(n. p.): Printed and Published by Sherwood, Forester & Co., Ltd, 1917. 1st Printing of this issue. Unpaginated, though 12 pages. Text double column. Typographical embellishments. 8vo. 10" x 7-1/2". Printed self-wrappers [wrappers heavier stock], sewn. The rear cover retains its original Army stamps from the field franked "Field Post Office 105" and has been sent by registered post, dated "29 Oc 17". Now housed in an archival mylar sleeve. Signs of use, age-toning, some foxing. Wrappers detached along spine fold. Withal, an About Very Good copy of this scarce war-time publication. Item #51025
"In early 1916, the 12th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, was stationed in the front line at Ypres, Belgium, and came across a printing press abandoned by a Belgian who had, in the words of the editor, "stood not on the order of his going, but gone." A sergeant who had been a printer in peacetime salvaged it and printed a sample page. The Wiper Times itself was named after Tommy slang pronunciation of Ypres." The title of the paper changed as did the location of the publishers... the Somme-Times said to have come from sitting in the middle of this famous battle, editing the paper. [Wiki / from the preface, The WIPER TIMES, London, 1918].
Publication of these trench magazines was held up after February 1918 by the German offensive on the western front in that year, but at the end of the War two issues of "The Better Times" were published. The second of these was billed as the "Xmas, Peace and Final Number." [Wiki].
All issues replete with war time humor, irony & satire and serve as an example WWI British soldiers attempting to find distraction from a tedious campaign.
Given their ephemeral & fragile nature, it’s not surprising that issues are becoming increasingly uncommon in the trade.