Manual Wipers: A Soldiers Tale From the Great War (1)

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Sean Rayment. Sniping in the Great War. Martin Pegler.

Escape from Corregidor. Edgar D. Bruce H. Devil's Guard: The Real Story. Eric Meyer. Thomas Street.

Ian Hislop, the Wipers Times and jokes on the frontline | The Times

Mud, Blood and Bullets. Edward Rowbottom. DF Ryschka. Peter Hart. Sergeant Robert Lofthouse. Scott Bennett. Tiger in Combat. Bob Carruthers. Tiger Command. If You Survive. George Wilson. Bowen Robert. Operation Mayhem. Damien Lewis.

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Grey Wolf, Grey Sea. Recon Scout. Fred H. Panzers at War Stormtrooper on the Eastern Front. Assault on Juno. SS Charlemagne. Le Tissier. Red Sniper on the Eastern Front. Death in the Jungle. Alan Maki.


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Somme Mud. Behind Enemy Lines. Sir Tommy Macpherson.

Operations Most Secret. Ian Trenowden. Price of Exit. Tom Marshall. The Marine from Mandalay. Barry Friedman. Vietnam: Reflections of an Interrogator. Donald H Sullivan. Gunship Pilot. Robert F. Dust-Off Three-One. Thomas Butler. Randy Kington. In Foreign Fields. Dan Collins. Sniper on the Eastern Front.

D-Day Invasion True Combat. Nigel Cawthorne. Desert Hawk. Barbara Hehner. Thorolf Hillblad. Defying enemy bombardment, gas attacks and the disapproval of many of the top Brass, The Wipers Times rolled off the press for two years and was an extraordinary tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity. There will be a pre-show talk on Tuesday 18th September. Admission is free. It might be based on events which happened years ago but The Wipers Times seems curiously up to date, certainly in terms of some of the themes it portrays.

It is the sort of thing which, if you were not aware was based on true facts, would seem to be a quite a ludicrous story - a newspaper of sorts, written by amateurs and printed on very basic printing machinery, describing with humour and satire the events going on around them in the trenches, something which was popular with the other troops but which did not always go down well with the top brass who were amongst those being somewhat unsubtly criticised. Performed by an ensemble of 10 actors, the play begins with the decision in by Captain Fred Roberts of the 24th Division of the Sherwood Foresters, aided by his Lieutenant Jack Pearson and a civvie-street printer, to create a paper which lasted until after the end of the war, producing an amazing 23 issues, not as a journal of record but more a journal of jokes.

Or, as they said, like the Daily Mail but without the lies or like Punch but with jokes. In fact, there were a number of references which carry equal currency in today's climate. Taking the mickey out of events and people whilst the bombs rained down, on one occasion smashing their beloved printer to smithereens, the play at times introduced other comedic elements such as the advertisements which they put into the paper fake, obviously!

In the words of the play: "The war is not funny, Sir". The Wipers Times manages to bring out the humour in situations where no humour should exist but where it is needed just to be able to survive…. Thoroughly enjoyed this play which was funny but also a great tribute to the men who endured the hell of the trenches during the war. Find out more or adjust your settings. My grandfather joined in and rather like the Wipers Times lot, survived and came out the other side.

Ian Hislop, the Wipers Times and jokes on the frontline

Traditionally, the abiding narratives of the First World War have been dominated by the s poetry. The production takes its music hall trappings and puckish swipes at the high command from the actual editorials and fake adverts in the journal, of which an astonishing 23 editions were printed from various postings, as the Foresters, largely comprised of valued miners and engineers, trudged to the worst fighting at the Somme and back again.

Read aloud to the entire trench lest copies should disintegrate in the mud, Newman marvels at the precocious modernity of the gags, still eliciting laughs a century on. Started at school, it continued through Oxford University to Private Eye and the duo are currently working on their second original play, about the farcical libel trial of satirist William Hone.

We took a lot of their jokes and worked backwards, wondering how did they come up with that?