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Andy Dove 1959 - 2019
An obituray by John Conyard:

On Wednesday 15th May we laid to rest Andy Dove, in his home city of York. His son Adam asked me to write a “re-enactment obituary” which is certainly not easy and a task I do not really feel equal to. I got to know Andy back in 1990 when I was looking to buy a house in York and he was running “The Little Soldier”, the well known wargames shop in Gillygate. I suspect my decision to buy a house nearby was influenced by its proximity to the “The Little Soldier”. Andy had been in the Sealed Knot recreating the English Civil War, where I started my re-enactment career. He was a brilliant painter of figurines with a great eye for colour and detail. And his shop sold some really excellent books, some of which have become classics and are still an important part of my library. His hand-written price labels bring a smile to my face every time I see one on the front cover of a book, right hand top corner.
In 2000 Andy was a founder member of Comitatus, the Late Roman reconstruction group, serving as secretary and treasurer for many years. He led us to adopt the shield design of the Praesidiensis, possibly the garrison of Praesidium, perhaps near modern day Bridlington in East Yorkshire. Andy believed that clothing and equipment should be used, to show that it was fit for purpose and not just fancy dress. I remember he was so keen to make his own bivi tent he used the only material he had at the time, curtain lining. This was not a great success. At night during storms he liked to curl up in his cloak in the corner of the awning, not too far from the fire. At one charity event during a mini hurricane we settled down in the awning for a great night watching modern tents blow past us while experimenting with the echo settings on a PA system. It was an atmospheric, otherworldly night. He was fascinated by the multi-cultural aspect of Late Antiquity, and always enjoyed bringing a unique Gothic element to shows. He was a very adventurous soul, enjoying cycling and riding holidays around the world, even getting shot at while cycling in Syria. He brought this enthusiasm to his riding in Comitatus where he loved sitting in a Steppe saddle and recreating a Gothic cavalryman. Perhaps more enthusiastic than skilful he took some crashing falls but kept on coming back for more. He once confided to me that he really wanted to ride a horse to a bar, get off, and order a drink, a dream we were able to make true at a Ribchester Roman Festival many years ago. We used the legionaries to close off side roads while getting the cavalry into the village centre for Andy to order a drink at the local hotel. The barman was very concerned that Andy intended to ride his mount into the building, and on reflection perhaps he should have done. Every February we get involved in the York Viking Festival, the largest Viking Festival in the UK, and Andy enjoyed dressing up as a Viking, perhaps with a just a hint of Pict, and taking part in the marches and battles. He certainly brought his re-enactment experiences to his painting, especially his painting of Late Roman cavalry.
I knew Andy as a re-enactor and wargamer but he was far more than that, he packed a great deal into his three score years.  He loved his motorbikes and the biker community turned out to wish him goodbye. He was a kind man, always ready to help out and work for others not just himself. He had a ready laugh and gentle smile. While undergoing treatment for terminal cancer he left detailed instructions for his funeral making us all smile. His sons gave him a great send off while dressed in steam punk garb. Andy will now be smiling down at us from his own version of Valhalla, laughing at whatever we get up to.
Robert Vermaat
FECTIO Late Romans
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]

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