Tuesday, 24 December 2013
On Sunday a rendezvous in a windswept motorway service station saw me taking possession of a package from Tim Gow of Megablitz and more containing various papers from the collection of the late John G Robertson of Dundee, who was well known in wargaming circles in Scotland. Chief amongst them was a copy of Don Featherstone's Wargamers Newsletter Wargamers Yearbook 1966/7, which I had never seen before.
It is a rich source of 1966 goodies and some of them will appear here in due course. However, the thing I have most been interested in is a long article by Don himself entitled The Early Days of Wargaming - The R.L. Stevenson story.
This reports research by one Karl G Zipple of Michigan into Stevenson's wargames at Davos in 1880-1883 and contains some sources I haven't seen before.
The reason it has caught my interest to so great an extent is in the context of George Keef and Georland, who got properly into his stride in 1872, eight years before RLS at Davos. This shows the importance of George Keef as a previously unknown early proponent of wargaming with figures, and earlier than the previously accepted pioneer RLS.
Clearly, whenever people have had toy soldiers there have been people throwing things at them and fighting battles. However, reading Don Featherstone's article reinforced the view that George Keef is now eligible to be counted as one of the early fathers of wargaming, along with HG Wells and Robert Louis Stevenson.
More on this along with the text of the article can be found in these four posts over on the Georland blog.