What We Do

The Historical Maritime Society was formed in 1995 by a group of like-minded enthusiasts to research and recreate aspects of life in the Royal Navy around the time of Nelson, particularly in 1805. 

Regular visitors to UK reenactments will know that there are now more periods portrayed than ever before and HMS certainly reflects this by its relatively recent extension into aspects of  the RN and Combined Operations of World War II.

The Royal Navy: 

Napoleonic Wars

1793 -1815

The Royal Navy of  Nelson's era was, by the standards of the time, efficient and powerful, with an enviable fighting record and where flogging and violent death were not the everyday occurrences that many people seem to believe.

We set out to give a flavour of that exciting time and occasionally we put to sea'at Portsmouth on the VICTORY and on the TRINCOMALEE at Hartlepool as well as in our frigate boat which we call 'The Blue Launch'.

We  frequently  put on displays at many coastal and inland sites. 
Many  ranks and trades are portrayed from officers to landsmen as well as our 'sea-soldiers', the Royal Marines.

HMS does regular filming work for documentary film-makers.

We are affiliated to the European Napoleonic Society (ENS), an umbrella organisation of military groups of this period and we frequently attend their events too.

Everything we do is firmly anchored in trying to be as authentic as possible. Members of HMS take great care in researching their uniforms, costume, equipment and their roles and activities.

This ensures that everything you see is correct for the period. 

An example of this is the Lieutenant's coat. This is made from cloth produced by the same mill that provided woollen cloth for the Admiralty in the early C19th.

'Sir Admiral Bertram Ramsay', c 1943.

The Royal Navy: 

World War II  

1939 -45

The Historical Maritime Society portrays aspects of the R.N. Commando operation , and the communication aspects of Admiral Bertram Ramsay's staff.


The WRNS operate a telephone switchboard passing messages with naval officers in
logistical support.

Our replica Mk.8 motorised wooden canoe will consist of 3 sections (2 being the detachable bow and stern sections) and will have 2 stabilising outriggers, a small marine engine, paddles and a lateen sail. It is now in an advanced stage of construction.

This mark of craft was used by the 'Combined Operations Pilotage Parties' units (COPPs) for reconnaissance and raiding in the latter stages of the War