Another very sad day yesterday, with Donald Featherstone, the father of modern wargaming, passing away. I never met Don, although his personality shone through his books which were a huge influence in my, and no doubt, many other wargamers’ lives.
From the very fine tributes from a number of other wargames bloggers this morning, I know many, many others – Nate, Conrad, Lee, Bob, Mike and Grimsby Mariner – feel the same way.
Like many other wargamers born in the late 1960s, I grew up in the age of school wargaming clubs and the wonderful British public library system. When I think back, it’s hard to separate the two. I used to wargame at the School club on a Friday evening, and cycle down to the local public library before it shut at 7pm to swap last week’s library books around. I was very fortunate – the Hull librarians had the forethought to purchase many of Don’s books for the shelves (located somewhere around 793.3 in the duo-decimal system). “War Games”, “Solo Wargaming”, “Advanced Wargaming”, “Skirmish Wargaming” – the list went on, and by cycling around the libraries in Hull, or using the inter-library loan exchange, I ended up reading almost them all by the time I left school.
I read a chapter or two now and again – sometimes for nostalgia, sometimes for inspiration, and sometimes for the sheer pleasure of reading something so clear and masterful by one of the giants of the hobby.
It’s hard to think of my hobby without Don Featherstone.
Thank you Don for helping me to build a lifetime of wargaming pleasure with my friends.
Rest in Peace.