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10 years since the First Battle of the Grove

The site of the battle, photographed in September 2012.

Today marks 10 years since the Midget victory in the First Battle of the Grove on 15 March 2004.

The battle, fought by the Midget Empire and their allies the Word Life Gang against a group known as the Girly Gang, took place in what is now the Plain of Copan in Orly, but was then known only as part of the Grove Park in Carshalton.

This was the final battle in a war which had begun in May 2003 when lands claimed by the Word Life Gang had been invaded and occupied by the Girly Gang. The Midget Empire agreed to come to the Word Life Gang’s aid when its own borders were also breached by the Girly Gang.

The Girly Gang numbered about twenty, whereas the allied forces combined outnumbered them by five or six. However, the battle took place after lunch during a school trip, and the teachers supervising the trip detained Midget Master Daniel and much of the Word Life Gang before the battle started due to Daniel having led a pre-emptive attack on their enemies using sticks as swords.

Although a sizeable amount of the allied forces had been detained, Emperor Jonathan I – then known as Commander Jonathan – led the remainder of the troops in the battle against the Girly Gang as Daniel’s deputy, building a small base in nearby trees and implementing battle plans with the leaders of the Word Life Gang.

Despite being greatly outnumbered, the allies managed to hold out against the Girly Gang for a long time with diversionary and guerrilla tactics until they were finally pushed back to their base. Just as Jonathan’s forces became surrounded, Daniel and the other detained soldiers charged across the field from the lunch site, having been allowed to go by the teachers. The Girly Gang were caught in a pincer movement and forced to surrender.

The Girly Gang were made to cede land to the Midget Empire and Word Life Gang, and shortly afterwards dissolved. The Midget Empire emerged as the dominant power in the playground in which it was based, and when Daniel abdicated later that year, Jonathan’s popularity from his leadership in the battle ensured that he became the Second Midget Master, reigning until he left the school in July 2006.

A commemoration on the battlefield had been planned, but the current floods in Copan have made this impossible.

The First Battle of the Grove is the earliest battle to have taken place in the Carshalton Nations the date of which is known with precision. Two subsequent Battles of the Grove (the second usually referred to without a number to distinguish it, and the third more commonly known as the Battle for Orly) took place during the Austenasian Civil War and the War of the Orlian Reunification respectively, in May and in December 2010.

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