Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Hereford Municipal LDV

After the flight of the Bishop of Hereford, the people of that city would have been forgiven for considering themselves lucky compared to the counties other major settlements. The inhabitants of Bromyard and Leominster reluctantly played host to various fascist militias, Kington had fallen into the hands of the Welsh, the Anglican league had retreated to Ross while Ledbury was fast becoming a battleground between various factions.

Hereford itself seemingly existed in a state of calm – an oasis of relative normality thanks to the royalist authorities who needed a functioning city in which to base their centre of operations. Despite viewing its inhabitants with suspicion, work, trade and to some degree an amount of religious expression were allowed to continue unmolested.

Rather than witness hordes of jackbooted Blackshirts marching down Broad Street, Herefordians were allowed to organise their own defences. The status of the Herefordshire TA was ambiguous – some had fought for the Anglican League, some had gone off to fight for the King, while others simply packed up and went home. Filling this gap were the Herefordshire Constabulary Volunteer rifles – hardly a reassuring sight for Englishmen unused to the spectacle of armed policemen.

Soon many of the city’s most prominent men began to petition for the raising of a civilian force. Under their urging groups of armed men began to present themselves to various council officials, pledging to defend their districts despite the fact that carrying arms was generally frowned upon by those in charge. The authorities knew better than to go against this feeling – after all a safety valve for the citizen’s anxieties couldn’t hurt.

And so the Hereford Municipal LDV was formed – a company of trusted men led by a legal official of good standing. While not exactly of right-wing persuasion, these men have volunteered to defend the city and, if necessary, sally forth into the countryside to protect the interests of their fellow ‘townies’.

(Figures are from Musketeer, with an Artizan and Bolt Action figure thrown in, commanded by a Wargames Foundry Victoriana solicitor.)

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