On this day, 15 May 1982: Battle
Charley's War, which in its initial, First World War, series, ran in Battle for six years, told stories of the conflict that readers probably weren't learning from school or from other accounts (factual or dramatised) in print, radio or on screen. Writer Pat Mills showed us the true horrors of the war through the eyes of young, working class soldier Charley Bourne, with a particular highlighting of the abusive actions and diktats of the British officer classes. This was so much more than the speculative, heroic war fiction of D-Day Dawson or Johnny Red; in Charley's War there were no heroes, only innocents herded through the nightmarish mud and blood of actual history (skilfully and memorably drawn by artist Joe Colquhoun).
Mills researched the story meticulously, basing episodes on actual events, such as the mutiny at Etaples featured on today's cover. The uprising of Scottish, Australian and New Zealand soldiers, in protest at the horrific conditions of the training camp at Etaples and the shooting of Scot Corporal William Wood by a military policeman (in a scuffle that arose after Wood was arrested for talking to a nurse), was also dramatised in 1986 by Alan Bleasdale in The Monocled Mutineer (based on the 1978 book of the same title by William Allison and John Fairley).