The Army of Georland

The Army of Georland

Thursday, 21 November 2013

History of the Army of George I

The following posts contain the contents of the History of the Army of George 1.

George was George Alfred Keef, the founder of the army. The notes he kept were later bound together by his grandson Oliver Keef. George appears in the pages as King George himself, usually referred to as H.I.M. (His Imperial Majesty) or Imperator. He seems to have been invincible in the field through the many campaigns recorded

After the Epoch XI B, the Journal is written in a different hand and style. If we assume the dates attributed to actions in the Journal are the same as in  real time then this change would take place in 1875. It is possible that this second hand is that of one of his brothers, Herbert Keef or Arthur Keef.

This transcript has been produced from photographs of the pages of the original Journal. As they are foolscap in size they could not easily be scanned. The maps illustrating the posts are from the same source so are not of a high definition - it may be possible to replace these with clearer images at a later date.

The transcript seeks to reproduce faithfully the spellings, abbreviations and punctuations of the original. In a very few cases it has been impossible to identify particular words. Often these are names, either of places or characters, which are fictional. In these cases the most likely spelling is given and we have tried to make this consistent throughout the whole History.

 Where there is an editorial note to help clarity it is given in [square brackets and italics]. Other brackets have been taken from the text.

Some words are spelt in more than one way in the text and this has been repeated here. Words such as honour and vigour are spelt -or in the manuscript and this spelling is repeated here. Capitalisation is slightly erratic in the manuscript. Where necessary extra paragraph breaks have been introduced into posts to make them easier to read on screen. In a very few cases punctuation has been altered the better to convey the author's intentions.

I would like to thank the Keef family for making the manuscript available and helping to decipher it where this has been difficult.

It is intended to add further historical notes and illustrations, along with a gazetteer of place names, a list of characters, and other appendices, at a later date.

The family are also considering whether to make the full transcript available in Kindle or other format.

The wargaming activity of George Alfred Keef and Herbert Keef is remarkable in two ways:

the completeness with which it has been documented and how this information has survived;

the early date (first use 1860, the Journal's campaigns starting in 1872) which is substantially earlier than the 1898 publication date of Lloyd Osbourne's article in Scribners Magazine on Robert Louis Stevenson's wargames, which has traditionally been held to be the first published account of gaming with miniature figures, the publication in 1913 by H.G. Wells of Little Wars, or the early wargames of the Trevelyan brothers.

We hope that you will find it not only historically significant but interesting and entertaining.


  1. A huge thank you to you and the Keef family for making this available. I am amazed at how much material you have published and with the possibility of more to come.

    Just started to read it and I am looking forward to much enjoyment as I go through it.

    Do you think this might get published as a book at some point? It desrves the John Ray treatment.

  2. Alan, I had initially wondered about a pdf document or using scans of the pages here. There are technical difficulties in scanning it, and much of the text is not easy to read, so this (the blog) seems to be the best way to make the material easily accessible. The family have also been considering whether to publish it in Kindle format.

  3. Thank you to both you and the Keef family for making this available. I hope that the Keef's will make this available via Kindle. They might also consider using LULU for a printed version.