Sunday, 27 September 2015

Alice Hawkins Company, Leicester People's Assault Column

The Alice Hawkins Co of the Leicester PAC is an all women's company that is made up for the city's seamstresses and boot workers as well as members of the Independent Labour Party. A militant company, with a militant history these ladies banded together firstly as various workers militias from the various factories where they proved that they where the equal to any male militia, both is politics as way of training and determination. These women's militias naturally banded together and a loose company or branch was semi formed but lack leadership and direction to form a cohesive unit, that is until Alice Hawkins, suffragette, socialist, one of the founders of the Independent Labour Party in Leicester and supporter of the trade unions and the labour movement, took to organise these ladies into a unified fighting force.

Hawkins using her various influences in the city's corporation council and trade council, her son was in charge of it when the civil broke, to gain proper training for the ladies they proved to be more that the equal of the male workers militia. Politically the views of the ladies where more to the extreme left, with members being for the Trade Unions, the Communist Party Great Britain, the Clarion Group, the Independent Labour Party as well of Labour Party members and other left wing groups. The one thing that unified these ladies was there belief in equal rights for all and their hated of fascism.

When Gerry Cobain took command of the Leicester PAC he started to reorganise them into a competent fighting force, looking to the city's militias and recruiting from them to build up his force, he naturally gravitated to the more militant units and these ladies under the auspices and influence of Hawkins shone out brightly. In a meeting between Hawkins and Cobain an agreement was reached and the Alice Hawkins Company of the Leicester PAC was formed from the women's workers militias. 

Alice herself being to old to led the ladies into battle deferred the command over to Dorothy M. Adams, a member of the Communist Party and a teacher. Adams is know for her thinking out of the box and is a very hands on leader, believing that leading by example and deeds is as important as giving orders to someone to do. If Adams doesnt know how to do something herself she will often found learning how to do it, as an example, Adams attended technical school to learn cobbling so she could teach her sixth form girls how to mend the shoes of the Basque refugees being housed at Evington Hall.

The company is now formed, uniformed along the PAC lines is a "Socialist Green" shirt, khaki skirts and a red tie, and equipped with the latest equipment and arms the PAC has to offer. The Company's standard has been awarded and the know ready for action.

The Alice Hawkins Company Flag shows Alice Hawkins Suffragette and ILP roots as well as the Leicester PAC. The Suffragette tricolour and "justice" stand proud of on the flag along with the Suffragette slogan next to ILP and socialist symbols.

The figures are by Blind Beggar Miniatures and are rather nice and paint up lovely.

Have a nice day.


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Alice Hawkins' Section, Leicester PAC, WIP

Hi Chaps

Here is the start of my uniformed militia and I have spend many a week thinking should I do them as BUF or as a Socialist militia. In the end I went for a women's section for my growing PAC force for Leicester, more new on this coming soon. As may I introduce to you The Alice Hawkins' Section, Leicester PAC.

I have gone for my green and khaki look as with the other units of my PAC with their commander Gerry Cobain, the green I like to call "Socialist Green". I still have to finish a lot of the details like the ties and the hats, not to mention the belts, shoes and all manner of other things but I though it would be nice to shown the ladies off.

Here is the latest stage the darling ladies from the anti-fascist league are and they are coming along nicely. I have added the red tie and trim to the hats and done the red leather of the shoes and belts. I still have the weapons, tights and some of the hair to do but I am so far happy with the results. Feel free to comment.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Gerry Cobain and the Other Partizan Freebie

This time at Other Partizan the free figure was Sir Donald Wolfit. Famous actor and theatrical producer, well known for his Shakespeare, he did a legendary King Lear, apparently. We have portrayed him as he appears in 'Lawrence of Arabia' as a senior British officer. He was also in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' but not as a military officer. The figure was sculpted by Bill Thornhill of Footsore and Musketeer fame and he has done a wonderful job on him as he always does.

Once I saw this figure I wanted him as my commander for the Leicester People's Assault Column, PAC, but the arm I needed more in a clench fist salute rather than a arm raised about to give the order to attack. So off came the right arm and out with the bits box to see what I could find. It is a simple conversion as I used a shooting arm from Warlords plastic Brits, removed the hand and pinned it in place.I then used some liquid, plastic putty from Vallejo to blend in the arm and add some folds in the clothing on the sleeve and right shoulder. The clenched fist was from Gripping Beasts' Dark Age Warriors, one of the sling hands and all I had to do was simply remove the sling and file the arm smooth before gluing it to the arm. I told you it was simple.

Now for a bit of background on the new Leicester PAC Commander. Gerald Cobain. Jerry Cobain was born in Tehran, Persia, the youngest son of diplomat Arthur Cobain, 1st Baron Kirby. He was educated at Wellington College and Balliol College, Oxford. In 1909 Cobain joined HM Diplomatic Service. He served as attaché at Madrid from February to September 1911, and then Third Secretary at Constantinople from January 1912 to October 1914. During the First World War, he served at the Foreign Office in London, during which time he was promoted Second Secretary. Cobain in 1917 joined the British Army and rose to the rank of Major quickly but this would have a great effect on him later. He served in a junior capacity in the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, for which he was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1920 New Year Honours.

Promoted First Secretary in 1920, he was appointed private secretary to Sir Eric Drummond, first Secretary-General of the League of Nations, but was recalled to the Foreign Office in June 1920.

In 1925, he was promoted Counsellor and posted to Tehran as Chargé d'affaires. However, in Summer 1927 he was recalled to London and demoted to First Secretary for criticising his Minister, Sir Percy Loraine, in a dispatch. He was posted to Berlin as Chargé d'affaires in 1928. He was promoted Counsellor again, but resigned from the Diplomatic Service in September 1929.

From 1930 to 1931, Cobain edited the Londoner's Diary for the Evening Standard, but disliked writing about high-society gossip and quit within a year.

In 1931, he joined Sir Oswald Mosley and his recently formed New Party. He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament for the Combined English Universities in the general election that year and edited the party newspaper, Action. He ceased to support Mosley when the latter formed the British Union of Fascists the following year.

Cobain entered the House of Commons as National Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester West in the 1935 election. In the latter half of the 1930s he was among a relatively small number of MPs who alerted the country to the threat of fascism. More a follower of Anthony Eden in this regard than of Winston Churchill, he nevertheless was a friend (though not an intimate) of Churchill, and often supported his efforts in the Commons to stiffen British resolve and support rearmament.

Encouraged in his literary ambitions by his wife Rita Sackville-Baggins, also a writer, Cobain published a biography of French poet Paul Verlaine in 1921, to be followed by studies of other literary figures such as Tennyson, Byron, Swinburne and Sainte-Beuve. In 1933, he wrote an account of the Paris Peace Conference entitled Peacemaking 1919.

Cobain is also remembered for his 1932 novel Public Faces, foreshadowing the nuclear bomb. A fictional account of British national policy in 1939, it tells how Britain's secretary of state tried to keep world peace, even with the Royal Air Force aggressively brandishing rocket airplanes and an atomic bomb.

His fellow parliamentarian Robert Bernays characterized Cobain as being "...a national figure of the second degree." Cobain was variously an acquaintance, associate, friend, or intimate to such figures as Ramsay MacDonald, David Lloyd George, Duff Cooper, Anthony Eden and Winston Churchill, along with a host of literary and artistic figures.

At the outbreak of the Very British Civil War, Cobain tried to keep Leicester out of the war until it was found that the boots the city was making were for the British Union of Fascists which lead Cobain, along with the trade unionists to stop this shipment from being hand over to them and forcing the Corporation of Leicester to take a more left wing stand and joining the newly formed East Midlands Socialist League with the cities of Nottingham and Derby. 

Cobain was very insistent in keeping Leicester Local Defence Militias for the defence of the city only but as a junior member of the Corporation war council his views went unheard and when the unprepared city was attacked by the Duke of Rutland Cobain realised that he needed to stand up and be counted.

Cobain set back working with East Midlands Socialist League in the creating of a People's Assault Column for the defence of the League's area and to bringing the war to the fascists forces of the Mosley and the King. An ardent Anti-Fascist, he soon rose to prominence with the East Mids PAC and recently has been giving command of the Leicester Column. Cobain has set about reorganising this force to make it a more effective fighting force, looking for the more militant trade unionists and socialists within the city to create an effective Anti-Fascist fighting force.

He has started with getting the PAC a unified uniform in as he calls it, "Socialist Green", made from within the city and modelled on the British Service Dress. He is hoping that this force will soon be ready to bring victory for the Socialists and kick Mosley and his allies out of office.

I hope you enjoyed reading that.

Have a great day.


Friday, 11 September 2015

Other Partizan, Newark 2015 and the Battle of Frisby on the Wreake

Last Sunday, 6th September, was the last Partizan at Kelham Hall and it was a jolly good day. As usual the Very British Civil Forum or as Trick and Laurence like to call us, A Very British Parlour Forum, put on a normal Very British Civil War game and this one was the battle for Frisby on the Wreake.

The Royalist and British Union of Fascists forces started in the village of Frisby defending it from the Socialist and Anglican League hordes from Leicester who were on a mission to collect supplies for the coming winter months and hopefully capturing the village so they can control the Ashfordby Valley and the Ashfordby mine.

The battle started with a heavy downpour that meant it was impossible to see the opposition for a couple of turns so everyone started running about to get into favourable positions and when the rain finally stopped the shooting started.

The Royalists left flank advances with the local cricket team and the WI leading the way

The Anglican League advances across open fields

The Socialist Forces of Leicester on general advance to the village

The Humberstone Militia advancing on the Socialist's left flank

The first shots feel upon the Snibston Miners Militia who where cut down to a man by the Royalist forces positioned by the cricket club and river. But the Humberstone Militia had man handled its 18pdr up to the top of a hill, set up and started to rain, poorly aimed shells on the Royalist lines.

Anglican Leaguers and Socialists carry on advancing toward the Royalists

Royalists Vickers MG sets up at the top of the church tower, with a Boys A/T rifle below them 

Royalists Right Flank

Royalists left flank with cricketers and WI racing to set up positions before the Socialist horde comes 

Frisby on the Wreake, C1938

Both sides continued to advance to get into position but the weight of fire from the Socialist left flank rained heavily on the royalists right causing two of the Royalists sections to become casualties of war, leaving the right seriously weaken. But it the nick of time more Royalists reinforcements from Melton Mowbray entered into the fight.

The Duck Pond and Water Works with Morris Men dancing in No Mans Land

The Royalist left flank advancing to tackle the red menace

What's this and the Anglican League didnt notice

The Anglican League rushing toward the Royalists

The left flank Royalists Militia Head Quarters leading the way(ish)

The WI's jam jar launcher under the command of Mrs T readying to fire. 

The battle raged and was hard pressed as the Royalist left came under a strong assault from both the Anglican League and the Socialists centre as each side fought its other to a stand still. Meanwhile on the Royalist right the pressure was starting to take its toll on the beleaguered Royalists there as the Socialist left carried on pressing its attack.

The WI defence Militia readying themselves for the red tide

The Weasels standing steady  

The Anglican and Red tide rushing forward

The Royalists right under pressure

More Anglican and Socialists piling forward

The Humberstone Militia and the Socialist left pressing forward

The Socialist centre crushing all before it

The Midland Red, "The Big Red Bus" transport

As the Royalist left and the Anglicans and Socialist hit each other hard, neither side giving an inch and both leaving the safety of there cover to engage in hand to hand. Bullets whizzed about and grenades exploded but only a few people on each side where hurt such was the poor shooting on both sides.

The Anglicans taking position in the hedges

The Red tide washing it way towards the village

Royalists air-plane observing the situation and realising soon will be lost

The Royalist left taking position around Norman & Cooks warehouse

The village of Frisby

Royalists tankettes taking positions to hold the bridge while cricketer bombers plan to mine the bridge

Royalist Tankettes with the Right flank command in the rear.
But soon all was over, the Humberstone Militia's 18pdr found it mark, after failing to hit anything it took the top of the church tower killing both the Vickers stationed there and the Boys A/T rifle team. But also caused a bit of a discord with the Anglican League as they shelled a C of E church and destroyed its tower, something under the alliance that the socialists can not do. The Socialists argued that it wasn't there fault as the Royalists had placed a Vickers at the top of the tower and it was there fault for doing that. The debate continues and the alliance is on shaky grounds. Meanwhile the Royalist right collapsed leaving the Socialists to sweep into the village from that side force the Royalist left to retreat and give up the village to the City of Leicester Socialist forces.

The Royalists left command advancing behind the WI flag

The Weasels give up the defence of the wall and race towards the Anglicans

The Anglicans race towards the Weasels

Further Anglicans advancing to support there battle brothers.

The Socialist centre advancing across the field and supporting the attack

Photography from the Leicester Mercury showing the combined might of the Leicester Alliance 

The Chruch, St Thomas of Canterbury on fire after the Socialists destroyed the tower.

The tower burning well and no fire bridge to put it out.

All in all it was a good day and I learnt some important lessons about set up positions and flow of the game. Hopefully next time I will make it better.

Great show and Thanks to Tricks and Laurence and all at Newark Irregulars to making it a great show.

Have a nice day.

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