Join the 2nd York
If you share our passion for history, especially Canadian, the War of 1812 and the Regency period, we would be happy to welcome you in our ranks. 2nd York is currently looking for women and men over 17 years of age to portray either soldiers or camp followers in a variety of settings (reenactments, education outreach, displays, parades and more).
Please check out the frequently asked questions below or contact us directly for more details regarding kit requirements, membership, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Was there a real Thompson's Company in the War of 1812?
Yup! Thompson's Company was part of the 2nd York Militia during the war, representing current day West End Toronto through to the border area of Oakville, Ontario. You can read more about them at this link (click here).
Can I join in on the fun?
Yup! Click on the "Contact 2nd York" link at the top of this page. Provided you can attend events in Mississauga and around, you are 18 years of age or older (or have parental consent/supervision) and have a love of history, we'd be happy to have you!
Do you only do military stuff?
Large part of what we do is reenactment of military events. However we do welcome anybody who is interested in portraying civilian impression.
What War of 1812 events can you take part in?
As well as local events in and around the Toronto through to Oakville area, members of The 2nd York (re-enactment regiment) have participated at events at Stoney Creek, Fort George, Fort York, Lundy's Lane, Chippawa, Fort Erie, Fort Niagara, Dunvegan, Fort Wellington, Crysler's Farm, Backus Mill, Fanshawe, Longwoods, and a host of other events and re-enactments.
Is it expensive to join?
As with any other hobby, participation in activities with us does involve some costs. When you join, we will try to help you by loaning necessary equipment as much as we can. In time you would be expected to acquire kit and equipment of your own. It will be up to you to decide your level of "immersion" in this hobby. Please contact us to learn more.
Can women join?
Absolutely! And more than just in one capacity! Usually, when this question is asked, it's about women "in the field" or joining in the firing line. If you are joining as a soldier, you will need to dress as a male (sorry, history dictated this and we do strive to the appearance of the time, so you need to appear male to join the line in a battle). However as a camp follower or civilian, you can dress as you wish provided it is period correct to the very early 19th century, of course.
What's the difference between the colours of the tunics?
Between 1812 and 1813, men of the York Militia would be issued, when available, green tunics with red facings or in plainer English - green with red cuffs and collars. In late mid-1814, the standard of tunic given to all militia in Upper Canada was changed - a red tunics with green facings, but you would still see both types of uniforms in the field with militia units. Only officers were ordered to switch to the red coats by 1814. Lower ranks (privates and NCO's - sergeants and corporals) were also issued (again, when they were available,) white barracks jackets with red facings which could be used as a spare emergency tunic and work-wear. To make things a tiny bit more problematic is that as militia, not everyone had any uniforms, seeing civilians in the line was not unusual.
What's the difference between the colours of those pom-pom things on the hats?
The tall hats with the brass plates were called shakos, which can be pronounced "Shake-Oh" or "Shack-oh" depending on which you prefer. And the pom-pom thing is called a tuft. A red-and-white tuft indicates a soldier in the "normal" line or one of the guys in the long line-up that fires. The all white tuft indicates a grenadier, which was usually just a tall fellow who would be in his group in the centre of the line or close to the flanks (the sides of the big line). Grenadiers are big scary guys singled out in companies to intimidate. The green tuft is for the light companies - also called the flankers (guys at the side of the line) or the poor guys made to run out in front of the lines.
I don't know much about this war. How can I find out more?
Please check out our resources page, where you can find list of many different resources that may help you to learn more.