Written by ‘Have I Got News For You’ panellist, Ian Hislop; ‘The Wiper’s Times’ shows an often understated legacy of humour and wit from the soldiers of WW1. It is the story of a comical newspaper (named after the British mispronunciation of Ypres), so full of irony that some commanding officers labelled it treasonous.
Inspired by the discovery of a printing press in the wreak of a bombed building, a group of soldiers, with no journalism experience whatsoever, start up a newspaper. As they put it: ‘We should aim to produce something like ‘Punch’. Only with jokes.” It is ultimately a tragic story, although peppered with humorous sketches. Even the soldiers that survive return to England as ghosts of their past-selves. Despite his considerable experience, one of the soldiers (Captain Fred Roberts) tries to get a job after the war as a journalist, and is told that he could maybe help out with the crossword copy.
Failed by society, ‘The Wiper’s Times’ is all the 12th Battalion of the 24th Division left behind. It is a story that reflects on the value of human life.
The Wipers Times TV show is on Iplayer
The complete series of Wipers times newspapers that were produced are available on amazon (the link might time out. Just search ‘Wipers Times on amazon’: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Wipers-Times-Complete-Newspaper/dp/1906251177/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1379438431&sr=8-2&keywords=the+wipers+times