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Decades ahead of the amusing but distorting buffoonery of Blackadder Goes Forth, this complete edition of the Wipers Times, the famed trench newspaper of the First World War, is an extraordinary mix of black humour, fake entertainment programmes and pastiche articles, and constitutes a unique record of life on the wartime frontline. From its long-running cartoon pun (Are We Being Offensive Enough?) to its brilliantly subversive column Things We Want to Know (the name of the officer who originated the idea), its hilarious spoof ads to its pastiche fake contributors (Belary Helloc), this complete facsimile edition of the Wipers Times, produced to accompany the BBC dramatization, is a historical masterpiece that enables us to sample the real spirit of the trenches . . . from the safety of our armchairs. If you can drink the beer the Belgians sell you, And pay the price they ask with ne'er a grouse, If you believe the tales that some will tell you, And live in mud with ground sheet for a house, If you can live on bully and a biscuit, And thank your stars that you've a tot of rum, Dodge whizzbangs with a grin, and as you risk it Talk glibly of the pretty way they hum. . .
The true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme, interspersed with comic sketches and spoofs from the vivid imagination of those on the front line. In a bombed out building during the First World War in the French town of Ypres (mispronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discover a printing press and create a newspaper for the troops. Far from being a sombre journal about life in the trenches, they produced a resolutely cheerful, subversive and very funny newspaper designed to lift the spirits of the men on the front line.
The Wipers Times was the Private Eye of the Ypres Salient during World War One. Edited, while under bombardment, by a battalion commander in the Sherwood Foresters, written by soldiers actually in the trenches and distributed by ration-wagon and ammunition-mule. the paper bears vivid witness to the shocking realities of trench warfare. Yet for all the occasional horror of its content, The Wipers Times was a gentle, humor-filled and satirical paper which, once its codes are cracked and its riddles solved, tells an interested reader much about the characters and personalities of the men in the British Army of the First World War.Interpretation of regular features such as the bogus music-hall advertisements that feature in every issue, columns like Answers to our Many Correspondents and Things We Want to Know and careful study of some of the remarkable poetry published in the paper, explain to readers what it was like to be there. The Mud, the Gas, the Shells; the Fear, the Courage, the Humour and the Bitterness; much is revealed about these and many other things in this remarkable book that unravels the eighty-year-old Riddles of Wipers.
In WW2 information leaflets and posters proliferated. Soldiers were bombarded with Field Regulations, airmen with the latest updates about airborne early warning, bomb sights and radio navigation and sailors with material that helped them identify enemy aircraft and submarines and told them how to operate the new ship board weapons to destroy them.??An abundance of familiar slogans exhorted the population to do the utmost: 'Go To IT!', 'Come Into The Factories', 'Keep Calm and Carry On', 'Dig For Victory', 'Lend A Hand on the Land', 'Walk When You Can'. Other messages warned of the consequences of irresponsible behaviour: 'Careless Talk Cost Lives', 'Loose Lips Sink Ships', 'Keep It Under Your Hat' and 'Be Like Dad, Keep Mum', the latter illustrating just how much social mores have, thankfully, changed in the last 75 years.??This book is concerned with the plethora of printed ephemera that was designed to educate, instruct, inform and entertain. Such original material can still be bought and is easy to store ‰ÛÒ the posters also often making attractive items for display ‰ÛÒ but as with all other authentic historical material supply is finite and examples of wartime publications in first class condition command a high price. This is the first time a single volume has been dedicated entirely to a long overlooked component of wartime collectables. It is designed to complement books which focus on traditional militaria such as uniforms, equipment and regalia and is intended to reveal just how much material was produced, across the board, by each of the warring nations. It will advise enthusiasts about what was produced, what is still available and where to find it and, importantly, how to conserve and store such vintage printed items.

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