‘We few, we happy few, we band of Brothers’ – One of the well-known lines from the St. Crispin’s Day Speech of Shakespeare’s Henry V.
This photographic Essay is comprised of all the elements that make this the most enjoyable of shoots, namely my fellow guns, our families and friends, children, and dogs, who come and beat, and our ambitious Keeper, and his supportive wife and friends, and the team of pickers-up, and the incomparable countryside in which we are fortunate enough to enjoy our sport.
Above all, the Shoot Captain, whom I fondly refer to as Il Capitano, because his impeccable English manners disguise an Italian passion for life, and good company.
I must also thank Jackie Cooper and Juliette Condie for having taken these wonderful photographs, and for allowing us to reproduce them here, as a series of montages skilfully and tastefully created by my wife, Chrissy.
Below are the last two verses of ‘The South Country’ by Hilaire Beloc, which reminds me of the corner of Sussex where we take our sport, and our lovely pub!
If I ever become a rich man,
Or if ever I grow to be old,
I will build a house with deep thatch
To shelter me from the cold,
And there shall the Sussex songs be sung
And the story of Sussex told.
I will hold my house in the high wood,
Within a walk of the sea,
And the men that were boys when I was a boy
Shall sit and drink with me
Now a homage to the people, dogs and countryside that make this family shoot so special:-
Beaters at work to earn their lunch at the Pub
The Enthusiastic Dogs who just love their work
The wonderful countryside which adds to the sheer pleasure of shooting in this stunning location
‘Naafi Time’ and the chance to sample homemade Sloe Gin, hot sausages and soup and an ever expanding selection of goodies to keep us sustained until lunch.
Some of the Guns, Past and Present
And finally the Next Generation in which we place all our hopes and dreams