Of a Pike Officer:
The Gentlemen of the pike armed with a 16ft ash pole, with a metal spearhead at the end was primarily to defend the slow-loading musketeers from cavalry. Horse do not run blindly onto the end of a pike, though evidence suggests that some were trained to do so. It is our loyalty, to friends, to our regiment and army collectively, that keeps us together. It is my belief that the comradeship I have found in Sir Thomas Blackwell's regiment would be difficult if not impossible to better. People I have fought with, and against, drunk with, suffered adversity and advantage with, have become my friends to such great extent that I cannot imagine being without them. For those of us who fight pike it is a better and more honest contact sport than rugby or American football. We are there to fight not to moan about offside or to question the referee's decision.
From a pike block resembling a rugby scrum in a cow field at one end of the country, to a drill display or regimental banquet, the ECWS offers unrivaled escapism, fun, and relaxation. Come and join us.
God Save The King.
John Harris, Commanding Officer, Sir Thomas Blackwell's Regiment of Foote
From Lieutenant of Pike :
I joined Blackwell’s in 1991. A friend from work, knowing I’d always had a thing for military history, had been gently persuading me to give the ECWS a try, and after two years I ran out of excuses. With nothing much happening one weekend, I hitched up with a couple of mates and the girlfriend and went down to Brentwood in Essex for the day. Just to have a look, like.
The first time we hit the enemy, I wasn’t even aware they were there, struggling as I was with ill-fitting headgear and a preposterously long pike in the middle of the fifth rank. Suddenly all those abstract concepts you read about – fog of war, the brittle morale of the raw recruit, the communal emotions shared by a unit in combat – became instantly clear. Others may have had more noble life-changing experiences, but for me there was no going back.
Blackwell’s pike block is the hardest and sharpest in the King’s Army: that’s not a hollow boast – we know it because the people we fight tell us so. We will never be complacent though – we only ever want to improve, fighting harder, drilling sharper, looking out for each other. The last point is important: you don’t have to qualify to be a Blackwell, there’s no probationary period. Once you put on the black coat and pick up the pike (man or woman) you’re part of the tribe. It makes for some strange relationships – some of my closest friends I see maybe half a dozen times a year. People who have spent Saturday afternoon trying to batter you into the ground will spend Saturday night plying you with drink and good vibes. Not quite real life.
It’s a funny old game, certainly, but I wouldn’t be without it.
Dave Webb, Lieutenant Pike, Sir Thomas Blackwell’s Regiment of Foote.
Copyright 2016 - Sir Thomas Blackwell's Regiment of Foote