The Wimborne Militia of Dorset prides itself on being the only formally commissioned ‘private army’ in England. We’re well known locally but less well known in California, which is perhaps why Facebook banned our homepage a few weeks ago, thinking we were a right-wing Trumpian ‘militia’. Its algorithm seems not to recognise historical re-enactment societies, which is a shame. They are an important part of British cultural life.
I’ve been a historical re-enactor since 1983 and I’ve found that my fellow amateur historians are happy with the moniker of ‘mostly harmless’ eccentrics. The Wimborne Militia, a band of about 50, receives from the town council a commission ‘to further historical research into the history of the town and its surrounds, in particular events pertaining to the 17th century’.