Just after the First World War Fred Roberts goes for a job as a newspaper journalist and tells the sub-editor how, in the trenches in 1916, he discovered a printing press in working order. Helped by ex-printer Sergeant Harris and with his friend Jack Pearson as his assistant, he sets up the Wipers Times - the name coming from the soldiers' pronunciation of the town Ypres. Despite disapproval from officious Colonel Howfield but with backing from sympathetic General Mitford they produce twenty-three issues of a satirical magazine - its articles represented on screen in black and white - which boosts morale and even gets mentioned in the Tatler. The press is destroyed by a German shell but another is found and the paper's title changed to fit in with wherever the regiment is deployed. Pearson and Roberts are both awarded gallantry medals but when Roberts is only offered the job of crossword compiler by the sub-editor he moves to Canada as a prospector while Pearson marries and opens a ...
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Did You Know?
"Wipers" was the nickname that British soldiers during World War I used for the Belgian Flemish city of Ieper, which was known by it's French name of "Ypres" and they found the correct name hard to say. See more
[the soldiers have found a printing press in an abandoned building in the town that they are patrolling
What are we going to do with it?
We're going to "borrow" it.
Isn't that looting?
No, it's "temporary requisitioning of civilian facilities for military purposes".
Oh. Sounds like looting.
If You're Waking Call Me Early, Call Me Early, Sergeant Dear
Performed by Ben Chaplin See more