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Military Odyssey at Kent Showground, Detling

By KentOnline reporter

This weekend's Military Odyssey, now in its 14th year, has a conflict to interest everyone, whatever their historical knowledge.

Its 4,000 re-enactors and living history enthusiasts cover a vast period of global history, from the Romans through to the Vikings, the Wild West, the First and Second World Wars and Vietnam, right up to the present day.

Regia Anglorum practice a Viking invasion battle, at the Military Odyssey Show

It’s billed as the world’s largest multi-period re-enactment show. Military vehicles and fighting machines from various parts of the world, predominantly from the Second World War, will also be on display. The show had a change of ownership three years ago and is now run by father and son team James and Roger Aslett from Essex.

“We do all the organising ourselves,” said Roger.

“Plus a bit of help from our families. We have a bit of a break after each Odyssey, then start organising the next year’s event.”

Adrian Inman, IR28 Vongboen, German infantry, 1918, at the Military Odyssey

Re-enactment enthusiasts are drawn to Detling from across the UK, as well as a wide area of Europe, including, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Weather permitting, one of the highlights of this year’s Odyssey will be a fly-past on the Saturday of the only two airworthy Lancaster bombers, one of which has flown over from Canada after an 11-year restoration project.

Crowds watched when the two aircraft made their first fight together at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire earlier this month and at last week’s Combined Ops at Headcorn. More than 7,000 Lancasters were built during the Second World War but most of those which survived were scrapped when the war ended.

A Spitfire and a Piper Cub aircraft will fly over the showground on all three days, once again weather permitting.

Military Odyssey at the Kent Showcround

“We are keeping our fingers crossed for better weather this year,” said Roger.

“Last year it poured down on the Saturday and we had to cancel the flypast.”

The 200-acre site has three arenas in addition to the main battlefield where re-enactments take place all weekend. There are more than 250 stalls, including numerous food courts and a beer tent.

The Military Odyssey takes place at the Kent Showground, Detling, from Saturday, August 23 to Bank Holiday Monday. Visit www.military-odyssey.com to see full details of ticket prices and times.

One, two and three day tickets range in price from £17 for a one-day adult ticket to £130 for a three-day family ticket (2+2).

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