So Don Featherstone has passed on. Of the "big beasts" of the wargaming world as I was growing up I think that just leaves Phil Barker. Terry Wise, Charles Grant, Tony Bath, Peter Young and of course Paddy G the Young Turk are all gone now. We shall not see their like again, - people who started wargaming as grown ups and defined the hobby as we understand it today.
I'm not sure how important Don Featherstone is to me and my involvement in the hobby. I got into wargaming because:
(1) I was a boy in the 1960s with toy soldiers
(2) My older brother wargamed with his friends
So I discovered Don Featherstone's books after I was pretty much fully committed to the hobby. There was no "eureka" moment, stumbling upon "Wargames" in the library or similar.
Where Don did have a major impact on me (can I call you Don? After all we never met) was in encouraging me to stand on my own two feet. Or rather me & Derek to stand up on our own.
To that extent "Battle with Model Soldiers" was a more significant book. Up to me discovering it in the school library we were takers of rules written by my brother and his friends. After "BwMS" we started to write our own rules. Then Derek found "Wargamers Newsletter" and we were both subscribers.
The standard of writing in WN was such that we felt, at the age of 13 or 14, that we could write battle reports as well as anyone (except for that Western Gunfight lot). From then I never looked back. My work litters the pages of various wargames magazines and now the internet.
An acquaintance through WD, John Curry, has set up the History of Wargaming project and befriended Don so his legacy is assured. His books are being republished for posterity - although some of them have not stood the test of time well.
So good bye, and thank you for your contribution to the hobby. Regardless of your personal impact on me it is clear that without you the hobby as I know it would not exist. 100 years on from Little Wars we enter a new chapter.