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The Wipers Times

Project Type:

Wynkyn de Worde Society

The Wipers Times was a newspaper that was written, printed, distributed and read by soldiers serving in the trenches of the Western Front of the First World War. It was deeply satirical, joyously lampooning the top brass, the enemy and the war itself in equal measure. As the battalion moved around during the war, the newspaper took on a series of new names – after being The Wipers Times it became The “New Church” Times, then The Kemmel Times, The Somme-Times, The B.E.F. Times, and finally, at the end of the war, The Better Times. Here’s the front cover of The B.E.F. Times from February 1918 – published two long years after the first edition – scanned in from a very rare surviving copy.

Wipers Times spreads_Original

Cartoonist and author Nick Newman told the story of this fantastic publication at a Wynkyn de Worde Society event, and to mark the talk, I created a new edition of the newspaper, featuring a collection of the best bits from across its twenty-three editions.

I wanted to create something that was as true as possible to the original, so I worked with letterpress printer Matt McKenzie at Paekakariki Press, who typeset and printed the new edition on his Heidelberg KS Cylinder press. We used movable type as much as possible, and used plates made from scans of the originals for the rest.

Wipers Times spreads_1
Wipers Times spreads_2
Wipers Times spreads-CU
Wipers Times spreads_3
Wipers Times spreads_4
Wipers Times spreads_BC

Read the full story of our recreation of this incredible newspaper on this blog post.