The baggage train consists of various roles, including battlefield water carriers, whose job it is to supply the thirsty troops with water and support them during a battle.

The goodwives are a vital part of the regiment and do everything from cooking as part of our historical encampment events to organising and running the baggage train.

The baggage train is where an army on the march kept its supplies and stores. It would follow the army, often becoming the target of enemy raids.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to buy anything to be a goodwife?

No, beyond your basic kit you don’t need anything. The regiment provides the water bottles we use to water the troops.

Do I have to fight?

No, the great thing about being a water carrier is that you can be in the thick of it but not have to take part in the battle itself.

The role is a vital one that keeps the regiment going on the battlefield, so there’s rarely a quiet moment.

Do I have to cook food for everyone?

No, only some of our events have what we call ‘living history’ displays and if you’re not interested in putting on woman’s kit and cooking you then don’t have to.

What kit will I need?

For water carrying, on top of the normal ‘men’s’ uniform of jacket, breeches and hose, you will need:

  • a sturdy pair of boots

Your basic uniform can often be borrowed from the regiment for your first few musters.

So What Does a Goodwife Do

Our baggage train is normally a cart carrying water bottles. It follows the regiment onto the field but water carriers do not engage in fighting.

A water carrier is an essential role not only keeping the combatants watered whilst marching or battling. They carry large water bottles with a tankard for them to drink from, a bag to carry sweets and/or glucose tablets, and any medication members may need such as inhalers.

They also keep an eye on the soldiers’ wellbeing - helping with injuries, dehydration, or problems with kit. They may have to hold lit match when musketeers engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Being a water carrier can sometimes be hectic, particularly when they have to enter a pike or musket block to deliver water to individual soldiers.

All members of the Baggage Train, regardless of gender, must be dressed in men’s kit of jacket and breeches with sturdy boots or shoes, a hat and gloves. The water bottles and cart are owned by the regiment.

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Regimental Goodwife

Rachel Jones Rachel Jones:

"I am the goodwife of the regiment and also head water carrier. My aim on the field is to make sure that the regiment is watered and jellybabied sufficiently so that they all come off the field only a little tired and with no injuries - although I do I have nag at times to get them to drink water."

"I have a role off-field too - on living history I usually do the cooking for the troops with volunteers from the rest of the regiment."

"I have been in the Knot now for more than twenty years and I still love what I do."

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