Sunday, 11 November 2012

Plotted to Split Britain and Russia

Daily Mirror dated Tuesday June 19th 1945

This edition of the Daily Mirror was printed only 6 weeks after the end of the War in Europe and it obvious from the layout that paper was still in very short supply. There are no less than 6 news stories on the front-page alone.
As it contains only 8 pages I thought I would post the whole paper.

Click to Read
Front Page - 
The trial of 16 ex-members of the Polish Resistance, who throughout WWII had fought against the occupation of Poland, first by the Nazis and then by the Soviet Union, was just one of many of Stalin’s show trials. The accused had been tricked into visiting Russia by the promise of a ‘safe passage’ but were arrested by the Soviet Secret police. They were tortured for several months until all but one of the 16 confessed to trumped-up charges. The trial lasted 4 days. Leopold Okulicki was sentenced to 10 years, Jankowski to 8 years and the other sentences ranged from 5 years to 4 months. Three were actually acquitted.

For more information about William ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ Joyce see this post.

At the end of WWII King Leopold III of Belgium was under house arrest in Germany but when freed he didn’t return home but spent the next few years in Geneva. He finally abdicated in 1951.

Conservative MP for Oxford, Quintin Hogg (later Lord Hailsham) had written his book ‘The Left was Never Right’ in answer to the 1940 book ‘Guilty Men’ which, using modern parlance named and shamed public figures who were pro-appeasement in the years leading up to WWII.

Click to Read
Page 2 -
This first post-War election turned out to be a victory for Clement Attlee’s Labour Party and a surprise defeat for the ‘war hero’ Winston Churchill and his Conservatives.

Click to Read
Another example of the space saving layout is the use of the gutter between pages 2 and 7, which is used for the Radio programmes and part of the crossword. After the War the General Forces Network became the Light Programme, which in turn became Radio 2 in 1967.

Click to Read
Page 3 -
Baby Marie Osborne appeared in 20 or so silent films between 1914 and 1919 then ‘retired’. She started a film career again in 1934 but only as an extra and a stand-in, making her last screen appearance in 1950. Between 1956 and 1976 she worked in the wardrobe department on several well-known films including ‘The Godfather Part II’. She died at the age of 99 in 2010.

The story lower left about Mr Claude Baker appears to be an early case of identity theft – literally.

Click to Read
Page 4 -
General Noel MacFarlane won the Labour seat for Paddington North at the General Election but resigned in 1946.
That’s the way sport should be reported –less than a third of an inside page, in fact if I'd been in charge it would have been relegated to the page 2/7 gutter and the Radio promoted.

Click to Read
Page 5 -
It isn’t until near the end of the piece headed ‘Took Pupils for a Lesson in LAW’ that you realise that the pupils are all 15 or older. Why is the word ‘LAW’ in capitals?

If the mosquitoes are that big in Oxfordshire I’m staying away. There’s not even a barrier across the road – were the Health and Safety people on holiday?

Click to Read
Page 6 -
Surprisingly ‘Buck Ryan’ was British comic strip and ran from 1937 until 1962. 
‘Beelzebub Jones’ was another British strip that looked like a US import. It died in December 1945.
‘Popeye’ was a US import that started in 1929 and is still running, although the artist has changed several times over the years.
‘Garth’ began in the Daily Mirror in 1943 and lasted for another 54 years.

From 1935 until 1990 ‘Live Letters’ replies and comments were by the ‘Old Codgers’ who were actually journalists Brian McConnell and possibly Peter Reed.

Click to Read
Page 7 -
By today’s standards the Agony Aunt column is very tame.

The ‘Just Jake’ comic strip was odd in that the title character rarely appeared having been eclipsed by the villain Captain A.R.P. Reilly-Ffoull.
‘Jane’ was the Daily Mirror’s most famous strip and was published from 1932 until 1959. It spawned book, TV and film versions.

Click to Read
Back Page -
The only news in this edition from the war in the Far East and it’s looking like the beginning of the end for the Japanese, but it was another 2 months and 2 atomic bombs before they finally surrendered.

Labour won the Election and the coal industry, which had been taken over by the Government during the War, became officially Nationalised on January 1st 1947.

Tom Driberg was, among other things, an MP, a poet, a communist, a homosexual, an author, a friend of Evelyn Waugh, black magician Aleister Crowley and the Kray Twins, the original ‘William Hickey’ columnist, a CND campaigner, a Baron and possibly an MI5 spy and/or a KGB agent. 

No comments:

Post a Comment