The Clairmont Militia
Like many nations everywhere, The Holy Mormoan Kingdom of New Wales authorized the raising of Militia units, (Regiments, Battalions, Legions etc) very early in their history. The unit we will look at today is the Clairmont Militia:
NAME: The Clairmont Militia
Date Raised: 8 January 1726
MOTTO: "PER ARDUA" (Through Adversity)
Unofficial Motto: "We Hail From Struggletown".
Nicknames:"The Black Swans", “ Rawling's Swans” or "Kane's Geese"
Battle Honours: "Cadbury Hill 1733", "Launceston 1734", "Relief of Fort Clairmont 1735", "Van Demon's Land Campaign" and "Vinegar Hill1738".
Brief History: In 1730 King Michael sent his Brother, Grand Duke Colin with 3000 subjects and 500 troops to establish a colony on a large Island south of the mainland called Van Demon's Land. This became known as The Grand Duchy of Van Demon's Land. The 500 troops Grand Duke took with him were predominantly men that had recently arrived from the “Old World” (the British Nth American colonies). These men, (and their families), were keen to prove their worth .
These colonists had endured great deprivations to arrive in New Wales. They left the North American colonies due to religious persecution, and had lost over a third of their number on rout due to attacks from French and Spanish "supported" pirates, and severe storms at sea.
Prior to their movement to Van Demon's Land the new colonists, (including some 178 retired Royal Army soldiers) formed a Militia Regiment under the command of one Joseph Rawlings, who had been a well to do farmer back in the American Colonies. Consequently he had the funds and inclination to raise a Militia Regiment of 500 muskets. Rawlings was smart enough to draw all his NCOs and many of his Officers from the 178 ex-regulars. Consequently his Regiment was one of the finest and best drilled Militia units in the service of the King.
Initially they called themselves "Rawling's Regiment of Foot", but after they arrived in Van Demon's Land on 6 February 1730, re-named themselves The Clairmont Militia after the settlement they established.
The Regiment fought particularly well at the relief of Fort Clairmont in 1735, where it was heavily engaged against musket and spear armed natives who were supporting two battalions of the "French Pacific Island Company" (FPIC).
Regimental anecdotes and traditions:
When the Regiment formed in 1726, one of the drummers was a negro boy named Kane, (he was a runaway slave who had been with the Regiment's RSM since fleeing from a Virginian plantation). Whilst on a training march the Regiment stopped near a small lake and observed some Black Swans. Never having seen swans other that the white variety, one of the Soldiers commented that "...them thar geese are as black as Kane".
Drummer Kane rallied the Regiment at Cadbury Hill in 1733, when despite serious wounds stepped forward of the firing line in full view of his faltering regiment and beat the tune "STAND TOO". Suitably inspired, the regiment repulsed the enemy's charged with a devastatling volley and the bayonet, when many thought the regiment was on the verge of breaking into rout. They drove their opposite numbers from the field of battle. The Senior Drummer of the Regiment is always a Black Drummer. Kane later transfered to the Van Demon's Land Legion as Senior Drummer and helped train the drummers in the new Battalion!