We spent all winter getting the uniform together and it wasn't until early in 1976 that we first met up with the rest of the Regiment and walked straight into a dispute over authenticity! We turned up looking exactly as Maurice had instructed, at a time when other members were genuinely trying to improve their appearance.
Some members wanted to change to real leather buff coats. We were not allowed to ... our Uniform was "Hoggar Brown PVC". One or two members had got around this problem by protesting that they were "allergic" to PVC. This was believed by our Commanding Officer and leather coats were allowed for these members, but they had to be Hoggar brown in colour.
The Regiment at this time had an artillery company and a small pike block. The artillery pieces were small but good (one gun is still in use today in Grenville's Regiment). The pike were odd pieces of wood, rarely more than about eight feet in length, carried by the heavier members of the Regiment.
The majority of the members were sword-wielding Dragoones. Maurice and the other officers taught us stage fighting and we put on impressive displays at battles, which the crowds always seemed to appreciate. Our opponents (usually Meldrum's Dragoones) were similarly equipped.
There was a marked lack of parliamentary opposition in the Westcountry. Maurice had the idea of raising a Parliamentarian Company within the Regiment so we had someone to fight. This worked well for a short time and some willing volunteers changed the colour of their sashes. Politics then reared its head. The Army of Parliament objected (understandably) to an ostensibly parliamentarian unit under Royalist control and the parliamentarian members of the Regiment probably were fed up being beaten all the time by the rest of the Regiment. The outcome of all this was the formation of Colonell Wardlawe's Dragoones in the Army of Parliament, under the Command of Richard Webb. Prince Maurice's lost some of its keenest members, but we continued to socialise together and gained worthy opponents on the field who were as well trained as ourselves.