Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wartime Headlines from the Daily Mirror

by Jon Farrell

The Daily Mirror is a newspaper that has been in publication in Britain for over a century and was founded in 1907. It has covered all of the historical events across Britain and indeed the world throughout the twentieth century. Many other newspapers have been running as long and some even longer in one form or another. Have you ever wanted to glance at one of these publications that were printed on the actual day you were born? Now that is possible via Great Experiences who have access to a huge newspaper archive, you can read all the historical headlines from the day you first graced this world.

If you were born on August 7th 1943 what would you expect to read? 1943 was of course during World War II and the Daily Mail was printing at that time. It is quite amazing when you read through it, how the style of writing has changed and how stories were reported compared to the modern day. Even the adverts printed inside look so different compared to what we see now. Here is one of the headlines and a small excerpt from that edition:

"The General and the Constable"

"Major General A.C. Fuller, a Deputy Regional Commissioner for the Eastern Region, was at Cambridge yesterday fined £3 for a black-out offence at his house, Park Terrace, Cambridge.

"War Reserve Police Constable Radford said that he rang the front door bell intermittently for twenty minutes and could get no reply. Eventually General Fuller came down and asked: 'What the hell is all the row about?'

"Told of the light he said: 'There is no light showing in this building' but when taken outside he apologised. When told the offence would be reported he replied 'Carry on and report what you like.'

"When Police Constable Radford said he had been ringing for twenty minutes General Fuller replied: 'That is nonsense, I should have heard you. Are you aware that I am a Deputy Regional commissioner and that I get roused dozens of times at night by a telephone by my bedsides? I should certainly have heard the bell. It is a very thin tale and I shall tell the Chief Constable so.'

"General Fuller wrote to the Court that he had been reading before black-out time and left the light on inadvertently."

Reading such a snippet gives us a glimpse into how things were during the war and that everyone had to pull together in times of need. These types of events are often over shadowed by the bigger events of the day and are often forgotten. Original prints from the day bring the past back to life. Here is another excerpt from the Daily Mail on August 7th 1943:

"Stammering Children Cured by Marionettes"

"A Marionette theatre has been used in the successful treatment of stammering children.

"Miss Marion Fleming, speech therapist to Birmingham City Council, revealed this at the conference of the Association of Speech Therapists in London yesterday.

"She said the children who made the theatre and worked it, overcame their speech defects partly through being invisible and losing their self-consciousness and partly through their concentration on the manipulation of the puppets.

"In almost all cases those who were almost cured gained greatly in confidence, and audiences were very rarely aware that the voices came from stammering children.

"Miss Gwynneth Thorburn told the conference that she could not understand why most people would respond if told that something would improve their appearance but resented advice on improving voices.

"Many pronouncement difficulties would disappear if voices were trained on psychological lines. People tried to improve their voices by hunching their necks into their shoulders."

The above excerpts were taken from a 1943 edition but you can find many papers even older available from well preserved archives. Great Experiences can offer you more information on these wonderful old publications, letting you step back in time to days since gone. Please see the Giveaways page on this blog to read about the contest and return here to win a copy of the newspaper and date of your choice (subject to availablility). Comment below and leave your contact information to enter the drawing.


Jon Farrell


  1. This was an interesting post. I love to look through old newspapers. Thank you for this giveaway! lauren at heyerwood dot com

  2. How fascinating it would be to read a newspaper from the day of one's birth! Thank you so much for this unique and interesting prize!
    smhparent [at] hotmail [dot] com

  3. Really enjoyed reading the excerpts from the newspaper. I love reading anything that deals with history. Thank you for the giveaway.

  4. I just love the social history of Britain during WW II. And a newspaper with the excerpts you quoted is fascinating. Thank you for an interesting post.

  5. Having once envisioned a career in journalism I have always been fascinated by newspapers and would love a British papers from my birth year when my godfather expatriated and joined the RCAF. Some is the US saw what was coming.


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