World @ War – Fort Nelson

Way back in 2006 I purchased my first digital camera, a Canon PowerShot S2 with fixed lens. The first event where I used the camera was the World @ War, hosted by the Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson, Porchester,  this being an annual living history event with the focus on World War 2.

Held for three days over the Easter Holiday weekend this was in my view one of the premier events of its type, being filled with a fascinating collection of reenactors and authentic period vehicles. Artillery firing demonstrations were very much a part of the entertainment as was a battle between Germans and Allied troops to close each day.

Looking back at my notes for the 2006 event the highlights were:

  • Burma displays – including a Chindit Mule
  • British Sexton self-propelled artillery
  • Underground German hospital
  • British searchlight, a Bruce Peebles Mk 1.

All of the above, and more,  are featured in the images below so please take a moment to get a better idea of what this event was about.

Fort Nelson
Fort Nelson is one of 5 forts built in the second half of the 1800s against an invasion by the French. The invasion never came of course and as such these defences became know as Palmerstone’s Follies after the prime minister at the time of their inception.

Around the Site

Supermarine Spitfire
Very welcome was the prototype Spitfire replica ‘K5054’ owned by Solent Sky and representing the first machine to fly from Eastleigh airfield on 5th March 1936.

Battle
Taking place over all three days of the event, the battle was located somewhere in Northern France in the second half of 1944 following the Normandy invasion. British, American and French Resistance faced units of the German Wehrmacht fighting for control of the northern ramparts of the fort. The battle was evenly balanced with German forces ‘winning’ on the first day but then leading on to Allied success on day two and conclusive Allied victory on the third and final day.

And finally….
After 2006 the show was dropped for reasons I can only guess at, but cost and health and safety seem likely culprits. I have very fond memories of the World @ war event and have enjoyed reviewing these images very much.

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And as for Fort Nelson, it is still very much worth a visit housing as it does a port of the Royal Armouries collection and still playing host to other varied living history events.