84th Regiment to hold encampment in Kentville during Apple Blossom Festival

John Decoste jdecoste@kingscountynews.ca
Published on May 24, 2014

Don’t be surprised to see red-coated soldiers or hear the sound of musket fire in Kentville this Apple Blossom weekend.

The 2nd Battalion of the 84th Regiment of Foot, based in Halifax, will be holding an encampment and re-enactment in Kentville from May 30 until June 1.

All are welcome to drop by the encampment, which will be set up on part of the Memorial Park complex, any time during the two days. Admission is free.

The encampment re-enactment will include black powder demos, demonstrations with the Royal Artillery, ‘Dressing as a Highlander’, as well as 18th century cooking and displays of other long-forgotten skills.


Rich history

The 84th Regiment of Foot – officially called the Royal Highland Emigrants - was the first Highland regiment of the British army raised in North America. The regiment served with distinction during the American Revolutionary War, serving and fighting from the Great Lakes to Nova Scotia and from the North Atlantic to Florida.

After the regiment was disbanded at Fort Edward in Windsor in October 1783, many of its members received grants of land in Nova Scotia for their service to the King. Many of these grants were in the Douglas Township in Hants County, with other 84th regiment veterans settling along the East River in Pictou County.

Created in 1984, the 84th Regiment of Foot 2nd Battalion Regimental Association is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the research, preservation and authentic recreation of the 84th regiment as it existed in Nova Scotia during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783).


A piece of living history

As living history re-enactors, association members “strive to maintain a high standard of authenticity in recreating all aspects of military and civilian life,” says the group’s booking officer, Melissa Watson of Hall’s Harbour.

The members “devote many hours to the research of original artifacts and primary documents, as well as learning long-since-forgotten 18th century skills,” she added.

The re-enacting members come from all walks of life and from all over Nova Scotia. Membership often embraces entire families, since family units were sometimes together in the army of the 18th century.

The association also includes supportive associate members from all over North America, many of whom are descendants of some of the original 84th Regiment soldiers.


Other events

The 84th Regiment of Foot 2nd Battalion Regimental Association normally takes part in a number of events in the run of a year, many of them in conjunction with other groups. The Apple Blossom Festival will be their first event of 2014.

Other events the re-enactors plan to be involved in this year include:

Privateer Days, June 20-22, Liverpool

Founder’s Days. July 17-20, Shelburne

Fort Anne Encampment, Aug. 1-3, Annapolis Royal

Sherbrooke Village Encampment, Aug. 15-17, Sherbrooke

Yarmouth Encampment, Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, Yarmouth

Citadel Hill Event, Sept. 19-21, Halifax