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The Invasion of Upper Canada


The following is a list of things to see and do during the day at the event.

The Drums of the Crown Forces 1812


     The Drums of the Crown Forces 1812, a War of 1812 reenactment unit dedicated to portraying the fife and drum corps of a typical British infantry regiment, will be performing for the weekend at Fanshawe 1812. They are a friendly, enthusiastic group made up of a wide mix of ages, backgrounds and reenactment experience with one common love – fife & drum music!  The corps regularly performs at historical reenactments and other events in Ontario and the United States during the Spring, Summer and Fall and now London is in for a treat.  They recreate and animate the daily life of the British musical soldier on campaign and in garrison through period music, uniforms and drill.

     During the early 19th century, the "drums" of each British regiment was its showpiece, its pride and joy, and that notion still stands.  Today, the Drums strive to be the most accomplished and entertaining unit on the 1812 reenactment field of battle.  They are constantly researching and improving their portrayals, appearance and music to be as accurate as possible to the period.

     The Drums currently consists of members of Crown Forces 1812 reenactment units and individuals who join the Drums directly.  At present they have members from the 1st, 8th, 49th and 89th Regiments of Foot, Canadian Fencibles, Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles, the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada and Norfolk Militia.  Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.


     Come for the music of the Drums of the Crown Forces 1812. Several shows each day and a demonstration before the main tactical battle display.

The Zoom Daddys


     The Zoom Daddys are a band of three musicians, all proud descendants of army deserters from long ago. Armed with guitars, harmonicas, and rocks (for self defense against bears and critics) the Zoom Daddys combine wit, zaniness, comedy, humour, and even some funny stuff in their songs. They wander around aimlessly throughout the land in search of listening ears, preferably listening ears attached to people.

     Music is their livelihood and they will sing for a penny or for a few breadcrumbs. Do not be afraid to approach the Zoom Daddys and request a song. They are always more than willing to sing for anyone. It’s not just about mandatory community service for these fellows!

     For Over 15 years, these bizarre minstrels have played and sang all across Canada and almost half of the time - from outside prison walls.  Tell them your name and you may get a special improvised song just for you! Show them your money and watch their hungry eyes bulge out. Expect the unexpected and be ready to run away if necessary but whatever you do, don’t miss the zoom daddys.

     If you enjoy the music you hear the Zoom Daddys will gladly sell you their CD. If you hate the music you hear they will gladly sell you a CD for you to give away to your annoying relative at Christmas. Everybody wins!



The Forest City Morris & Sword Dancers


Forest City Morris & Sword is the original Morris team in London, Ontario. They danced out for the first time in 1978. The group sees Morris Dancing as a symbolic celebration of the earth and the seasons; some simply enjoy the tuneful music and even the exercise! They all like to think that they are keeping up an ancient tradition, as well as entertaining those who watch them.

Morris is performed by groups like Forest City across several continents. Some teams are all male, some all female, and some are mixed. Historically, more men than women danced Morris, although it was probably never an exclusively male tradition. Forest City Morris & Sword is a female Morris team.

Period Merchants (Sutlers)


     Period merchants known as sutlers would follow the army and offer items of need to the soldier. Food, spirits and other material necessities. You can browse through streets lined with period merchants which have established themselves throughout the village to tempt your taste buds, enchant your eyes and offer that truly unique gift. A wide assortment of businesses await your shopping pleasure. The sutlers will also be open for the education and fun day on September 28th so be sure to bring your spare shillings.
For a listing of sutlers see the Units Attending page.

Denfield General Store


     This two-storey structure is one of the last of the general stores that were the commercial and social centre of rural communities.  It is also of great architectural importance, being an early example of balloon-frame construction, in which the walls support the entire building without a heavy timber frame common to buildings of the era.  Opened in July, 1877 by J. T Dinsmore on the corner of Front and Station streets in Denfield, the building also housed the village Post Office.  Each day, the postmaster would walk the mail from the London-Huron-Bruce railway station located four lots away. Dropping in to fetch their mail, residents of Denfield would often sit on the veranda, and catch up on the latest news, upcoming events, and gossip.

     Hang out here and play a game of checkers, have a snack, meet some interesting townsfolk.

Ladies Tea


     Join the Georgian period ladies as they take afternoon tea. The ladies of the different units attending the event confiscate the local tavern to hold their tea and enjoy this English tradition with traditional tea accompanied with lemonade and cookies. Come in and join the ladies for a small drink and a cookie and ask about thier lives, dress and the times they live in and what life is like for a lady in Upper Canada in 1814.

Military Camp Tour


  Take a tour of a military camp given by a soldier in the service to his majesty King George the third. What was it like to be in the army. How many men slept in a wedge tent? Why are there so many different sizes of tents? Why is the camp laid out like it is? What if the soldier didn't have a tent? What did he do? Find out the answers to these and other questions in an informative and educational tour given once each day during the event. The tour starts at the gazebo, in the town square. Check the schedule of events for times.

Military Surgery and Surgeons
    Splints and Splices, a Royal Navy military surgeon and the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada Surgeon Dr. Dunfore will be on site to show how surgery or the lack of it was done to heal those wounded in battle.

Children's Mini Militia


     Children of all ages can take part in a militia muster with soldiers of the British forces using wooden musket replicas. Children will take part in mock drill through a variety of genuine drill movements of the day and possibly take part in a mock battle. Each day following the battle children who choose to join the forces of his most Britanic Majesty may join a march to the site of the muster. Each new soldier will receive instruction on what it takes to be a British Redcoat and fight for his majesty King George the third.
     Suitable for children ages 3 and up. Available each day at the Village Square following the main tactical battle.

The Village Cafe
     Open through the event to serve light snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinners. Drinks and ice cream available.   
 Most of the vegetables and herbs served with your meal were grown just steps away in our organic gardens, here at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. Our gardens present the fruits and vegetables grown in Middlesex County communities from 1820 to 1920. Pick up a Crops and Gardens Pathways tour at the Denfield General Store to learn more. 
1812 Buffet: Saturday and Sunday, October 2 - 3
Enjoy a traditional tavern meal - 1812 style.  Buffet features soup, stew, homemade bread, sandwiches and traditional bread pudding.
$10.50 per person, $5.00 children (12 & under)

Artillery Duels and Demonstrations




     Watch artillery crews load and fire period authentic reproduction canons. Learn how it’s done and listen for the telltale bang as they fire the weapon. See it up close and personal. The crew will explain the many steps it takes in the loading of this large and destructive weapon of warfare. They will explain the many positions on the crew and the pieces of equipment needed. Maybe someone in your family might want to become a ‘powder monkey’.


Watch also as artillery crews from both sides duke it out in an artillery duel. Also on Sunday watch artillery crews compete against each other in a competition of speed and endurance.


     This demonstration is loud and may frighten some young children. Ample warning is given prior to firing the guns and the things one can do to prepare and protect little ears.

War of 1812 Battle


     The item that brings it all together and tells the story of a forgotten conflict. The War of 1812 is brought to life each day in a representation of a Napoleonic style linear tactic battle from 1812-1815. Musket smoke, cries of agony, the roar of canon, the shriek of the native american all combine to send chills down the spine and raise the hairs on the neck. See it all on an unspoiled landscape as it may have been almost 200 years ago as the two main forces on the continent go head to head, musket to musket and bayonet to bayonet. The winner takes all!

And so much more live entertainment.
Open all day!
Come for the battle, come for the day!
October 1st and 2nd, 2011

Fanshawe Village Map


The Invasion of Upper Canada         Fanshawe Village - London, Ontario  519-457-1296