|OUR MESSAGE. To you, old readers,
you boys who are doing the fighting for us on land and sea, we have
nothing much to say beyond wishing you good luck and God speed this
Christmas time - and come home safe to us, because we love you.
Thank you many times and very heartily for the hundreds of sketches
and stories and jokes you have sent us, and your thousands of kind
messages, telling us that you like BLIGHTY, and think it good reading.
been saving up your best writings and drawings for some time, just
for this Christmas Number, and you have the result in these pages,
practically all filled with the work of men on active service. Some
of the sketches have been redrawn, because they could not be reproduced
for printing in the form in which they reached us: a drawing faintly
done in pencil on a bit of smudgy paper cannot be "processed"
will notice that this number is marked "6d"; that does
to the hundred thousand copies which we send to you, as usual, with
our best wishes. But this particular issue will be offered for sale
at home, to raise funds for the future free publication of the paper
in the New Year, and until the war is won by you. That's all. God
our new readers, who buy this number - the first copies of
BLIGHTY ever offered for sale - we want to tell the story of
how the paper came into existence. Two boys, one a sailor and one
a soldier, wrote home to their father, a journalist, each asking
for "something to read." The supply of books and papers
for the Fleet and Front had fallen off because of the scarcity of
father said to another newspaper man, "Wouldn't it be a great
idea to cut out all the best pictures and stories out of all the
best papers, and reprint them in one paper, which would contain
the cream of them all?" It was agreed: a committee of journalists
was formed: one of them lent an office, and they raised enough money
to send out a few thousand circulars asking for funds.
public responded generously: Lord French, Sir John Jellicoe, and
Sir David Beatty became patrons: the newspaper proprietors kindly
consented to let their matter be reprinted. The War Office and the
Admiralty agreed to take copies and send them out; the Y.M.C.A.
the Red Cross Society, and other good friends helped, and the first
number of BLIGHTY was published on May 31st.
months have passed, and BLIGHTY has won "golden opinions from
all sorts of people." Sir Douglas Haig has been good enough
to become one of our patrons, and to tell us "how much he appreciates
the great kindness your Committee and supporters are showing to
the troops under his command." We have had nice things said
to us by bishops and clergymen, admirals and generals, great ladies
and the wives and mothers of our readers.
we value most of all are the simple, grateful messages in which
the boys themselves thank us for the paper, and they made us ashamed,
because these dear fellows seem to think it a great thing we are
doing for them, and we know it is a very small thing, compared to
what they are doing for us.
to keep on "doing our bit" - the weekly production
of this little paper. It has sometimes been a bit of a struggle,
for paper is very dear, and the production of a hundred thousand
copies costs nearly four hundred pounds a week.
this Christmas Number for sale in order to get money to "carry
on." Everyone who spends a sixpence on it is helping us, and
is invited to help still further as set forth on page 40.
thanks to all the good people who have helped - proprietors
and editors, artists and writers, subscribers and advertisers. They
have been doing things for the boys, and it is not the way of the
boys to take always and give nothing. So they have written and illustrated
this Christmas Number for the folks at home. They have jolly good
reason to be proud of their work, too, and it will be a souvenir
so good-bye, new readers of the larger public, who will not be our
readers any more until some notable occasion calls for another special
issue. We hope it will be a Peace Number, and that it will be published
early in the New Year, for which our good wishes to you all.
- Read page 40, and do not be afraid to act on it, because
no one is making money out of this paper, there are no profits,
and if any funds are left at the finish they will be given to a