FORCES 80   

Welcome to the home of Forces 80

A History group dedicated in representing the

British Armed Forces 
From 1978 to 1989
 From Germany to The Falklands.

Members at Dockyard 800, 2007

Members of the
Twentieth Century Warfare and Living History Society


Either click the section you want or scroll down the page.

  • News

  • Our Creation :- About us bit.

  • Events :- Informs you of upcoming events we will be attending and what events we have attended. 

  • Units :- Shows which units we have portrayed and contains the order or precedence for 1983.

  • Uniforms :- Information on the various uniforms and patterns worn during the period. 

  • Equipment :- contains information on the various personal weapons, equipment and webbing issued at the time  (Includes webbing contents)

  • Deployments :- Information on the various conflicts and deployments we cover.

  • Reference :- Contains information on reference books and pictures.

  • Joining Us :- A small section on how to join us and what we expect from you. .

  • Wanted Section :- The bit where you can help us track down items that we need. 

  • Contact Us :- Contact section.


News: July 2013

Whoops, things have been a little slow in the update department, Sorry for that. I have been a bit under the weather for a while and I am just about getting over it and have a little bit of Free time on my hands so I better crack on.
My goal of finishing the web site last year failed, so I am aiming for this year.

As you can see the Forces 80 site is currently under major review with a new look and hopefully better layout of sections. I also intend to make this page a little less cluttered and easier to navigate.

This web site is funded from my own pocket, it is not a deep pocket and the odd donation to the group to help to keep it up and running would be much appreciated. 


Thank you.
Jonathan Smith
CO Forces 80


Forces 80 supports SAMA (82) which is the association for veterans of the 1982 Falklands conflict. You will find us with the collection tins at the various events we attend, so do not be surprised if we mug you of your spare change for this worthy cause.


Support this worthy Cause

Members with Falklands Veterans, David Yates author of "Bomb Alley", Tony Groom author of "Diver", and Malcolm MacLean author of "Naval Accidents" at Meet Your Navy, 2008

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Our Creation:

    Whilst at The War and Peace Show  (Beltring) in 2004  we noticed that the living history groups mainly dealt with the British Army  in World War Two or from the 1st Gulf War onwards. As I had some British Infantry equipment for the early eighties I donned  my  uniform and  walked  around  the  living  history  field where  I  was complimented upon my appearance. Several  ex-service men stopped  and talked to me and gave me advice and information on how to make my representation more visually correct, especially Kenny who was a member of  5 Airborne Brigade Group  who was a serving member informed me that  he was well  pleased as  what I had done as it was his History...       Light bulb time.

Having had such a positive response and feeling rather encouraged we started looking into how to create a group. After several head banging sessions amongst  a  few friends 'Forces 80'  was created ready  in  time for Beltring 2005.  Our display attracted  a  modest amount of attention  again  from ex-serving members of  the armed forces and we gained valuable information and at the end came to the conclusion every unit had its own ways of doing things and as they say "That was That".

Our  thanks goes  to the members of  5 Airborne Brigade Group  who repeatedly  redressed us to an embarrassing  degree and the Ex-members of  the ‘Green Jackets’  who seemed  to be  part of  every living  history  group and  came  bounding over to play with the weapons.

*As of February 2007 we have decided to change our mandate from representing the Army to representing the Armed Forces as a whole as we have had requests to do various other units and seeing as we portray Naval Party 8901 and 40 Commando which are both Naval units we thought that the change would be appropriate.*

*As of June 2008 we have also decided to include 1989 to the years we represent to allow us to cover the fall off the wall.*

    *Forces 80 is now on face book, come and say hello - Click here*

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We attend various shows and events around the UK throughout the year, all are listed along with selected Photo's.





Events planned for 2013:

  • 24th February - South Cheshire Militaire, Crewe, Cheshire.

  • 11th/12th May -  Battle group North, & Military Wheels & Wings Show  - Yorkshire Air Museum, York.

  • 7th July - Armed Forces Day -  Beverly, Hull

  • 27th/28th - Veterans Weekend - East Park, Hull

  • 29th August - Walk On Wales - Chester race Course.

  • 28th/29th September - Sherwood through the ages, Sherwood Forest Visitors centre.TBC

    TBC = To be Confirmed

Nantwich 2010

A special thanks goes to Howard at Event Plan for repeatedly asking us back to there events.

vent Plan - Living History Events


  • 27th February - South Cheshire Militaire, Crewe, Cheshire.

  • 5th/6Th May - Remember the Falklands, Portsmouth Historical Dockyard, Portsmouth.

  • 26th/27th May -  Battle group North & Military Wheels & Wings Show  - Yorkshire Air Museum, York. 

  • 23rd/24th June - Falklands Day - Doncaster Aeroventure museum, Doncaster.

  • 18th to 22nd July - War and Peace Show.

  • 25th August -  SAMA Weekend, Doncaster Aeroventure Museum.

  • 29th/30th September - Sherwood through the ages, Sherwood Forest Visitors centre


Archived Events

Members resting in between scenes during the making of  
"The Great  Falklands gamble"

©Forces80 2012

This is one of the first promotion photos for the group, 
back in 2005 about 2 months after our creation.

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We had originally decided not  to badge  up and  to represent  the  army  as a  whole  as  we  could  not  decide  to which  regiment  to represent.  After  a  discussion  with an retired Royal Tank Regiment Lieutenant-Colonel who suggested that we portrayed "The Cheshire's" due to their up-coming amalgamation in  2007  where  they will in effect cease to exist.  We decided to give this some thought, after a small period of time we agreed amongst our selves to badge as the Cheshire's unless we were doing  a  Falklands  display where we would badge as the Welsh Guards and 40 Commando which was decided upon due to the Welsh Guards loosing  the  equivalent of two companies when the Galahad was hit which were later replaced by 2 companies of marines. It is of note though that we now badge up as required and sometimes we are seen at events representing various regiments.

*If interested in joining you are not confined unless requested to by a event organizer to represent these particular regiments*

Order of Precedence 1983

Army Cadet Force

Women in the army

We also have represented the following regiments and units:

Cheshire Regiment, Welsh Guards, RMP, Scotts Guard, Royal Marines, Worcester and Sherwood Foresters. Parachute Regiment, RAF Regiment and the Royal Navy

A Special thanks go to the Cheshire Regimental Museum for their help in providing much needed advice and information.

*September 2007: The Cheshire Regiment ceases to exist along with the Staffordshire Regiment and Notts' & Derby Regiment which now come under the Mercian Brigade.*

Some Links:

Welsh Guards Collection

Welsh Guards Forum

Royal Marines Museum

Commando Veterans Association 

Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Museum

RMP Museum

RMP Source site




Members during a photo shoot at the 
Battle group North Event at Elvington, York, 2011.

©Forces80 2011

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Dress codes rule the British Army with a degree of  leeway in combinations. We use dress codes 8,13 and 14 where applicable.  

We strive to use the correct issue of clothing but are sometimes unable to find it in the sizes needed so a later issue is purchased and later replaced once the correct item is found. We are always mindful of our appearance and when the wrong article of clothing is used we make no allusions that it is correct.

Uniforms and Dress Codes

Members practice anti tank drills during a shakedown event.
©Forces80 2008

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The Infantry equipment of the Infantry in the 1980's was made up of various designs dating from as far back as the 1940's with helmets designed for the invasion of Europe, rifles first developed in 1947 and 1960's uniforms. To say that it was varied is an understatement. The 1980's also saw the introduction and development of new equipment and weapons which still served side by side with the old well into the mid 1990's and which some of the new equipment is still in use today, albeit, improved versions.

The  equipment  section started as a guide to  the various pieces that you  would see on our display, but this is now being expanded to encompass virtually any and all of the kit issued.  It is, by no means complete and will be constantly added to but there will be inevitably going to be bits of equipment we are going to overlook or miss out.


We are always on the look out for pieces of equipment to supplement and improve our display so if you have any items you think that we might like please contact us, please bear in mind that we are not as rich as most people and groups and rely on donations and peoples charitable nature. So if you have any thing you like to donate or sell to us please feel free to contact us.
Suppliers of Equipment and Uniforms to Forces 80.

Please mention Forces 80 when contacting this supplier.

Members at Battle group North 2011.
©Forces80 2011

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Each section will eventually have there own section when I finally get round to constructing the pages.

Deployments :

Exercises and Training:


Other Information:



Known Operations:


  • 1978        Lebanon - UN Operation (supporting Fijian troops)

  • 1979        Iran - Evacuation of civilians

  • 1979-84  Operation Agila Rhodesia/Zimbabwe 

  • 1980        New Hebrides - Civil unrest

  • 1982        Falklands War

  • 1982        Sinai Peace Keeping operations

  • 1983        Beirut

  • 1983        Aden - Evacuation of British Nationals (civil war)

  • 1987-88   Gulf - Mine sweeping / clearance

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Photo Gallery



Reference Photos:

On this page you will find various reference photos from various sources. All are copyright and where possible I have credited the relevant source:

Reference page

Reference Book Page

©2012 Forces 80

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Forces 80 are not actively looking for new members, but this said, If you are interested in joining  first email us, you will get a response, albeit on occasions a slow one, but you will get a response with details on how to join. Alternatively you can approach us at an event and we would be happy to talk to you.


Feel free to email me:


Please put Forces 80 in the Subject bar.

Thank you for checking us out

and please look out for us at the shows

Jonathan Smith
OC Forces 80

©Forces 80 2005 - 2013