Rifle range experience to replicate Great War battle

Hertfordshire territorials including Percy Buck at Summer Camp just before the outbreak of war in 19

Hertfordshire territorials including Percy Buck at Summer Camp just before the outbreak of war in 1914. Credit: Colourised by Doug Banks of Colourising History in partnership with Herts at War. - Credit: Archant

People will be able to experience what life was like on a First World War battlefield next week, using rifles which were issued to Hertfordshire soldiers almost exactly 100 years ago.

A previous Herts at War and Battlefield Honours event at Bisley in August last year

A previous Herts at War and Battlefield Honours event at Bisley in August last year - Credit: Archant

Herts at War, a project marking the centenary of the Great War, has teamed up with military historians and the world-famous Bisley Rifle Range in Surrey for a one-day event next Friday, October 31.

Those taking part will be able to handle and fire historic firearms such as the German Mauser and the Lee Enfield Rifle – which members of the 1st Battalion of the Hertfordshire Regiment received for the first time on November 1, 2014, and used for much of the four-year conflict.

Historian Andrew Robertshaw from Stevenage-based business Battle Honours will also be giving a lecture to help convey what those on the Western Front went through a century ago.

Herts at War project co-ordinator Dan Hill said: “Ever since the project was first created in 2012 we felt that offering the public a chance to experience life 100 years ago in a variety of hands-on events was key to increasing awareness and understanding of a conflict that played such an important part in our history.


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“On November 1, 1914, the 1st Battalion of the Hertfordshire Regiment received their short magazine Lee Enfield rifles, the main tool of their trade for the next four years.

“In line with this centenary event, we are pleased to work with Stevenage-based Battle Honours in offering a unique experience that is rarely available outside the ranks of the serving military.

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“Under full supervision by qualified professionals, we are able to offer a completely safe, unique and historical opportunity which we hope will increase understanding of the everyday lives of our county ancestors of 100 years ago.”

For those interested in the event contact Battle Honours at 01438 791020 or email enquiries@battle-honours.eu.

To find out more about Herts at War – which currently has an exhibition in Letchworth’s The Arcade open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – visit www.hertsatwar.co.uk.

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