By Rob Morgan
The short review shown below this note comes from that long defunct publication Tradition, described on the cover as the Journal of the International Society of Military Collectors, a society itself also long, long vanished in the mists of time. This review, of one of Don Featherstone’s earliest books obviously, was in No. 67, in the early 1970s — I’d say 1972 — and it was written by the editor, the well-known Lt. Col. J.B.R. Nicholson. John Tunstill was also involved with the magazine, I know.
A rather short note, as you see, in a very high quality “glossy” journal, and one which in many ways is still reflected in the manner and style of our own SWA of late. Many of the articles and subjects dealt with in Tradition would find a home in either Lone Warrior magazine or even the blog thing. No doubt of it.
I find J.B.R. Nicholson’s approach not merely nostalgic, but even 40-od years on his description of Wargaming remains absolutely crystal clear and worth a second glance. It is nostalgia, yes, but what the hell! If only he’d known what a future talent he was dealing with in reviewing Don Featherstone!
Of course, Tradition had already dipped its toe into the “War Game” world, (no, not War Games, that version of the term was never, ever used by that author) with a long series by Charles Grant, who fought the odd encounter across the pages with 30mm Norman Newton figures, which must have cost a fortune even then! In one photo, there was an entire British and French battle c. 1750s and Fontenoy, superb rows of lovely regiments, about 1,000+ figures in all. Mind you, I couldn’t afford Tradition as a young impoverished student in those far-off days. I bought a pile of them, second-hand but immaculate, from the Oxfam shop in Bristol a year or two back.
* * *