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The Red Letter - a newspaper?


Scotsmac
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Colleagues

Whilst continuing my family history researches I found a copy of a letter from my Great Grandmother pertaining to her missing son Private James Inman 25th Battalion AIF in a file I downloaded from the Australian War Memorial web site. It was in the Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau Files 1914 -1918 War. She had written to the British Red Cross Society "Seeing your name mentioned in the 'Red Letter'" about her son who had been missing since the 12th October 1917. Has anybody ever heard of this "Red Letter"? Was it a newspaper or magazine? On searching the web the only thing I can find is a reference to sheet music in the MacMaster University Digital Collections with the title "Red Letter supplement of Up to date War Songs". I also tried a quick search of the British Red Cross Archives and nothing came up.

Any help would be appreciated.

Best Wishes

Keith

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Keith

You may have discovered - and perhaps discounted - this

Red Letter magazine

that was published during the Great War. It looks like the sort of publication that might have given away the type of message cards shown in CGM's link, though I wonder whether it would have included the apparent reference in your post.

Moonraker

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Thanks CGM for the links to those poignant cards. Something to look out for on Ebay in the future.

And thanks also to Moonraker. I'll be following up the Link. It seems The Red Letter was published by DC Thomson in Dundee and the samples on the link have volumes numbers 66 to 74 for the years 1966 to 1971so it may have been published during WW1. My great Grandmother was living in Glasgow so this might be the Red Letter I'm looking for. I'll be emailing the DC Thomson archives and will report back.

Thanks again. So many kind people in this Forum!

Keith

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The link says that the Red Letter was published from 1899 to 1987.

Googling ("Red Letter magazine 1918") for images leads to a few cover illustrations, though none is of the Great War period - and to covers of other periodicals, including the Red Cross Magazine, that are.

Moonraker

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Yep, I noticed that but I wasn't sure how long DC Thomson have been around or if they had been the original publisher, but I see from their website they go back to 1886 so it might have been one of their earlier publications.

Thanks again

Keith

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I can imagine a Women's story magazine could have a small editor's section which, during war time, could have uplifting, helpful information for the readers.

CGM

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I hope so. I've emailed the DC Thomson archive so I'll report back when they reply.

Thanks again

Keith

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  • 3 weeks later...

The DC Thomson archive got back to me a while ago and they have a near complete set of The Red Letter from1899 to 1988, however their archive is closed to the public. They suggested I try the National Library of Scotland but they only have issues from the late 1970s for a few years, and the Mitchell Library in Glasgow but they don't have any issues. The DC Thomson archive were very helpful and if I can make a good enough case I might be able to get some access.

In the meantime some more postcards from The Red Letter appeared on Ebay (see Moonraker's post above) which I was successful in buying. They are quite small cards, only 7cm by 9cm, which is probably why they were called midget message cards. I've scanned a few which I shall post.

Thanks to all for their help

Best Wishes

Keith

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First picture of four presented by The Red Letter

Best Wishes

Keith

post-124981-0-67419000-1464518132_thumb.


Second picture of four presented by The Red Letter

Best Wishes

Keith

post-124981-0-15411700-1464518285_thumb.


Third picture of four presented by The Red Letter

post-124981-0-04461900-1464518353_thumb.


Fourth picture of four presented by The Red Letter

post-124981-0-91461800-1464518410_thumb.

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The British Library in London appears to have a complete set.

The catalogue entry gives System number 013934967

Cheers

Maureen

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Thanks Maureene.

Unfortunately they don't have it digitised so it would mean a trip to London. I stay in Hamilton which is only an hour and a half's drive from the DC Thomson archive in Dundee.

Thanks again

Keith

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The DC Thomson archive got back to me a while ago and they have a near complete set of The Red Letter from 1899 to 1988, however their archive is closed to the public.

.. what on earth does that actually mean?

They have an archive of potentially enormous impact on WW1 research yet choose not to make it public?

Even if they were to simply put them in print for a modest amount, they''d sell out!

How many "commercial" enterprises wouldn't jump at the chance?

In any event, surely they could at least make an attempt for a genuine request such as yours to try and assist?

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The British Library in London appears to have a complete set.

The catalogue entry gives System number 013934967

Cheers

Maureen

I've been searching the Bodleian catalogue and the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera - so far, to no avail!

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I can't find the British Library set but it might be worth checking whether it is indeed in Euston or in their Document Supply Centre at Boston Spa (not that that'll be much more convenient even if nearer).

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Correction - I've found the BL set now and the early years from 1899 are indeed at St Pancras.

While the National Library of Scotland only appears to have 1972 and ff it might be worth enquiring whether 1899-1971 has simply escaped the online catalogue so far - as a copyright deposit library they should have the set.

Finally, might be worth investigating the Scottish Archive Network http://www.scan.org.uk/aboutus/indexonline.htm

sJ

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Colleagues,

Thanks for all your contributions.

.. what on earth does that actually mean?

They have an archive of potentially enormous impact on WW1 research yet choose not to make it public?

Even if they were to simply put them in print for a modest amount, they''d sell out!

How many "commercial" enterprises wouldn't jump at the chance?

In any event, surely they could at least make an attempt for a genuine request such as yours to try and assist?

KevinBattle, I was maybe being a bit disingenuous by saying their archive was closed to the public and I didn't mean to give that impression. They did say that they get requests from time to time from Academics for projects which they try to accommodate but they really do not have facilities to accommodate readers. However they did say they would try and help for a specific enquiry. Here is a link to an issue of the Scottish Council on Archives Journal called Broadsheet which has an article on the DC Thomson Archive which may be of interest.

Correction - I've found the BL set now and the early years from 1899 are indeed at St Pancras.

While the National Library of Scotland only appears to have 1972 and ff it might be worth enquiring whether 1899-1971 has simply escaped the online catalogue so far - as a copyright deposit library they should have the set.

Finally, might be worth investigating the Scottish Archive Network http://www.scan.org.uk/aboutus/indexonline.htm

sJ

SeaJane. Your right about the possibility of earlier issues maybe having escaped their online catalogue. I'll email them and ask them to check. I've been using SCAN as well but nothing so far.

Thanks again

Best Wishes

Keith

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