“THE BOY’S OWN PAPER”
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 Judged by today’s standards the publication seems outdated and yet it represented all that was good at the time.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).