With a month to go to the wall walk (if you’ve missed the previous posts, the quick update is this: Riches, Kane and Whitfield plan to walk Hadrian’s Wall in full Roman kit at the end of April in aid of Medecins Sans Frontieres and Combat Stress, please donate at www.charitygiving/benkane) I’m slowly getting the equipment together. My recent additions have been these:
Exhibit A: A gorgeous pair of wool leg wrappings with brass hooks sewn into them, making it the work of a moment to wind them around the ankle, work the wrap up to just below the knee and them secure the wrapping with the hook. Like an army puttee from the last century, only better (smoother, longer and easier to fasten). I purchased them from Historic Enterprises in the US, a supplier I can only recommend in the most fulsome of terms. They’re strictly Saxon in terms of the way that HE sell them, but it’s known that the late Roman armies used them and I’m delighted to have another pair of such high quality.
And this, a handmade shield made for me to order by the wonderful Amy Wallace at Comitatus (a re-enactment group specialising in late Roman). Note the hand beaten iron boss, the brilliantly thought out carrying system which uses leather straps held together with leather thongs to provide a wonderfully comfortable carry – this is important when it’ll be on my back most of the time! – and the authentic Tungrian colours. I got the colour scheme from the Notitia Dignitatum, a late 4th century list of the imperial chanceries and their military units. It’s a bit different from the shield I carried last time (to see the kit I wore in 2010’s assault on the wall, just go here…https://www.anthonyriches.com/charity-wall-walk-in-aid-of-help-for-heroes/)
So, all I need is the soft kit from Claire Marshall and I’ll be ready to get dressed up and show you a 21st century take on the late Roman warrior. Albeit a tubby little late Roman warrior old enough to be in the 4th-century version of the Home Guard!
There’ll be more kit news soon, hopefully!