Charley’s War: Stripography and Timeline – 1983


USSR shoots and destroys South Korean flight 007, Compact discs are first released, Thatcher’s second term as PM begins

1st January 1983 (October 1917))
Fred fast-forwarded to early eighties, revisiting Menin Gate.

8th January 1983 (October 1917)
Flash-forward to 80s, Fred’s mind goes back to 1917 and he suddenly remembers Charley’s name. His mate met him in 1918, so he knows that he survived the explosion. Mills tantalisingly fails to tell us if he survived the War! Great idea, great couple of issues taking in some of the lasting damage to mental state of veterans even 70-80 years later.
While I was planning Volume 7 of the Titan Books collection, and looked back on this sequence, it looks as though Pat originally planned this to run during November 1982, around Remembrance Sunday, but Joe’s illness in the summer meant the story ran later than planned – John Freeman

15th January 1983 (October 1917)
The tank battle of Cambrai and the jubilation at home.

22nd January 1983 (October 1917)
The tank men press on, but the generals do not exploit the breach – the attack falters.

29th January 1983 (November 1917)
The Bantams fight the Prussian Guards at Bourlon Wood – Cambrai fails.

5th February 1983 (November 1917)
The return of Scholar as the platoon commander. Charley becomes No 2 to Len Southgate, ex-poacher and sniper. We meet the wily Corporal Hitler.

12th February 1983 (November 1917)
Corporal Hitler and mates in dugout complain about the British sniper who is taking a heavy toll in their company. Hitler fights a defeatist soldier. Colour cover.

19th February 1983 (November 1917)
Charley and Len in snipers’ position. They hand over to another sniper team who ignore their advice to lie low for a while, and are both killed by an elephant gun.

26th February 1983 (November 1917)
The charmed life of Corporal Hitler. Hitler takes place of shirking colleague and volunteers to deliver a message. He is about to wander into Charley’s sights as he lies in No Man’s Land.

5th March 1983 (November 1917)
A German officer sends Hitler back and the original runner takes his place only to be hit by Charley. The Germans’ Alsatian gives Charley’s position away.

12th March 1983 (November 1917)
Charley is underfire in No Man’s Land from a grenade crossbow. Len helps him escape. The Germans swear revenge.

19th March 1983 (November 1917)
A German sniper kills Sadders and numerous soldiers. No one can spot his hiding position.

26th March 1983 (November 1917)
A sniper continues to menace the British. Charley and Len pilfer fire wood, and Charley twigs where the German is hiding.

2nd April 1983 (November 1917))
The sniper is using a hollowed out tree in No Man’s Land. It is conspicious because it has not been cut down for firewood. The German sniper is blown up.

9th April 1983 (November 1917)
Hitler and co in café behind the lines, are hit by long-range shooting by Smith 70. Vow to take revenge in trench raid.

16th April 1983 (November 1917)
Charley and Len take on raiding party in No Man’s Land, they attack British trench and take Ernie Stubbs prisoner. This scene is based on a description in Stuart Cloette’s book of seeing the Bantams in trenches opposite the six foot Prussian Gaurds and talks of a big prussian gaurd tucking a bantam under his arm and running away with him on a trench raid. Charley and Hitler fight.

23rd April 1983 (December 1917)
Germans fought off, but Adolf throws grenade which kills Ernie. Local Christmas truces break out.

30th April 1983 (December 1917)
Len cannot bring himself to shoot the German messenger Alsatian on Christmas Eve.

7th May 1983 (December 1917))
Bruening’s wife is expecting a baby and he wants to start a truce. He wanders into No Man’s Land and Charley does the same. Both sets of soldiers meet in No Man’s Land to swap booze and food.

14th May 1983 (December 1917)
Feldwebel Kropp and Sgt Old Bill Tozer fall out over the retreat from Mons and have a punch-up – the truce ends.This is a great issue that makes a point of the similarity between the two men, who in other times would be friends.

21st May 1983 (January 1918)
Charley’s brother Wilf Bourne is a trainee observer in the RFC and is observer to the dangerous Captain Morgan who has lost three observers already.

28th May 1983 (January 1918)
Wilf is attacked by the triplanes of Richthofen’s Flying Circus, but his gun jams.

4th June 1983 (January 1918)
Wilf and Morgan down a Fokker Triplane. Morgan lands so they can take the dead pilot’s riding boots as a trophy.

11th June 1983 (January 1918)
Wilf is trying to qualify as an observer. Mechanic and layabout Janker tricks him into reassembling an engine for him. Morgan loses his fourth observer.

18th June 1983 (January 1918)
Shooting down observation balloons, the Brisfit is hit, Morgan uncoscious and the plane goes into a death dive.

25th June 1983 (January 1918)
Wilf pulls the aeroplane out of the dive. Morgan has new respect for Wilf and puts him forward for artillery spotter training.

2nd July 1983 (January 1918)
As Morgan recovers from his wound, Wilf flies with Lt. Costello. Costello gets windy and returns before Wilf can finish calling artillery fire down on the correct positions. Wilf is blamed for bad work.

9th July 1983 (January 1918)
Dogfight – and Costello runs for home. A furious Morgan goes in pursuit in order to shoot Costello down.

16th July 1983 (January 1918)
Morgan calms down, but they confront Costello on their return and Wilf is made to sew a yellow cloth on Costello’s tunic.

23rd July 1983 (January 1918)
China tells Wilf how he got his face plate in a plane crash. China goes up in a repaired Brisfit which comes apart in midair.

30th July 1983 (January 1918)
Janker has botched the repair on the wingspar. Wilf does photographic reconnaissance and is recommended for Observer’s wing.

6th August 1983
NO CHARLEY’S WAR Joe is possibly on Holiday.

13th August 1983 (January 1918)
Wilf gets his corporal stripes and observer’s wing. Initiation ceremony. Mechanics try to kill Janker.

20th August 1983 (January 1918)
Morgan overhears Wilf and Janker and tells them that they are both for the high-jump after they return from the mission. Janker is thrown into a revolving propellor by a vengeful mechanic.

27th August 1983 (January 1918)
Morgan follows a stricken German plane down towards the ground, and is hit by ground fire. Wilf uses emergency controls to land the plane, but Morgan is dead.

3rd September 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Back on the front, Charley makes a remark about wounding himself in order to get to go home. Charley opens Scholar’s package by mistake which contains foolish-looking body armour. Humiliated, the Scholar vows to get even.

10th September 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Charley saves a soldier doing Field Punishment under fire, but fails to retrieve a dead German from No Man’s Land using grappling hooks. Scholar tries to charge him, but a senior officer comes to Charley’s aid.

17th September 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Scholar, Charley & Lt Dowd go to ‘the Wart’ an OP, against Charley’s advice as it is under watch by an enemy balloon. Charley walks so as not to draw attention to himself but S runs. Charley accidentally shoots himself in the foot.

24th September 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Charley accused of having a SIW. In hospital awaiting a court martial. Lt Dowd, badly wounded, will testify on his behalf. Meets Nurse Kate Wincer who hates Charley for being a coward, gives him a white feather.

1st October 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Court Martial day. Kate hears that Dowd will support Charley’s story and apologies for her behaviour. Charley is in mood for reconciliation. The court room and Charley hears that Dowd has died in his sleep.

8th October 1983 (Febuary 1918)
It looks like Charley will be court-martialled. A late written testimony is submitted by Dowd and Charley is exonerated whilst Scholar is criticised for his own cowardice. Charges are dropped. Invalided to Ripon.

15th October 1983
NO CHARLEY’S WAR – No reason for its absence in Captain Hurricane

22nd October 1983

29th October 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Wilf takes on a giant Zeppelin Staaken bomber. Convalescent home in Yorkshire, Charley and co still have to do drill. Runs into Kate. A mysterious figure spots Charley from a barred-cell.

5th November 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Giant bomber attack on London. Kate and Charley falling for each other. Mysterious figure in bushes – it is the deranged and psychotic Snell.

12th November 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Snell leaps out and tries to throttle Charley. Flashback to Messines and Snell’s injury. Snell sees Charley as his nemesis.

19th November 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Snell escorted back to cell. Kate says he was recovering well and that they hope to send him back to the front. Charley tells her about Snell’s past. Wilf turns up on his motorbike.

26th November 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Snell hides knife in his jacket and Kate takes him out for a stroll. Wilf and Charley go for a motorbike ride when the wheel starts to come off. Snell makes a break for the gate.

3rd December 1983 (Febuary 1918)
Wilf and Charley dust themselves down after falling off bike. Snell stabs soldier on the gate and runs at Kate. Charley and WB arrive in the nick of time and Charley throws himself at Snell who is overpowered.

10th December 1983 (Febuary 1918)-Snell locked up for good. Wilf returns to London hoping to down a giant bomber and win a pilot’s commission. Trip to Scarborough and Charley proposes to Kate. Asks her parents for Kate’s hand in marriage.

17th December 1983 (7th March 1918)
Charley and Kate’s wedding day. Air raid Jack and all the family are there including Charley’s Mum and Dad and Brother-in-law Oliver.

24th December 1983 (7th March 1918)
Oiley’s private air raid shelter. Wilf shoots up a Zeppelin giant and it heads towards a balloon apron.

31st December 1983 (7th March 1918)
The plane cuts through the apron. Wilf’s burst had killed the pilots, but a German gunner kills Wilf and his pilot. The bomber crashes back at its base. Charley and Kate return from honeymoon for Wilf’s funeral.

Charley’s War created by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun


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