London History Day: When courage retires

This afternoon Sue and I will be visiting the Royal Hospital Chelsea to attend a special talk and to see a number of exhibits that tell the stories of some of the Chelsea Pensioners.

The event has been organised by the Royal Hospital Chelsea Heritage Department as part of London History Day, and is in several parts:

  • Before they fade: A talk by author and illustrator Robin Ollington in which he will recount stories of courage as told by Chelsea Pensioners for the short biographical series of the same name.
  • Courageous women of the Royal Hospital Chelsea: An exhibit that will cover the stories of the women in the British Army from those who served clandestinely as men (e.g. Hannah Snell, Christian Cavanaugh) to the arrival of the first female Chelsea Pensioners.
  • Semper audax (You can’t teach an old dog new tricks): A short video that will explore some of the ‘adrenaline fuelled antics‘ of the modern Chelsea Pensioners.
  • Great War Portraits: A photographic record created by Keith Collman ( of veterans he has met on trips to the battlefields, during visits to their homes, and at reunions. The photographs will be accompanied by biographies of the subjects.

It sounds as if it will be an interesting way to spend a few hours, especially as we will be given access to parts of the Royal Hospital that are not normally visited by the public.

The Madasahatta Campaign book … has been published!

THE MADASAHATTA CAMPAIGN has been published and is now available for purchase from

The book should be on sale from other online booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble within a matter of weeks.

THE MADASAHATTA CAMPAIGN was originally devised and written by Eric Knowles and has been edited (with additions) by Bob Cordery. It is published in hardback by Eglinton Books and costs £14.99 (ISBN 978 0 244 38509 5).

One step forward, two steps back …

The final proof reading of my gridded naval wargaming book has taken place and any errors have been corrected. The text and layout were then rigorously checked several times, and a PDF of the text was created, prior to being uploaded to However, when I tried to do that this morning problems began to arise.

Each time I tried to upload the PDF, it was rejected on the grounds that not all the fonts used were embedded. It has taken me over six hours (including some breaks for refreshment and to restore my personal comforts) to embed the fonts and upload the PDF … which is a bit of a record, even for me. The book is now at the stage where I can print a couple of proof copies, and once I have received and checked them, the book should be ready for publication.

On a separate matter … the problems with email notifications of reader’s comments continues to afflict Blogger, and judging by the Blogger Open Forum, a lot of people are very unhappy that this has happened, and that Blogger does not seem to be doing anything to fix the problem.

We can but hope that they will manage to find a solution, but in the meantime, if I don’t answer a comment, please be patient and I’ll do so as soon as I can.

Sorting out the comments problem

Blogger does not seem to be doing anything to sort out the sudden demise of the comment notification emails that used to arrive in my inbox when a regular blog reader wrote a comment on my blog. Someone on the Blogger Help Forum has suggested a ‘fix’ that I am going to try. It involves me creating a post (this one!) and sending myself a comment about it.

It might work … but if it doesn’t, I’ll find out quite quickly!

Well I ticked the ‘Notify me‘ box next to my comment, and an email duly arrived to tell me a comment had been made. Now I need to see if a comment by someone else will generate a notification email!

Inevitable downsizing

I am reaching the stage where I have almost run out of room to store my books and wargames stuff. As a result I am giving serious thought to downsizing my collections. (This is likely to be necessary in the near future anyway, as my wife and I are thinking about moving to a smaller house or bungalow outside London, possibly on the Kent coast.)

I am beginning with my collection of books, and I have already identified some that either duplicate what others cover or which are about topics that no longer interest me. Once this has been done, I will think about disposing of them. If possible, I might sell them on eBay or to a dealer; if not, I might just list them somewhere on my blog so that regular readers can identify any that they might want to take off my hands for the cost of postage and packing … and a small donation to my moving fund.

Once that has been done, I will move on to my wargame collections. I know that I am very unlikely to use some of them in the foreseeable future, and disposing of them makes sense. Like the books, this might be done using eBay or using less formal channels.

I have no idea how long this process is going to take (weeks, if not months is a reasonable estimation) but I will keep my regular blog readers apprised of my progress.

I did read an very helpful article about how to downsize ones library. The rules were quite simple:

  • Get rid of it if it’s falling apart
  • Get rid of it if it was a gift, and you are only keeping it out of guilt
  • Get rid of it if it’s a school or college textbook … and you are no longer at school or college
  • Get rid of it if you’ve read it — and you didn’t like it!
  • Get rid of it if you’ve had it for more than two years and you haven’t read it
  • Get rid of it if you have more than one copy

Sound advice … just as long as I can keep to it.

Updated Publications page

As I have another two books in the last stages of publication (THE MADASAHATTA CAMPAIGN and GRIDDED NAVAL WARGAMES) I decided to update the Publications page on my blog.

The list of books is now split under several headings:

  • Wargaming Books
  • Military History Books
  • Masonic History Books
  • Fiction

Below an image of each book’s cover are the prices at which the various editions (hardback, paperback, or eBook) are currently on sale via Lulu.

Is GDPR affecting comments?

The General Data Protection Regulations came into force today … and email copies of comments made on my blog are no longer being sent to my email account.

Are the two events related? I’m not sure, and I’m looking into it. In the meantime, if regular blog readers write comments and I don’t reply within a day or two, please be patient. I’ll answer comments as soon as I can.