Story sponsored by Shaw Wines.
The year is 1815. The location, the lush green fields just outside of Waterloo, in Belgium. They're about to become the site of one of the most epic showdowns in human history.
The exiled French Dictator Napoleon Bonaparte is on the March across Europe. His intention: to regain control of his fallen empire and crown himself supreme leader.
The only thing standing between the continent and his tyrannical rule is an allied force - a seven nation army - which includes British, Prussian and Dutch Soldiers (among others) as well as a small but critical contingent of brave German refugees.
By the end of the battle, the Napoleonic Era will be over. The once mighty figure, beloved by his own troops, will turn his cannons on them. And, a new age of European peace and cooperation will begin, one which won't end for another nine decades.
The Battle of Waterloo was a war for the future of most powerful continent on the planet. Now, on the 204th anniversary, two groups of reenactors will recreate the battle in a blockbuster live action display.
On June 15 and 16, Gold Trail Reenactments and Seventh Light Horse Gundagai will collaborate to put together a spectacular performance at the Shaw Vinyard Estate in Murrumbateman.
More than 60 actors, dressed in period attire will recreate the battle, complete with cannons, authentic weaponry and charging cavalry, a top specially trained stunt horses.
The weekend will include two performances, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, as well as daily infantry, cavalry and artillery displays. In between each, the general public will be able to wander through the battlefield and explore their campsite, getting a rare insight into the way infantrymen lived in the 19th century.
Shaw Wines owner Graeme Shaw says he can't wait to see the battle. As a keen enthusiast and appreciator of the arts, Mr Shaw always supports creative events.
Last year, they hosted Sculptures In The Paddock and they have aspirations of holding a bi-annual event starting next year. He would also like to host more visual artists too.
They try to do things that others don't do, Mr Shaw explained, they like to give people an alternative. However, he admits he was a bit sceptical when the companies approached him about recreating Waterloo in his backyard.
"When they approached me I wasn't too sure about it. But, I thought sure, I'll at least have a meeting with them," he recalled.
"So they came over and pulled out this laptop and showed me their promotional video and I just said: "Wow!" Straight away I agreed to do it. I can't wait! It's going to be a real spectacle!"
A lot of work goes into putting together a show like this. It isn't a regular theatrical performance. It takes a lot of time and planning. More to the point, it takes a lot of skill and a militaristic approach.
"You really have to rely on the experience of the guys. It really is a team effort..." Wes Leseberg from Gold Trail Reenactments explained.
"Quite a lot goes into putting together the script for something like this... It's all based on historical events and a lot of research," he continued.
"What we really want to do is bring that history to life. We want people to see it and hear the cannons and smell the black powder. But in a modern, safe environment....
"It really is a team effort. A lot of the units have been doing this for a very long time and they do regular drills based on what period it is we're covering. Quite a number of hours go into it...
"We all have ranks and... once you get the drills down pat it is up to the commanders to make sure everything goes to plan."
Mr Leseberg has been involved in big action packed historical reenactments for more than seven years. His first was a play about the Bush Ranger shoot out which took the life Sergeant Evan Parry.
Over the years, they've developed shows involving everything from the Light Horse Infantry of World War One to the American Civil War. With each year getting busier and larger inscale. Making them quite unique in the Australian cultural landscape.
"In the United States and Europe, (war re-enactment) is a really big thing but it's not as common in Australia," he said.
"So, you don't really get too much of a chance to see one of these big epic battle scenes like we put on."
And, that's precisely why Mr Shaw is so keen to host the event.
"It's something that will be great for the whole family," Mr Shaw said, "it's a nice day out that doesn't have to break the bank."
Admission costs $10 if tickets are booked in advance online or $15 at the gate. Admission is free for people under the age of 16.
Any profits will be donated to Yass Valley CanAssist and the local RFS will be running a sausage sizzle.There will also be a fine dining option, which includes either a French or English dish and a glass of wine.
The event will begin at 10am on Saturday and conclude at 4pm the following day. For tickets and additional information, please click here.
Story sponsored by Shaw Wines.