Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Eric Knowles – An early British wargamer

I first met Eric Knowles when I visited his wargames shop – New Model Army – in East Ham, London. Although I had been wargaming for many years, I was a novice compared to Eric, who seemed to know just about all the well-known early British wargamers. He had even taken part in the 150th anniversary re-fight of the Battle of Waterloo that had been staged at the Duke of York’s Headquarters, Chelsea in 1965, and he can be glimpsed in two of the photographs of the game that are featured in Donald Featherstone’s ADVANCED WAR GAMES.

I was very privileged to be invited to take part in Eric’s Madasahatta campaign, which was fought out on the large table in the basement of his shop almost every week for over a year. A flavour of the games we played can be had from the section of my own Colonial Wargaming website that is dedicated to the campaign. Eric’s games were always great FUN, and are still talked about by those who took part in them.

Eventually Eric sold the shop and moved to East Anglia, and as a result we lost touch. Despite this he still remains one of the people in wargaming who inspired me – and continues to inspire me – and the fact that I am still playing wargames and enjoying them is in no small part due to him.

Thank you Eric.


  1. Hi Bob - Eric Knowles is my grandfather - the Madasahatta campaign is a family legend.

    Anyway, happy to put you in touch again if you so desire.

    Email me at

    Michael Large (Liz's son, if you recall)

  2. Michael,

    I am very please to hear from you - and that Eric is still around - and will be in touch again to hear how he and his/your family are doing via your email address.

    Madasahatta was and remains an iconic campaign, and I still get a lot of interest in the pages about it on my website.

    All the best,



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