Hols4Heroes Auction: Suffering from Cheerfulness - Best of The Wipers Times

Ends 18.00 hours, 13 November

New hardback "Suffering from Cheerfulness - the best bits from The Wipers Times" with forward by Ian Hislop.

edited to add Synopsis:
This collection lifts the best of the long-forgotten poems, rhymes, limericks and other articles reproduced in the the Wipers Times. They provoke laughter with a lump in the throat and offer an insight into life in the trenches in the First World War.


Paperback "The Feather Men" by Ranulph Fiennes fair to good condition, mainly due to creased cover, pages secure (none loose) slightly yellowed at edges.

At the heart of his stranger-than-fiction story are the Feather Men (so-called for their "light touch''), a covert organization created to protect veterans of the SAS and other elite military units from reprisals by erstwhile foes.

Among other adversaries, the vigilantes took on a band of contract killers known as "The Clinic'' in the pay of a Dhofari sheik bent on avenging five sons who had fallen in battle, the hit men stalked and liquidated four former British soldiers, all of whom had fought in Arabia's deserts.

The murders, which occurred over a 14-year span beginning in 1977, were carried out in such a way that local police dismissed any possibility of foul play. The Feather Men, however, soon concluded that those they had pledged to safeguard were homicide victims.


In February 1916, Captain F. J. Roberts of the 12th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters produced the first edition of the trench newspaper, "The Wipers Times". Often produced in hazardous conditions, at one point only 700 yards from the front line, the newspaper acted as the voice of the average British soldier, relaying his experiences, grief and anger during the entire conflict. This collection lifts the best of the long-forgotten poems, rhymes and limericks reproduced in the magazine. At times irreverent, at times powerfully evocative, the poems provoke laughter with a lump in the throat and offer an excellent insight into life in the trenches in the First World War. Taking its name from the army slang for Ypres, where it was first produced, "The Wipers Times" was similar to "Punch", but contained a more specific type of comedy relating exclusively to the soldiers on the Western Front. The satire and humour of the paper helped reinvent the situation in the trenches - diffusing the conditions of war by ridiculing and exaggerating them. The paper's style was influenced by the difficulties of production.

Articles had to be written in the limited free time the soldiers had; in dugouts, reserve lines or on rest. The paper ran until December 1918, adopting such titles as "The New Church Times", "The Somme Times", "The BEF [British Expeditionary Force] Times" and, finally, "Better Times" produced when the war had ended.

Only two more days to go and it is at £25 with Princess Dale. :)

Congratulation, Boldnotold !!

For £50 the book is yours.

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