Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Canadawwi

Blighty Magazine? 1916 First Issue

Recommended Posts

Canadawwi

I just bought a WWI magazine called "Blighty" for Christmas 1916. I've never heard of it before and I was wondering if anyone knows anything about it.

The cover says "Every Copy Sold Sends Three to the Trenches". It has a lovely colour illustration on the cover of a soldier staring with alarm at a bomb that looks like a Christmas pudding. It is 40 pages long.

The content is described as "Pictures and Humour from Our Men at the Front". Inside are cartoons, poetry and other items submitted from individual soldiers, and their names and units are given. Many of the cartoons deal with gas mask jokes, and there are several cartoons with tanks in unusual shapes (such as a bug). There is one page with greeting to Canadians, and another for Australians. The back page has a "Comrades Column" where men post inquiries regarding friends they have lost track of, or info about a man who is now missing, or dead, in the hopes that someone had any information about how the individual died. For example, one of these states: "Sgt. L. Hart, 8420, RAMC, No. 20 Field Ambulance, BEF, France, would like to hear from "Pte. Moss, L.H. 56192, D Coy., 19th Batt., 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Ex. Force (believed missing).

The masthead states that Haig, French, Jellicoe and Beatty are honorary patrons and that "Blighty" is "the paper that is a free gift to sailors and soldiers".

The editorial thank the men who have sent in their sketches and stories from the front and indicates that the items sent in that were drawn in pencil in the trenches were redrawn for reproduction purposes. The editor also explains that the soldier may notice that the price is marked at 6d, but that does not apply to the soldiers, but to those at home who wil pay to raise funds to continue to send free papers to the men.

The Editor also explains that the paper was started by a soldier and sailor who wrote to their father, who happened to be a newspaper man, and said they were short of reading. A committee of journalists was formed and they raised enough money to begin publication on May 31st 1916. He also indicated that the weekly production of the paper cost nearly 400 pounds due to high paper costs, but they hoped to continue. In addition, he notes that by this issue 3,000,000 copies had been distributed free of charge to servicemen. The address for donations was 40 Fleet Street London.

The names of the editor and staff are not listed. The publisher is "The Committee of Blighty", 40 Fleet St., London, printed by Walbrook & Co., Fleet Printing Works, Whitefriars St.

Based on the number of copies mentioned, I would think that there would be many copies floating around, but this was the first time I ever saw it, and I've been looking for this sort of thing for about 6 years now. Is it commonly found in England today? Does anyone know what happened to the publication? Was it published to the war's end?

post-6-1091290478.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul Reed

This magazine has been reprinted in the UK, I believe.

I have a few issues of it, given to me by Horace 'Jock' Gaffron, of the Gordon Highlanders, who lost his leg on the Somme and contributed some cartoons to it. I think there is one by him in this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry Carter

I bought the Summer 1916 edition on eBay a couple of weeks ago. It looks like all the contributors with stories and cartoons were in one of the services.

Terry

p.s. Checking on Ebay there was still a magazine of the same title being published in 1951. See the pic below.

post-6-1091292824.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry Carter

Here is the one I bid on

post-6-1091293195.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Canadawwi

Terry,

That summer Blighty edition looks like a nice one and in good condition. Mine was well used, but since I'll be scanning and cleaning up images, it will work well for me.

In my original email I mentioned that someone was looking for a Canadian soldier who was missing. I checked on our Virtual War Memorial, and he had already been killed by the time that inquiry was posted. His name may be found on the Vimy Memorial.

Best regards, Marika

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Max Poilu

That Christmas edition of Blighty illustrated above looks like the modern reprint. This was produced a few years ago and sold at the IWM amongst other places. It should be marked somewhere that it is a reprint. The original issues are scarce.

There are many various wartime weekly publications available at very good prices. The French equivilents are also worth looking out for being beautifully illustrated. I have always thought Great War Ephemera is very underpriced, it is fascinating to collect being full of period adverts and patriotic articles. But like all Great War collectibles it too has become more scarce in the last few years and prices are rising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Canadawwi

Hi!

The one I have is an original, but it is completely deteriorating. It isn't marked as a reprint. I have other authentic magazines from the same era that are in similar condition - it is crumbling away. I'm scanning the pictures and fixing them up, so I don't mind the condition.

Speaking of crumbling, what do other collectors do to help preserve aging paper magazines from WWI?

Here's a funny joke from inside:

post-6-1091377605.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
N.S.Regt.

Canadawwi

Most old paper conains small amounts of acid. I have talked to a restorer who told me that each page has to be taken out and treated to remove it. It is expensive and unless it is very rare book or doc. it is not worth the cost. I have the problem with a few of my older books. Docs. are best stored in archival page protecters and kept in a binder or folder out of direct sunlight.

Best regards

N.S.Regt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Canadawwi

Hi NS Regt!

I do keep them in acid free conditions, but the practical problem for me seems to remain with how to utilize these deteriorating books without damaging them.

My biggest problem right now is a huge Canadian souvenir book put out by a Montreal Newspaper in 1919. It is the size of a large newspaper, and very heavy. The paper is in relatively good shape, but heavily torn. I can hardly move it without it tearing as the paper is very soft.

There is a lot of useful content such as full page group photos of a number of units, panorama pictures of the training camps, and full page rolls of honours for various businesses. I can't get it on a scanner because of the size and weight, and any movement means that the tears worsen. When I take a digital photo, this doesn't work out well as it is wavy, or the flash puts a bright white light in the centre. So with this one I'm not sure how to take care of it properly. What a lot of people, esp. dealers do, is cut it apart, but I think that is wrong.

Attached is the type of digital picture I can take from the book, but it isn't as good as a scanned image.

Best regards, Marika

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
N.S.Regt.

Canadawwi

I have one similar in size although in good shape (for now) the book is filled with newspaper clippings and photos. It was produced by the Halifax Hearld just after the war and contains hundreds or photos it is approx. 3 feet by 2 feet in size. I have been thinking of making up a frame to mount it on the wall with a easily removed back so I can view it now and then. At least this way it is not sitting around getting knocked about.

Best Regards

N.S.Regt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...