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Possibly the first boys paper published in the UK.

Stories and illustrations with letters and lots of ideas for bored boys.

Boy's Own - bibliography
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My grandfather used to deliver the paper before he came to Canada in 1926. He says he say an article about coming to Canada and received permission from his parents. He was 13 years old. This month he turns 90. - Wayne Bunt

I vaguely remember seeing it in the early fifties. It certainly wasn't popular with any of my friends. I seem to remember it as boring. - John

Hello there I've just aquired a Boys Own annual of 1895, which makes very interesting reading. Amongst many articles such as "How to build a canoe" , I came across a story by the great Jules Verne called "The star of the Settlement". I couldn't find this story in any listings of his works. Regards - Gordon

A serial I vividly remember which started about 1945 was Mariners of Space by 'Erroll Collins'. This was a highly imaginative look into the future when space travel become the norm. I was a bit surprised to learn recently that 'Erroll Collins' was, in fact, a woman, one Helen Redknap (1906-1991). - Rodney Bennett

Gordon is quite correct about the Star of the Settlement being written by Jules Verne. It does feature in lists of his work but not necessarily under than name. Verne used the title L'etoile du Sud translated into English as the Southern Star. As usual Verne was 100 years in front of technology since the story is based on the production of a large synthetic diamond. - John

About 1938-39 my aunt, who was a cook in a big house, was given two old bound annual volumes of the BOP, dating from World War I. She passed them to me, and they were my main reading material for a couple of years. So Iearned all about attitudes to war in those days. Every month there was a drawing of a soldier from a different allied country, depicting the uniform and arms. There was a long-running serial story about the spies and the U-93, which eventually got its come-uppance by being rammed by a tramp steamer. There were drawings showing, for example, the bravery of a pair of soldiers manning a machine gun against impossible odds; a crowd of Indian Lancers charging the Germans, lances at the ready, laughing and smiling at the supposed artist a they galloped along. There were drawings of aerial dog-fights, of observing enemy positions from a balloon basket; coloured pages showing flags of the allies, or sleeves of naval uniforms (to depict rank); factual accounts of life on a training ship. And so on. Pictures of battleships firing their big guns cropped up now and then. One got the impression that war, if not exactly fun, was at least exciting. One got no idea of the slaughter and privation.

Unfortunately the stories were not very readable. But I enjoyed articles about making things (one was about a one-man boat powered by a steam engine driving a bi air-propeller. How I longed to make it myself! But no detailed information was given!). Every month there was a page of jokes, which I learned by heart and practised on my friends and any adult who would listen. Unfortunately they were all long-winded Edwardian jokes that fell completely flat and it was a long time before I realised that they did not amuse other people.

Some serial stories were not about the war. There was one about adventures in Tibet (then an almost unknown territory), with some particularly horrible drawings including a man sinking into mud and another of a group of men in a cave trying to get past a plant that was sending out suckers to "get" them. Another odd story concerned a large sailing ship, but all I can remember is a drawing of it SAILING through a huge archway in a cliff!

Thirty or forty years ago I was lucky enough to find one of these volumes in a second-hand bookshop and I was able to confirm all my recollections. I decided to READ the story of the U93 from start to finish, to find out once and for all what it was about. I did not get very far. It really WAS unreadable! - Howard Allen

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Boys Own Paper - Character

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