25 March 2018

A (Very) Late Arrival to the Party. . .

Major Welch writing his memoirs?

Not very much happening here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen the last several weeks.  After Spring Vacation at the start of the month, it has been hard to get started again down here in Zum Stollenkeller for one reason or another.  But a much needed boost to my hobby spirits arrived Friday afternoon.  And only about five years late.  Yes, yes.  Extremely gauche of me I now realize.  Please don't cane me, Sir!  I was led astray.

Returning to the point at hand, a few weeks ago, you might imagine how surprised I was to see that a copy of John Ray's A Military Gentleman (2013) had popped up in my Ebay feed in very good condition and at a very inexpensive rate.  I still cannot quite fathom why someone in possession of such a book, and having gone to the retail expense of purchasing it when new, would wish to part with it, but mine is not to reason why.  I made an offer to the seller and procured the book for far less than the original asking price.  It took a while for the book to arrive, and for a while I feared that it was all some kind of ruse, but AMG finally turned up Friday.  No clue as to original owner, but copy #400 now has pride of place on the lower shelf of my beside table.

The set-up of the book is, in a word, wonderful.  The military biography of one Major John Welch is presented -- lavishly illustrated by hundreds of photographs of John Ray's fantabulous (there really is no other word) collection of period figures, flags, and terrain -- as Maj. Welch bounced first from the North American colonies, to Bremerhaven, the Balkans, to Central Europe, to Russia, and back to the Americas via Bremerhaven (once more) and London.  My particular favorite parts of the book are the late R.J. Marrion's illustrations which appear throughout, plus any number of rough pencil sketches and the galleries of additional photographs in the rear third of the book.  

It really was a case of dumb luck stumbling onto this particular copy at a more affordable price, and I will certainly hang onto it for the rest of my time on this earth.  And who knows?  It might be just the sort of thing that helps kindle a more serious interest in model soldiers for the Young Master, who lately is more interested in how engines and various other sorts of mechanical things work, to say nothing of rocket engines.  Still, you never know as Sir Michael Caine might say.

-- Stokes


It looks like the GD 0f S has picked up a couple of new followers during the last several weeks, so welcome, and I hope you might find something of interest here.


John Ray said...

I hope you and your son enjoy AMG.
It was a real pleasure working with all those mentioned on page VII of the book.
You were very fortunate to purchase book 400 at that price. The original owner, noted in my journal purchased the book in July 2014. I have now noted that you are the new owner.
You are now only missing the 138 pages of PDF's, which are on par with AMG given a number of the names helped produce them.
We had the material for the follow-up but illness and other set backs put a stop to the production.

If you look on my last AMG Blog post you are now in good company owning a copy.

I am pleased you have enjoyed the journey so far through the book.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thank you for you comments, John. A real labor of love, and it will undoubtedly bring me model soldierly joy for years to come.

Best Regards,


Der Alte Fritz said...

Congratulations on finding a copy at a favorable price. I think that you will refer to the book over and over and over again and draw much inspiration from it.


Graham C said...

A book for all occasions, I love just to flick through it on a regular basis and I constantly find little things in th photos I hadn't seen before.
It's a good read and the pen and ink drawings are a real inspiration.
A must have book in any collection pity there was only 500! But that just makes it even more special I guess.

Ed M said...

Spiffing! I fortunately acquired mine at a modest discount as well (#362). I am spreading the reading enjoyment out by taking it in small bits on Sundays. I suggest adding a slipcase to round out the indulgence.


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