Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Stuart Asquith, RIP

I was travelling home last night from the City of London when I read Henry Hyde's announcement that Stuart Asquith had died.

This news came as a shock as he and I were of the same wargaming generation, and I had known him on and off for well over forty years. For those of us who were in the hobby in the 1980s and 1990s, he will be remembered for his editorship of PRACTICAL WARGAMING (1987 to 1999) as well as the numerous articles and books that he wrote. (He was a regular contributor to MILITARY MODELLING and BATTLE FOR WARGAMERS magazine, a forerunner of PRACTICAL WARGAMING.) He was also one of the leading UK wargamers who was invited by the late Paddy Griffith to attend the first ever Conference of Wargamers in 1980, and I can well remember standing in the bar at Moor Park talking to him about various aspects of the hobby.

Just a cursory glance at the list of some of the books that he wrote gives some indication of his contribution to the hobby:
  • 1979: The Campaign of Naseby 1645 (Osprey 'Wargames' series)
  • 1983: Military Modelling Manual (Contributor)
  • 1987: Military Modelling Guide to War Gaming
  • 1988: Military Modelling Guide to Solo Wargaming
  • 1990: Military Modelling Guide to Siege Wargaming
  • 1992: New Model Army, 1645-60 (Osprey 'Men-at-arms')
  • 1992: Wargame rules for the 1680-1721 period
  • 1993: A Wargamer's Guide to the 1812-1815 War with America
  • 1993: Big Wars (written with Jack Alexander)
  • 1994 to 2000: Regiment the Military Heritage Collection
  • 1995: Wellington In India, A Wargamers Guide (written with Charles S Grant)
  • 1996: Quatre Bras (Practical Wargaming booklet)
  • 1996: Scenarios for All Ages (written with Charles S Grant)
  • 1997: Bunker's Hill 1775 (Practical Wargaming booklet)
  • 1997: Hastings 1066 (Practical Wargaming booklet)
  • 1998: The Collector's Guide to New Toy Soldiers
  • 1998: Wargaming World War Two
  • 1999: Practical Wargaming Yearbook (Editor)
  • 2006: The Partizan Press Guide to Solo Wargaming
  • 2007: War in the Sudan 1884-1898: A Campaign Guide (Partizan Special Edition)
  • 2008: The War of 1812: A Campaign Guide to the War with America 1812-1815
  • 2008: Warfare in Egypt and the Sudan
  • 2012: The Partizan Press Guide to War Gaming the Crimean War
I last saw Stuart a couple of years ago when I travelled down to his home in the Cotswolds to collect some Napoleonic figures that he wanted to pass on to me. He had moved there after retiring, and I had a very enjoyable day talking to him and admiring his large collection of 54mm figures. He was still wargaming, albeit usually with his larger figures, and had a small but very full wargames room in his house. I was honoured when he gave me a signed copy of his latest book, and was further honoured when he asked me to sign his copy of THE PORTABLE WARGAME. He subsequently sent me photographs of the forces he had painted to use with my rules, and they are reproduced below.

Like so many wargamers of his generation, his true contribution to the hobby has not been fully realised until now. We have an expression in Freemasonry that states that a man should live respected and die regretted ... and this is very true of Stuart.

I wish to extend my condolences to his family at this difficult and trying time, and I hope that they will get some relief from their grief in the knowledge that Stuart was so highly regarded by those who knew him.

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