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The Wipers Times

World War I drama based on a true story. An army captain discovers a printing press in the ruins of Ypres, Belgium, in 1916, and decides to publish a satirical magazine.

When Captain Fred Roberts discovered a printing press in the ruins of Ypres, Belgium in 1916, he decided to publish a satirical magazine called The Wipers Times - "Wipers" being army slang for Ypres. Full of gallows humour, The Wipers Times was poignant, subversive and very funny. Produced literally under enemy fire and defying both authority and gas attacks, the magazine proved a huge success with the troops on the western front. It was, above all, a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity. In his spare time, Roberts also managed to win the Military Cross for gallantry.

1 hour, 29 minutes

Last on

Sat 9 Jul 2016 22:30

Captain Roberts & Lieutenant Pearson

Captain Roberts & Lieutenant Pearson

Find out how Captain Roberts & Lieutenant Pearson created The Wipers Times.


Captain Roberts & Lieutenant Pearson are based on real people; read their biographies to find out more


Role Contributor
Fred Roberts Ben Chaplin
Jack Pearson Julian Rhind-Tutt
General Mitford Michael Palin
Lieutnant Colonel Howfield Ben Daniels
Kate Roberts Emilia Fox
Director Andy De Emmony
Harris Steve Oram
Barnes Hugh Skinner
Dodd Josh O'Connor
Henderson Jarrod Cooke
Smith Colin Ash
ADC Bobby Richard Doubleday
Winston Churchill Paul Kennedy
Field Nurse Emma Little
Chaplain Faolan Morgan
Writer Ian Hislop
Writer Nick Newman
Producer David Parfitt


  • Wed 11 Sep 2013 21:00
  • Tue 12 Nov 2013 01:50
  • Sat 9 Jul 2016 21:00
  • Sat 9 Jul 2016 22:30

The funny side of World War I

The funny side of World War I

BBC History takes a look at the humour used in the Wipers Times.

A true story is a tribute

A true story is a tribute

Find out more about this one-off history drama set during World War I