, hopefully to suit all tastes. These will include:

  • An all-action arena display, which will feature unit training, including PT, gas drills and bayonet drill, and will end with a small simulated attack on a German position
  • Participation in a ‘fashion parade’ of uniforms from both World Wars
  • A pretty hard-hitting presentation entitled ‘After the battle’ in which we concentrate on the experience of the soldier after going over the top
  • An authentic camp-site in which you will be able to meet the soldiers and ask them about their experiences, their uniform and kit. You might even be able to try on the uniform if we have one to fit!
  • At the camp-site, you will also find:
  • A miniature ‘barbed wire’ assault course for the youngsters to crawl through – but beware in case the Germans hear you!
  • Kilts and jackets for the youngsters to try on – we can even take the youngsters for drill – give ‘em some discipline!
  • A set of display boards on the Highland Soldier in the Great War, which we hope to set up in one of the interior spaces.

We are looking forward to taking part again in the World Wars Experience.  If you want to find out more about us, please visit our website at

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