'The "Better Times"', No. 2, Vol. 1, December 1918, Christmas Number
'The "Better Times"' was the final issue of the First World War (1914-1918) satirical trench publication better known as 'The Wipers Times'. The latter had been established in February 1916 by Captain Fred Roberts and Lieutenant Jack Pearson of 12th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment).
Amidst the ruins of the heavily shelled city of Ypres (called 'Wipers' by the soldiers) they found a damaged but serviceable printing press. A sergeant in the regiment, who was a printer in civilian life, was able to get it working and from it they produced 100 copies of the paper.
As the 12th Sherwood Foresters were moved around at the front, so the title of the newspaper changed too - being at various stages 'The Wipers Times', 'The "New Church" Times', 'The Kemmel Times', 'The Somme Times', 'The BEF Times' and finally 'The Better Times'.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, London
National Army Museum, Study collection