- The Riddles of Wipers
- British Army Trench Journals and a Geography of Identity | SpringerLink
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Barnsley: Leo Cooper, In clean, tidy condition with a similar dust jacket. Bookseller: Clarendon Books P. London: Leo Cooper, Fully illus. Hard Cover. Used book in very good condition. Some cover wear, may contain a few marks. New in new jacket.
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New in New dust jacket. NEW pp, illustrated, bound in brown cloth with fine dustwrapper; Quarto. Ivelaw-Chapman, John. Profusely illustrated with photographs, reproductions. 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.click
The Riddles of Wipers
Yet for all the occasional horror of its content 'The Wipers Times' was a gentle, humour-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 som London: Leo Cooper  Near fine in near fine dust jacket.
Illustrations, photographs. A typically British corrupion of the pronunciation of Ypres. This book by John Ivelaw-Chapman serves as a very useful introduction to this uniquely British Institution. Although it was edited by a Battalion commander of the Sherwood foresters, its contents were almost completely contributed by rank and file tommies.
British Army Trench Journals and a Geography of Identity | SpringerLink
Hence there was something uniquely democratic and representative about it - nothing is lost in translation. At times cryptic and couched in Edwardian sensibilities, and its riddles can take some deciphering - hence the title of the book - but that was the language of the time. To take the language out of the message would be to take The Wipers Times out of context. It demonstrates a typically British sense of humour, in its poetry and cartoons.
It tells us much about the men who shaped it, and their views on the War, the British Army and the World. What's more its not some kind of 'top-down' view, but in their own words, and their own language. A lot of myths have built up regarding Trench Warfare in the Great War, and books such as this are very important at helping a degree of reality to shine through. This book is well illustrated with pages from The Wipers Times, and some interesting and illuminating analysis from Ivelaw-Chapman. Perhaps at times the text does not flow easily and maybe we do not need to know so much about the author's own experiences - The Wipers Times speaks for itself.
But nevertheless, books such as this make a very important contribution to our understanding of the social history of warfare.
To listen to a lot of historians, we would think that the average Tommy was constantly worrying about whether Haig was a good General. The Wipers Times is a window into the past. Men under incredible stress contributed to this trench journal produced by the 12th Sherwood Foresters, an ordinary infantry pioneer battalion that managed to produce a steady stream of satirical articles, quite dreadful poetry and sham adverts. The magazine first appeared at Ypres in early , then followed the unit around Western Front. It is a fascinating publication, although by no means unique as there were several such magazines, which are all but forgotten.
The prevailing humour is strangely gentle given the violent backdrop of the First World War. Taken as it stands it is an enjoyable, rambling read. The extracts are nearly always amusing - either genuinely funny or so awful they raise a smile - a cross between Private Eye and Punch. Google Scholar. Both the French and the German trench journals differ in character from the British magazines.
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The French Army journals generally represent the work of literary-minded individuals writing for their immediate circle of comrades rather than a collection of interested and enthusiastic soldiers writing for their entire unit. It is often the case that one French battalion could have three or four small magazines produced by its members.
The German magazines, contrastingly, were more official and less literary. They were used as a means of disseminating news, propaganda even, rather than a means of amusing and diverting. According to Winter, 13, Oxford men served in the armed forces while 13, Cambridge men did so. CrossRef Google Scholar.
Batsford, , p.