“THE BOY’S OWN PA­PER”

Evergreen - - Summer 2018 -

Roger

Turner from Chel­tenham showed me a book about the his­tory of The Boy’s Own Pa­per, writ­ten by the last edi­tor, Jack Cox, but pub­lished posthu­mously be­cause he died just a few weeks af­ter com­plet­ing the man­u­script in 1981. Judged by to­day’s stan­dards the pub­li­ca­tion seems out­dated and yet it rep­re­sented all that was good at the time. Pa­tri­otic to the core it set stan­dards which to­day would be re­garded as un­achiev­able.

Be­lieve it or not, two dif­fer­ent po­ems were pla­gia­rised from its pages by a young Dy­lan Thomas who later passed them off as his own adult work. His de­ceit, how­ever, was ex­posed by former reg­u­lar read­ers who knew the orig­i­nals and their real au­thors!

The BOP and The Boy’s Own An­nual be­gan in 1879, the former sur­viv­ing un­til 1967 and the lat­ter un­til 1979, a cen­tury on. Gone but not for­got­ten by those old enough to re­mem­ber the esprit de corps con­tained in its pages and sto­ries.

Ge­of­frey Pock­ling­ton was Edi­tor from 1924 un­til 1935 but de­scribed him­self as “Hon. Edi­tor” so it is con­ceiv­able he never drew a salary. He was keen on The BOP League of Friend­ship and this pic­ture is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of what a cross sec­tion might have...

One of 12 dec­o­ra­tive school so­ci­eties mast­heads drawn by Fred­er­ick Garnett dur­ing the Pock­ling­ton pe­riod ( see be­low).

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