(1948 – 2008)
I first came into contact with Tom Tweedy soon after he joined the postal Diplomacy hobby in 1977 as he subscribed to my zine Pigmy. I can remember long telephone calls with Tom (usually with his wife Jan joining in on the sidelines) and we always seemed to have lots to talk about, despite the fact he was nearly 30 and I was a mere teenager. My overriding memory of him was of a thoughtful and pleasant guy with a good sense of humor. Tom was a mean Diplomacy player though and often featured near the top of the UK rankings. I left the Diplomacy hobby when I went to college in late 1979 and so never subscribed to Tom’s zine Dib Dib Dib which ran for some 75 issues between October 1980 and February 1988. Originally Dib was launched as a sub-zine within Chimaera to run games of postal Sopwith (the postal rules for which he had devised), but Tom soon got the editing bug and went independent at issue 7.
Surprisingly Dib never did that well in the annual Zine Poll – Tom’s best position was 7th in 1982 – despite being a reliable zine with plenty to read including a truly excellent letter column. Having read through all the back issues I think Dib probably had too low a profile to get high votes from editors and for much of the time Dib did everything except print reviews of other zines. Tom was an early adopter of technology, hooking up an Apple II computer to a daisywheel printer to cut stencils at a time when computers were beyond the reach or understanding of most. After 8 years Tom was understandably getting tired of zine production, but he organized a fold into a re-launched Pyrrhic Victory and kept up his high standards to the end.
I came across Tom again when I started Spring Offensive in 1993 and after a while Tom was running games of Sopwith for me in the zine. When SpOff folded at issue 50, Tom restarted Dib as a players-only mini-zine to finish his games of Sopwith which he duly did by December 1998. At that point Tom’s love of technology pushed him in a different direction and he launched the Dip2000 website for online Diplomacy which is still going strong today. Tom’s health was not good, but he was not one to complain.
In some way Tom was a private person and his private life was only revealed in snippets in the zine. From 1970-1972 Tom was a bomb disposal diver for the Army and it was at the end of his Army career that he ended up being confined to a wheelchair by a sniper (although he never mentioned his disability to me either privately or in his zine). I sincerely regret that although Tom was one of my lifelong Diplomacy friends (we were still exchanging emails up to a few weeks ago), I never met him. Understandably he did not attend cons and I can only curse myself for never finding the excuse to drive up and see him. Tom died at home on Christmas Day, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife Janet and son Stuart.
In 2011 Tom was posthumously awarded the Elizabeth Medal.
24160557 Sapper. Tom Tweedy. 25 December 2008
Tom passed away at home in Amersham. Tom served with the newly named 49 (EOD) Sqn at Lodge Hill Camp from 1970 to 1972. During this period he served on a number of operations and qualified as a Army Diver. It was whist undertaking beach clearance operation in Brighton that he met his wife Janet. Tom was posted from 49 to Northern Ireland where he was shot in the neck and severely paralysed. After medical treatment he was discharged from the Army and settled in Buckinghamshire to be close o Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Although wheelchair bound Tom was full of life and enthusiasim, showing his Sapper spirit, never complaining of his situation and a continual inspiration to those who had the honour and privilege to know him. Over 100 people attended Toms funeral. The coffin was draped by the Corp Colours and a Standard Bearer from the British Legion lowered the flag as the Last Post was played. Representatives from the local REA where in attendance a fitting tribute to a Sapper.
Tom leaves behind his loving and caring wife Janet, son Stuart and many friends, he will be greatly missed.
He was my best friend from those EOD days and I could not have wished for a better one. Dick Green.