Sunday, 23 March 2014

Gilder and Waterloo 150

1965 was a big year for Napoleonic enthusiasts, none more so than a young Peter Gilder who proved to be a pivotal figure in two of our hobby's major commemorative events - the British Model Soldier Society Waterloo Convention, and Wargamers Newsletter's Military Festival.

First up two reports, from the BMSS periodical 'THE BULLETIN' (No 6 December 1965), on the Waterloo Convention (staged at the Rembrandt Hotel, London on 18th June), where PG  starred in the final of the BMSS national Napoleonic wargame competition:

Next, also from THE BULLETIN (this time No 3 June 1965), Donald Featherstone's report on his Military Festival (staged on the 20th March at Chelsea Barracks), where PG contributed to a demonstration wargame of Waterloo itself:

It strikes me how quickly (within a couple of years of discovering the hobby) Gilder had become a major figure in British wargaming. Of course the hobby was much smaller then, but it is testament to his great enthusiasm and talent nevertheless (and getting on with Don Featherstone would have helped too!).


Stryker said...

Fascinating - thanks for posting,

Stuart said...


Glad you're posting again, hope your AWI is coming on better than mine. Just tried posting a pic of one of my commands on AMG forum, clicked wrong tab, could have shot myself when went back and clicked on the picture, deleted and reposted. I've just learned the hard way. Anyway, hope you have something AWI coming up!!

Best regards


Carlo Pagano said...

Hi Doug,

Very interseting articles on the anniversary and thank you so much for posting. This is especially relevant at present as we are busily mobilising people for our own celebration of the 200th anniversary (as indeed would most clubs around the globe).

Thanks...still chuckling from your post on AMG!!



Seb Palmer said...


Fascinating stuff. Reading about the BMSS's 150th anniversary of Waterloo event makes me wonder, will there be any events in the contemporary wargaming community on a par with that? I do hope so!



Michael "Reggie" Davis said...

The 150th at the Duke of York's HQ was a life-changing event for me as a boy of 12. It provided the initial inspiration for a lifetime of collecting and gaming. I have been looking for images of that great day and have found very few. I have none of my own. In 1965 I suppose easy photography was still in the future. I would be very grateful to any readers who can share their photographs of the event.

Going to the 200th recently brought back fond memories of the 150th. Very different of course. What I did notice was many gentlemen (and ladies) in their 60's and older, still willing to trudge across the Waterloo fields in full equipment. A few of those must have attended the 150th also.

Thanks for your excellent Blog. I will link it to my own humble effort: