Revealing the Reveille | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we are delighted to be back publishing new titles, and we are even more excited to announce that we have now reached the landmark of over 37 million pages in our collection. In the past seven days we have added a total of 220,950 pages – with two very exciting new titles joining us (Reveille and Colonies and India), as well as extensive updates to three of our existing titles from England and Ireland.

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First off the press this week is Reveille – one of the most popular national tabloid magazines of the mid twentieth century. Launched eighty years ago on 25 May 1940 as the official newspaper of the Ex-Services’ Allied Association, it was brought by the Mirror Group in 1947.

Reveille | 2 January 1948

With a focus on light-entertainment and royalty throughout the 1950s, Reveille represented an important contribution to popular culture. In 1957 a young John Lennon reputedly brought his first guitar after seeing it advertised in the pages of the newspaper. By the 1960s the publication became known as Reveille Magazine, featuring double page pop posters.

The last issue of Reveille appeared on 17 August 1979, and by September of that year it had merged with Tit-Bits magazine.

Our second new title this week is the Colonies and India. Despite the international connotations of its name, this newspaper was actually published in London, ‘registered for transmission abroad.’ It represented an ‘interchange of information between all parts of the British Empire,’ and was published twice a month.

Colonies and India | 14 October 1876

Taking an unashamedly proud imperial stance, the newspaper greets the new year of 1875 by writing how ‘In all parts of the Empire our people have reason to be thankful for their happy circumstances.’

The pages of the Colonies and India contained all sorts of the latest ‘colonial intelligence,’ as well as reporting on the natural history of the Empire, including the birds native to New Guinea. The newspaper also abounds with advertisements, for maps and other ‘Colonial Publications‘ including handbooks to various parts of the Empire, as well as advertisements for steamships that could take you to various parts of the world, including the Transvaal Gold Fields.

Meanwhile we have added new pages to three of our existing titles from England and Ireland. We have extensive updates covering eighty years to the Sunday Mirror – available in colour! The sister newspaper of the Daily Mirror since 1963, the Sunday Mirror began life as the Sunday Pictorial in 1915.

Sunday Mirror | 23 May 1920

Founded by Lord Rothermere, a pioneer of popular journalism, the newspaper set out to strike a balance between general entertainment and quality journalism. With an emphasis on illustration and photography, and subjects such as society and sport, the Sunday Pictorial’s formula proved to be a successful one, seeing one million copies sold six months in to the venture.

Sunday Mirror | 15 July 1928

Seeing somewhat of a decline in the 1930s, before the outbreak of war in 1939 the newspaper was back to the height of its success, again selling one million copies on a regular basis. The Sunday Mirror continues to be published in paper and in print to this day, with a circulation of 500,000.

Sunday Mirror | 13 August 1950

Meanwhile, our other updates this week are to the Munster News, which was founded in 1852 as part of Limerick’s newspaper publishing boom. We have also added the years 1905 and 1906 to Cumbria’s Penrith Observer.

Disaster in Louth

One hundred years ago, on 29 May 1920, the town of Louth saw a disastrous flash flood which tragically took the lives of 23 people. The Sunday Mirror, a week later on the 6 June 1920, reports how ‘Louth crashed in ruins,’ featuring ‘pictures taken during the flood.’

Louth in Ruins | Sunday Mirror | 6 June 1920

Our other newspapers from the time describe the disaster, the Sheffield Independent reporting how the ‘elements swept down on Louth.’ The newspaper goes on to describe how 50 houses were swept away, with between 700 and 800 being destroyed after a cloud burst caused a rush of water in the River Lud, sweeping away several low bridges.

The surviving townsfolk were put up and fed in the chapel in the middle of Louth, the town’s mayor receiving messages of sympathy from King George V and Queen Mary, Prime Minister Lloyd George and Queen Alexandra.

The Sheffield Independent features ‘thrilling details of tragedy and rescue,’ and one particular hero from the floods was Doctor W.J. Higgins. He was in the middle of attending a birth when the floods struck. The father to be, who could not swim, jumped out of the window when the floods hit, so that the doctor ‘had a drowning man outside and a woman needing his attention inside.’

Sheffield Independent | 1 June 1920

Higgins ‘decided quickly and jumped through the window after the man,’ and was able to draw him to safety. He then returned to the woman, bringing her ‘safely through her confinement.’ Higgins was hailed as a hero, after having served in the war with ‘distinction.’

Other newspapers reported on the disaster with an uncomfortable degree of salaciousness. The Illustrated Police News, known for its morbid and graphic depictions of crime, featured the ‘appalling disaster’ in Louth as its front page, going on to describe how victims were trapped in their own homes, and how ‘houses were crumpled up like cardboard.’

Illustrated Police News | 3 June 1920

These newspapers from one hundred years ago perhaps lack the sensitivity of today’s publications – their clear focus on sensationalism a way to sell more copies and exploit disasters such as the Louth flood. The Graphic, however, manages to step away from the lurid, describing the 8 to 10 foot deep torrent that passed though the town, at 200 yards wide, printing a sobering picture showing to where the levels of the water rose.

The Graphic | 5 June 1920

New Titles
Years Added
Colonies and India 1885-1898
Reveille 1940-1942, 1946-1948
Updated Titles

This week we have updated three of our existing titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

Years Added
Munster News 1916-1918, 1920-1921
Penrith Observer 1905-1906
Sunday Mirror 1919-1938, 1947-1952, 1954-1955, 1957-1963, 1965-1975, 1977-1985, 1987-1999

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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