First Battle of the Grove
For other Battles of the Grove, see Battle of the Grove (disambiguation).
|Battle of the Grove (2004)
|Part of the First Boys vs Girls War
|Word Life Gang
|Commanders and leaders
• Midget Master Daniel (I)
• Commander Jonathan
• Jack of the Word Life Gang
• Kyle of the Word Life Gang
|• Billy-Ann of the Girly Gang
The First Battle of the Grove was the final battle in the First Boys vs Girls War, fought by the Midget Army and Word Life Gang against the Girly Gang in what is now the Kingdom of Copan in Orly, but was then part of the Grove Park in Carshalton, London. On 15 March 2004, the whole of Yr. 4 (in which the Word Life Gang, Girly Gang, and the majority of the Midget Army were) went on a school trip, and stopped for lunch at the park. The First Boys vs Girls War had been stagnant for months, and the Word Life Gang saw this as a fantastic opportunity for a decisive battle, informing the Midget Army that they wanted to "defeat the Girly Gang, here, once and for all!"
The battle is one of the earliest events in the Carshalton Nations the date of which is known with precision, with the date having been written on the back of photographs taken earlier that day on the school trip that were discovered in early 2012.
Most of Yr. 4 were still eating their packed lunches when the message was spread around that a battle between the warring gangs would be organised. Midget Commander Jonathan suggested luring the Girly Gang out into the open on what is now known as the Plain of Copan and surrounding them, but Midget Master Daniel decided on a shock attack there and then to force the Girly Gang to surrender. However, the Midget Master's impatience and a difficulty in communication meant that only Word Life Gang troops were informed of this plan. While Commander Jonathan was preparing the Midget Army for the battle, Midget Master Daniel and a large proportion of the Word Life Gang suddenly charged into combat against the Girly Gang, using sticks as swords. However, this was in close proximity to the teachers supervising the school trip, who detained the Midget Master and roughly two thirds of the Word Life Gang while the Midget Army, Girly Gang, and remainder of the Word Life Gang were allowed to leave the lunch area and "play nicely".
The Midget Army accompanied by the shrunken Word Life Gang moved to a row of trees and bushes, and fortified their natural position by building a base amongst the bushes under the direction of Jonathan out of branches, parts of a broken fence, and several boards of wood which were found in the area. The Girly Gang meanwhile had amassed to the south and began searching for the allies, their exact position hidden by the trees. While the Midget Army finished building the base and Jonathan discussed the battle plan with Jack, the Word Life Gang engaged in running battles with the Girly Gang under the command of Jack's lieutenant, Kyle. With most of its members detained by the teachers, the Word Life Gang were soon losing the battle, and Kyle sounded the retreat.
As the Word Life Gang ran back towards the trees and the Midget's base, Jonathan led a charge of the Midget Army against the Girly Gang to cover the Word Life Gang's hiding place amongst the trees by switching the Girly Gang's attention to them. With the Girly Gang now focused on the Midget Army, the members of the Word Life Gang set up an ambush by hiding in the trees.
The Midget Army were outnumbered on their own, and Jonathan ordered a tactical retreat back towards the Base. The Midget Army outran the Girly Gang and manned the Base, defending it against the Girly Gang by employing full use of its defensive capabilities, setting traps and with some soldiers even resorting to using clumps of soil as projectiles. Just as the Girly Gang broke through the Base's fence of branches the Word Life Gang emerged from the trees and encircled the Girly Gang. For a while, the outcome of the battle hung in the balance, but then the rest of the Word Life Gang led by Daniel charged over a hill towards the battle in the trees - the teachers had let them go. The Girly Gang were completely surrounded, and surrendered.
As terms of their surrender, the Girly Gang promised to give to the Word Life Gang all of their territory that had once been inhabited by the Push Bench Gang, and to give to the Midget Empire the half of their territory in the Lower Playground closest to the Midget Base. Their leader, Billy-Ann, then promised to never again attack the Midget Empire or Word Life Gang, and the Girly Gang was allowed to retreat.
The final defeat of the Girly Gang (coupled with the dissolution of the Invaders at about the same time) resulted in the Midgets emerging as the dominant power in the Playground. While he was already known for his battle plans, the strategic approach of Commander Jonathan as opposed to the overly-aggressive one of Midget Master Daniel helped increase the popularity of the Commander, who was made Midget Master himself within six months.
A commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the battle planned for 15 March 2014 had to be cancelled due to the battlefield being flooded.