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"Don Featherstone Passes" Topic

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Keraunos03 Sep 2013 11:34 p.m. PST

Donald's books were in my local library when I was a boy.

They were part of my introduction, along with Charles Grants books and Stuart Asquith's columns in military modelling – all from the local library.

I still have some of Donald's books today.

Sgt Steiner03 Sep 2013 11:43 p.m. PST

Sad to hear another of my youthful heroes gone

Veteran Cosmic Rocker04 Sep 2013 12:01 a.m. PST

Very sad news, I met him a couple of times and I found him a charming man and an inspiration.

ratisbon04 Sep 2013 12:02 a.m. PST

Few know he fought in WWII from 1939 to 1945, in tanks, not support,in an armor unit, in North Africa and Italy. On the lighter side in 46 while waiting to demobilize he appeared in the background of a number of movies including as I recall Great Expectations.

Bob Coggins

Patrick R04 Sep 2013 2:03 a.m. PST

A remarkable man, RIP.

thebunkergames04 Sep 2013 2:03 a.m. PST

R.I.P. Don
We had a short but great time together.
His book collection has pride of place in The Bunker

Munster04 Sep 2013 2:04 a.m. PST

Like many others I found his books in a public library as a child, and my conversion began.


Your works inspired many to follow in your footsteps

Klibanophoros04 Sep 2013 2:11 a.m. PST

An absolute legend. RIP.

Rod MacArthur04 Sep 2013 2:17 a.m. PST

I first got into Wargaming as a teenager in Southampton after seeing a model soldier exhibition organised by Don and Tony Bath (founder of Society of Ancients). For a few years I was one of a group that met at Don's or Tony's houses. I last saw him several years ago when he invited me to one of his Military Dinners.

He was unfailingly helpful and generous. In the early days I was into the Zulu War and had made British from converted Airfix Guards Colour Party. I made one plastic conversion of a Red Indian into a Zulu. Don kindly made a mould for me so I could homecast several hundred 20mm metal Zulus. I still have both the mould and the figures, over 50 years later.

A sad day.


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 2:20 a.m. PST

Everything we have comes from Featherstone.

Everything even all the guys at GW (in the early days) had read his books. Seem to recall reading that they did a bulk order of "Skirmish Wargames" for the office to use when it was reprinted in the 1980s.

"Solo Wargames" and "Wargame Campaigns" certainly shaped my gaming, and by extension a huge portion of my waking life both as a youngster and as an adult.

It is the end of an era but we still have the books and our Airfix armies to play with.

Thanks for all of it Mr Featherstone.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine04 Sep 2013 2:22 a.m. PST

Like many others his books were my gateway into the hobby. Wierdly one of my prize possessions is a signed copy of Don's book on the Sikh wars which was in my grandad's possessions when he passed away. The book is signed to my grandad who was a very active bowels player in Southampton and got a copy of the book after playing Don in a Bowels game apparently.

RIP Don thanks for your contribution to my Hobby.

Wargamer Blue04 Sep 2013 2:23 a.m. PST

A sad loss. RIP Mr Featherstone.

snurl104 Sep 2013 2:30 a.m. PST

Thanks. RIP

abelp0104 Sep 2013 2:55 a.m. PST

Very sad news. May he Rest in Peace!

Yesthatphil04 Sep 2013 3:01 a.m. PST

I echo what you have all said. Featherstone's books helped make the wargame accessible to my generation of players through that wonderful institution the local library.


TamsinP04 Sep 2013 3:02 a.m. PST

A very sad loss. Like so many, it was accidentally finding one of his books in the local library when I was 10 or 11 that got me into wargaming. I really must pop over to Amazon now to order some of his books that I haven't yet got round to adding to my collection.

ps – Prince Rupert – I hope that is a pair of typos in your post. If not, then Southamptonites have a very peculiar hobby. wink

battleeditor Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 3:08 a.m. PST

Very sad news.

His friend Ron Miles (remember the "Siege of Dendermonde" in Battle for Wargamers?" contacted me a couple of weeks ago to tell me that Don had collapsed. Naturally, we'd been praying for his recovery, but this outcome was feared.

I shall be running a tribute to Don in MWBG366 which goes to press this weekend.

Miniature Wargames with Battlegames

deflatermouse04 Sep 2013 3:27 a.m. PST

Thank you greatly for so much. With me as with everyone else, you made so much possible. Thank you
Your book "At them with the Bayonet" is still one of my primary sources.

Edwulf04 Sep 2013 3:27 a.m. PST

Very sad.

One of the legends of the hobby.


uruk hai04 Sep 2013 3:35 a.m. PST

An inspiration to many throughout his long and active life. I avidly read every book of Mr Featherstone's I could lay my hands on.
A mainstay of the British wargaming community along with Charles Grant, Peter Gilder, Stuart Asquith, Tony Bath and Terry Wise.

taskforce5804 Sep 2013 3:47 a.m. PST

Using the WW2 rules from Battles with Model Soldiers (my copy at the time was borrowed from the school library), and playing with Airfix figures and tanks on the living room floor – that was one of my earliest wargaming memory.

With much thanks to Mr. Featherstone – you will be missed and remembered.

lindrp04 Sep 2013 4:16 a.m. PST

I met him at Historicon in the late 80's. A truly wonderful man.


ashill204 Sep 2013 4:21 a.m. PST

Very sad news indeed. Like others, his books were my introduction to the hobby and I will be forever grateful for them. RIP.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 4:21 a.m. PST

I can only agree with what everyone else has said.



Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 4:31 a.m. PST

I was fortunate to have met him several times. A true gentlemen. Very sad. RIP.

Craig Ambler04 Sep 2013 4:35 a.m. PST

Sad news. My big introduction into wargaming years ago through his books.

A big loss to a lot a of people.

Oh Bugger04 Sep 2013 4:43 a.m. PST

Yes he did so much, like everyone else as a boy I was thrilled to find his books in the local library.

I never met him but have never heard a bad word about him. He was by all accounts a thoroughly nice chap.

Condolences to his friends and family.


cazador04 Sep 2013 4:51 a.m. PST

I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting him on two occasions.
RIP Don.

FusilierDan04 Sep 2013 4:54 a.m. PST

I knew him only through his books. Many thanks for giving me something to hold on to when the path to self destruction opened. His books are written in a way that makes you feel he is there talking to you. God Bless. RIP.

Personal logo M1Fanboy Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 4:55 a.m. PST

I met him for a few minutes at Historicon when I was 12. I was so in awe of him (and this was BEFORE I read his books) that all I could do was say "Hello, Sir" and that was croaked out. Don simply laughed and said "Call me, Don." RIP Don.

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 5:02 a.m. PST

A giant of our hobby. RIP.


mdavis4104 Sep 2013 5:05 a.m. PST

Don Featherstone was certainly my inspiration too. What a huge impact he had on the hobby. Thank you Don.

Ambush Alley Games04 Sep 2013 5:22 a.m. PST

I remember reading Mr. Featherstone's books at the local library when I was young – they were my first glimpse into the world of miniature war gaming.

Godspeed, Mr. Featherstone!


Karellian Knight04 Sep 2013 5:30 a.m. PST

Like a lot of others here, for me Mr Featherstone's books ignited the flame that lead to a life long passion for wargaming.

Thank you and rest in peace.

TheWarriorPole04 Sep 2013 5:57 a.m. PST

'Solo-Wargaming' was what got me started in the hobby as a kid 12 years ago. Playing with the ultra-simple rules in said book, and the figures from the Risk board game. I'd always hoped to meet him, however unlikely it was. RIP sir, and thank you.

Schoie8804 Sep 2013 6:07 a.m. PST

Many of us tell the same story ;-). Changed my life when I read his War Games book in the public library 45 years ago!

To have such a positive influence on the lives of so many people is a great tribute to the man.

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 6:16 a.m. PST

As a young boy, Skirmish Wargaming was the first set of rules that I ever used.

I am forever grateful. Mr. Featherstone, you will be missed beyond imagination.

tmy 193904 Sep 2013 6:26 a.m. PST

Thanks, RIP.

WarWizard04 Sep 2013 6:29 a.m. PST

A pioneer in our exciting and very enjoyable hobby. Sad to see him go.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 6:41 a.m. PST

Very sad to hear….

We owe so much of our "Little Toy Soldier World" to him and his…

Thank you sir…


Personal logo edmuel2000 Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 6:52 a.m. PST

Another sad milestone for those of us who have been travelling this path for decades. His legacy, however, lives on.

RIP, Mr. Featherstone.

Old Slow Trot04 Sep 2013 6:54 a.m. PST

Rest easy,and thanks.

Trajanus04 Sep 2013 7:01 a.m. PST

Not very often you can honestly say "We wouldn't be here without him" but in Don's case its true.

Even if you never read one of his books or the Wargames Newsletter, back in the old days, the influence he had on making Wargaming what it has become was seminal.

Thanks Don

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 7:08 a.m. PST

God rest his soul. I was fortunate enough to meet him at Historicon once and he seemed to be a wonderful man.

jameshammyhamilton04 Sep 2013 7:13 a.m. PST

My life would have been so different without Featherstone and Grant.

Sad news indeed.

mad monkey 104 Sep 2013 7:16 a.m. PST

He inspired many, including me. Rest in peace sir.

EagleSixFive04 Sep 2013 7:22 a.m. PST

RIP good sir.

boy wundyr x04 Sep 2013 7:44 a.m. PST

I always liked his inclusive, big-tent approach to the hobby in his writing; he didn't care what you played, you were party of his hobby (and he'd probably written some rules on the subject!).

I also loved a line I came across in one of his books, along the lines of "despite seeming to be a hobby about conflict, it's really a hobby about friends".

I wonder if there's some way to get his books back into libraries (where they aren't), since so many of us found about him and the hobby that way. I expect between wearing them out and "long"-term borrowing, we may be responsible in part for how hard they are to find now in the public system – I know my local libraries (public and university) don't have any. I'd suggest buying a book and giving it to the libraries – but they might not take them into circulation. Any librarians on here with tips?

Gary Mitchell Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2013 7:47 a.m. PST

When I was in my teens his books opened a whole new world. He will be sorely missed.

Mirosav04 Sep 2013 7:55 a.m. PST

Finding his books at my local library was an inspiration. We owe him a great debt.

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