To my amazement, I have been awarded the HMGS Legion of Honour.
For those of you who know nothing about the award, which is perhaps better known in the US than in Britain or continental Europe, you can read about it here
And to understand why I am honoured and somewhat stunned to be a recipient, you can see the list of previous recipients here. Only two awards are made each year, and the Jack Scruby award one every two years.
Recipients usually receive the award at the annual Historicon convention. Unfortunately, there is simply no way I will be able to attend, but I have sent my thanks to the HMGS and the other holders of the LoH who kindly approved my nomination.
And what a nomination, initiated by the great Howard Whitehouse! I confess it made me blush, but it’s gratifying to know that my evangelism for the hobby has been appreciated.
Howard wrote to the committee thus:
‘I’m nominating Henry Hyde for the HMGS Legion of Honor. I wanted to avoid the “nominate your gaming pals you like” syndrome, so I asked the thousand-plus members of the “A Gentleman’s War” Facebook page this question:
“If you had to nominate a living wargamer for a sort of hall of fame, who would it be? Not dead, or sleeping like the colonel.” Of course, they went ahead and nominated lots of dead people. And – since I’d been deliberately evasive – they also suggested lots of people already inducted by the LoH.
But one name kept coming up. Beaming Quotes such as:
“Henry Hyde wrote the current textbook on what wargaming is.“
And “Unflagging champion for the hobby in all its forms and guises.“
“Decent fellow. Life’s kicked him in the jangles numerous times and he refuses to stay down. I’m proud to call him my friend!”
“A second vote for Henry Hyde, a gentleman and a scholar.”
And he was thirded, fourthed, fifthed and sixthed. Such as:
“I do not know Henry personally, but I have Henry’s massive The Wargaming Compendium, published in 2013. It’s a vast work – 521 pages – encompassing almost every aspect of our hobby.”
As a writer in this hobby myself, I was floored by the breadth of knowledge and sheer effort that went into the book… Plus his follow up book Wargame Campaigns 2022. Henry Hyde began Battlegames as a web-magazine in 1998, turning it into a commercial magazine in 2006, with a strong emphasis on traditional historical wargaming. In 2011 his magazine was bought and later combined with the longstanding Miniature Wargames, He and his influence on that work is clear as Henry held that editorial helm until 2016 (as new owners shifted focus to fantasy and science fiction).
Henry runs a website a podcast and a Patreon. He’s made all the back issues of Battlegames available and is a regular contributor to Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Magazine. He runs a design business. He’s a champion fund-raiser for the Combat Stress charity. By all measures, Henry is a powerhouse for the hobby of Historical Miniatures Gaming.’
I want to thank my amazing patrons for all their generous support in recent years, because without that, some of the things that are mentioned in Howard’s extraordinary nomination would simply not have been possible, and I will always be grateful for that. So in accepting the award (and apparently there actually is a miniature medal involved), I am also acknowledging the part that all my patrons past and present have played in my hobby life.
And in the wider world, I have also been buoyed up by the incredible level of support I have received online, especially (and, to many people’s surprise, given its general reputation) on Twitter, where wargamers have created a lovely little corner of the internet that is warm and supportive.
Thank you all.