RIP Donald Featherstone

Donald Featherstone (born 20 March 1918 in London, died 3 September 2013 wrote more than forty books on wargaming and military history ((many of those books can be purchased in reprint from the History of Wargaming Project)). I have a number of Featherstone’s books in my library under my mother’s house.

His books were probably the single thing most responsible for my generation developing an interest in wargames. My first two wargames were in the early 1970s when a friend invited my to his place to play a game or two. The first game was an American Civil War battle using Airfix figures and the second was an ancient battle (Rome vs Britons). Both battles used Featherstone’s rules that were included in his book, the War Game.

After the second game, the next book I went out and purchased was the War Game.

I would say that if H.G. Wells was the grandfather of modern wargaming, then Donald Featherstone was the father. Others have had a mighty influence on the early days of the modern hobby, the likes of Charles Grant, Tony Bath, Jack Scruby, Peter Gilder and Paddy Griffith amongst others come straight to mind. Featherstone, however, with his 40 books piqued our interests and then fed the fires of that interest with more books and the wonderful Wargamer’s Newsletter – a publication I eagerly awaited to come through the mailbox.

I shall dust off my old copy of the War Game over Christmas and sometime in the New Year, at least one, Roll a Six to Hit!