Charley’s War: Stripography and Timeline – 1980


John Lennon is assassinated by Mark David Chapman , Ronald Reagan is elected, defeating Jimmy Carter, and takes credit for freeing the Iranian hostages in his inaugural speech. US suspends grain sales to the Soviet Union in respond to their support of the war in Afghanistan

5th January 1980 (October 1916)
Fight in church tank explodes and Wildeyes dies.

12th January 1980 (October 1916)
Oiley’s SIW allows tank to run over toes invalided out. He offers Charley some money for saving his life and Charley makes him eat the notes. Oilver plots Charleys downfall fom this point.

19th January 1980
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Reason unknown possibly printer strikes

26th January 1980
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Reason unknown possibly printer strikes

2nd February 1980
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Reason unknown possibly printer strikes

9th February 1980
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Reason unknown possibly printer strikes

16th February 1980
Titch and delousing. Charley saves Titch from a shellhole, but they lose their mule. Still at four pages this issue starts some of the most detailed CW art of the whole series.

23rd February 1980 (Oct 1916)
Colonel Zeiss and the Judgement Troops, elite shock troops from the Eastern Front. Prunes is hit by shrapnel but is a victim of Dr No, who sends all wounded men back to the front with a no. 9 pill for `shirking’. Prunes dies.

1st March 1980 (Oct 1916)
Zeiss sends raiding party to gather information on the British trenches. Charley falls asleep on guard duty after having been up for 48 hours. This lack of sleep is featured heavily in real life accounts of the war.

8th March 1980 (Oct 1916)
An officer catches Charley and is about to shoot him when he is taken prisoner by the raiding Germans and tortured by Zeiss into drawing detailed plan of the British lines. There’s an attack on the class ethic of having a stiff upper lip in this episode – dialougue between Charley and the Sarge. Charley: ‘What if he talks?’ Tozer: ‘He won’t talk lad, he’s an officer and a Gentleman – he’ll die before they make him talk’

15th March 1980 (Oct 1916)
Zeiss `volunteers’ secondline troops to lead assault, so as to preserve his men. They are cut down in nomansland.

22nd March 1980 (Oct 1916)
Operation Wotan begins. First wave cut down, but the JTs put up their hands, only to be passed weapons by hidden comrades by the British wire. This event actually happened in many places, and has been proved not to have just been propaganda.

29th March 1980 (Oct 1916)
Fierce battle in 1st line (Wormwood Scrubs) attack of the donkey men (mobile machine gunners). Issue includes a specially drawn map of the trench system to refer to in future episodes.

5th April 1980 (Oct 1916)
Breakout of Wormwood Scrubs to 2nd line (Old Kent Road) leaving wounded behind

12th April 1980 (Oct 1916)
Captured wounded tied to stakes on parapet to make British attack and to lead them on to flamethrowers. Shellfire called down on 1st line but Charley is badly wounded and left for dead. The wounded are killed.

19th April 1980 (Oct 1916)
Battle rages over an unconscious Charley. Crawls into German trench but is placed in barracade of corpses. Pulls lanyard on grenade sticking out of Maxim gunner’s boot and blows up nest. The British then Retake trench.

26th April 1980 (Oct 1916)
Charley has a Blighty but Dr No patches him up and sends wounded men back to battle. Need for men is important and thers a nice part where a red tabbed officer gives a peach to the wounded.

3rd May 1980 (Oct 1916)
Colour Cover
One off issue this, Joe actually did the cover, one colour page inside and then three ink pages for this one, only time it was done. Five whole pages of incredible detail. Zeiss takes 2nd line. Promptly kills all the prisoners .Charley and comrades in 3rd line in deep dug out (No 10 Downing Street), but they are trapped by Judgement Troops at the top of the stairs.

10th May 1980 (Oct 1916)
Men called up one by one to be executed. Charley must crawl up ventilation shaft to save mates.

17th May 1980
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Unknown reason again

24th May 1980
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Unknown reason again

31st May 1980
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Unknown reason again

7th June 1980
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Unknown reason again

14th June 1980 (Oct 1916)
Charley crawls up shaft and guns down Germans. Both he and his company escape behind 3rd line into line of shellholes and start to dig in for final attack. The platoon give him a cardboard medal because they say he desearves a VC but there was no Officer around to witness the event.

21st June 1980 (Oct 1916)
Digging in 4th line. L/Cpl Angel is shot by sniper whilst reaching for a flower to send to his little girl. Men await final attack

28th June 1980 (Oct 1916)
Zeiss brings up the deadly Green Cross Gas (phosgene) and Blue Cross Gas (mustard gas) German attack The Sarge is gassed.

5th July 1980(Oct 1916)
Vicious and macabre silent battle in gas masks, Charley becomes gunner’s mate to Smith 70, when Young Albert is wounded (Colour cover)

12th July 1980 (Oct 1916)
Air attack by Fokker dropping fletchettes, Smithy downs plane, but the Machine Gun packs up and Judgement Troops advance with saw bayonets drawn. Charley and Smithy and taken prisoner, but due to being machine gunners are about to be executed. Smithy begs for Charley’s life and says he was a stretcher bearer dressing his wound.

19th July 1980 (Oct 1916)
Smithy and Charley make a break for it and Smithy releases vicious pet rats, they fight off Germans and escape to rear area, where Battle Police are waiting to send men back at gun point. Charley and company have a set to with them and one of the lads is killed when an MP shoots him, they turn back to the front, bitter men.

26th July 1980 (Oct 1916)
Colour cover Zeiss has broken through and is waiting for reinforcements to exploit breach, but the battle has been called off. Charley and co wait for final assault, doesn’t come but a lone shrapnel shell cuts Charley down.

2nd August 1980 (Oct 1916)
Zeiss rages at HQ, and heads off to Berlin. Charley loses dogtags, and Mr and Mrs Bourne get telegram to say that he is missing presumed killed. This is the first ever episode to feature a small credit panel listing the Artist, Writer and Letterer Mike Peters

9th August 1980 (Oct 1916)
Charley is in Base Hospital and doesn’t know who he is. Shellshocked. Sgt Tozer appears, and Charley rediscovers his identity.(Colour Centre pages – a great issue)

16th August 1980 (Oct 1916)
Bourne’s family in Bethnal Green receive a telegram saying Charley is alive. Charley and Old Bill are going back to Blighty. The end of the Somme.(includes very fine antiwar full page marker to the end of the battle)
End of Titan Books Volume 2

23rd August 1980 (Feb 18th 1917)
Hospital ship torpedoed. Old Bill and Charley arrive in London and go for a drink or two. Meet Crimean veteran, Blind Bob. Zeppelin raid imminent (Colour cover)
Start of Titan Books Volume 3

30th August 1980 (Feb 1917)
Blind Bob and Charley tour site of Silvertown munitions factory disaster (Mrs Bourne works in another shell factory). Oiley has been looting corpses. Zeppelin’s leave Nordholz on their way to attack Silvertown’s other factorys.

6th September 1980 (Feb 1917)
Zeppelin attacked by French aircraft over channel. Blind Bob is evicted from home and tries to drown himself. Goes to stay with Charley.

13th September 1980 (Feb 1917)
Blind Bob at the listening station. He helps track Zeppelins through a listening device, passing the info onto antiaircraft batteries etc.

20th September 1980 (Feb 1917)
Colour Cover. Blind Bob tracks Zeppelin – they plot the course as taking it to Silvertown where Charley’s Mum works in the munitions factory. We flash back and forth between Charley and co. and the German aircrew high above the Eastend of London. Charley finds out where it’s headed and borrows a bike to warn his mum at the muitions factory.

27th September 1980 (Feb 1917)
Charley cycles to Silvertown, saves Russian immigrants from angry mob, Zeppelin fitters fall to their death whilst repairing tailplane.

4th October 1980 (Feb 1917)
Colour Cover. Charley tells Tells munitions workers to evacuate, race to find mum in massive shell stores, fire bomb hits factory

11th October 1980(Feb 1917)
Leads mum out of flames. Zeppelin struck by lightning and bursts into flames

18th October 1980 (Feb 1917)
Zeppelin crashes. Blind Bob is offered £1,000 by newspaperman for story, but gets run over by tram (Colour cover)

25th October 1980 (March 1917)
Underage, Wilf Bourne tries to join up. Charley foils his plan. (Colour centre pages)

1st November 1980(March 1917)
Blue’s storyline begins. The Drag Man (Captain Willis of the RMP), sheltering in the Underground, and Blue is discovered in the Bournes’s house. (Colour cover)

8th November 1980 (March 1917)
Blue tells Charley of Oiley’s Escape Line for deserters (for profit, of course). Charley fights Oiley’s henchman, Snips Parsons Full two page Colour spread.

15th November 1980 (March 1917)
Blue’s story, as British member of the French Foreign Legion and the battle of Verdun. Run the gauntlet and pass the `Trench of Bayonets’ (Colour cover)

22nd November 1980 (March 1917)
CO, Monkey Face takes dislike to Blue. Blue’s patrol in No Man’s Land comes to aid of captured comrades who are being executed by the Germans (colour centre pages)

29th November 1980 (March 1917)
They attack the Germans and free the prisoners.(Colour Cover)

6th December 1980 (March 1917)
Defence of Fort Vaux (the French Alamo). Meet the unlikeable American, Wes Lacey. Wes and Blue fight.

13th December 1980 (March 1917)
Fight in the pitchblack tunnel against repeated German attacks. Flamethrower attack.

20th December 1980 (March 1917)
Sgt `Grandpere’ Duval badly burnt, Lacey steals Krotowski’s last water bottle as men run out of water. Blue fights off another attack in the tunnel, but is accused by comrades of stealing.

27th December 1980 (March 1917)
Blue punished by the Bayonets a bayonet through the palm of each hand. Expoliceman, the Ratcatcher deduces that it was Lacey who stole the water, and he is sentenced to death.

Charley’s War created by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun


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