The Warrior and Pacific August 1901 tiny handwritten magazine

Around the time in 2019 that Charlotte Bronte’s last surviving little book was saved by fundraising to be returned home to Haworth, I was lucky enough to spot this charming little handwritten book online. I bought it and asked its origins but the seller knew little about it, other than his father had picked it up somewhere.

Now The Warrior and Pacific August 1901 issue will be shared with the world to boost its tiny circulation and family readership.

Warrior and Pacific Magazine August 1901 Front Cover – Illustrated by ‘D. Iberville’ – portrait of the Queen Regent?

The Bronte family wrote tiny book parodies of magazines and adverts of their early Nineteenth Century and Victorian times as part of their ImagiNations of Glasstown, Gondal, Angria and Gaaldine. These are housed at the Bronte Parsonage and have inspired my ImagiNations Games for many years.

Jump forward to the end of the Victorian era in 1901.

Entitled the Warrior and Pacific magazine, this tiny postcard sized ‘magazine’ appears to have been hand written and hand drawn around Maidstone in August 1901, possibly by a group of young boys or girls on summer holiday.

Some of the pen names are suitably grand – Montagu Fontenoy, John Fitzgerald, Major Pearl, Dick Iberville, Lady Sagasso …

Queen Victoria had died months earlier, this was written in the first Edwardian summer, August 1901.

Why was it written? It mimics and maybe mocks the thrilling, moralistic, mawkish and dull magazines of the day, based on the small sample that I have read. I have a few such random bound volumes of the Strand, Boys Own Paper and Girls Own Paper, Windsor Magazine etc. which make great Wellsian Little Wars hills.

Page 1 – Maidstone News Cs and B’s

“As the inhabitants of Maidstone seem to have left their native town to its solitary fate, Maidstone news is not flourishing. In fact about the newest thing about Maidstone is its emptiness.

The Creepers have joined the Boswells at Felixstowe where we hope the united forces will spend happy times.

This month saw two little Creepers born. Princess Winifred celebrates her eighth birthday on the twenty ninth and Princess Cecily her fifth on the nineteenth.

We congratulate them and wish them many happy returns on their respective birthdays.

We may expect in the near future to hear something definite about a certain Princess Eloise and a certain Earl Haynaught.”

Portraits of Cecily and Winifred appear on page Seven, alongside ‘Mary’ and a dog Maurice Bernard. The C’s and B’s are presumably the Creeper and Boswell families.

Are these real people?

A quick check on Ancestry and Find My Past on 1901 Census and elsewhere reveals no Winifred or Cecily Creeper born on those dates or at all anywhere, not just in Maidstone, although the Creeper surname does really exist. Similarly there is no R. Springfield in Maidstone but there were several Boswell families living in Maidstone in 1901 and 1911.

The main editor or illustrator appears to be one R. Springfield, ‘Warrior and Pacific, Maidstone.’

Page Ten And Eleven – ‘A Brother’s Revenge’ poem and remedies for sunburn

Page Ten and Eleven – A ‘Brothers Revenge’ and remedies for sunburn in the August issue 1901

Memories – “In the heart are many spots / sacred to Forget-Me-Nots”

Montagu Fontenoy? This may be an unconscious echo of “Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Montagu KB (died 1 August 1777) who was a British Army officer. He was the son of Brigadier-General Edward Montagu, colonel of the 11th Foot and Governor of Hull, nephew of George Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, and great-nephew to the celebrated minister Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax. He had an elder brother, Edward, who was killed at the Battle of Fontenoy, being lieutenant-colonel of the 31st Foot.” Or maybe just a good made up name?

Some of the portraits look as if they have sketched from magazines and may or may not be based on real people. Captain Earl Haynaught appears to be a made up name (the Earl of Hainault appears in medieval times in Froissart) but his portrait does look like Victorian army officer’s hat.

Other contributors include the grandly named Montagu Fontenoy, Major Pearl, Dick Iberville, Lady Sagasso and illustrator R. Springfield.

Page 2 – Editors Notes

“This is our grand August double seaside number and is generally considered the best paper of the month. We do not think that this year it will fall far below its usual high standard. We have many articles of interest this month that we have not had before and it bids fair to be a good success.”

“There is very extra special superfine, pluperfect competition specially designed for the pupils of Ronde College belonging to the Lower School and we hope to have a great many competitions for it. The prizes offered will be very handsome ones. There will only be two prizes for the two sets which are nearest right.”

Page 3 – ‘Model Mothers to Be – An Improvement on Home Chat Model Mothers’ by Lady Sagasso. An amusing little mock article about a warring celebrity couple and their darling only child that could have been written today …

Home Chat was obviously a style model to follow or mock – to make “an improvement on”. Alfred Harmsworth founded Home Chat which he published through his Amalgamated Press in 1895. The magazine ran until 1959. It was published as a small format magazine which came out weekly. As was usual for such women’s weeklies the formulation was to cover society gossip and domestic tips along with short stories, dress patterns, recipes and competitions.

Page Four ‘Modern Mothers to Be’ second page and onto Page Five – some boats ‘Seen through Mist’

Illustrators D. Iberville, H. Vaughan, C.U. Boswell, K. Selagein, S. Howard …

“It is an insoluble Chinese puzzle to Maidstone why they ever did it” is a good closing line to ‘Model Mothers to Be’.

Page Six and Seven – Dog breeds, royal portraits of Princess Winifred and Cecily (the Creeper sisters, with Cecily’s Fifth Birthday on the nineteenth, see page 1 Cs and B’s?) ,

Scene or art competitions ‘you have to sketch a scene in pencil or crayon. It may be a landscape, seascape, fire escape or any other scape. Size half this page. Paper provided’. R. Springfield.

Page Seven – Hints on Etiquette …

“When introduced to a complete stranger, there is no need, as a general rule, to shake hands, but to bow.”

“It is now fashionable for a bridegroom to wear lavender suede gloves”

“A gentleman should precede a lady in a crowded street, in order to clear a way for her.”

Page Eight and Nine – Portraits- some great names pencilled in Cedric Alfonso Mabel Creeper Elsie Winnie Daisy?

Page Twelve – ‘My First Attempt at Novel Writing’ a comic article by ‘John Fitzgerald’ – ‘extracts from JF’s novel next month’ – were there more issues of Warrior and Pacific?

Page Thirteen – Nature Competition’ – for the best pressed flower leaf or seaweed “sent to us before September 1st.” [1901]

Page Ten – ‘A Brother’s Revenge’ poem

A Brother’s Revenge by Montagu Fontenoy

Stretched on the ground her lover lies,

With dagger drawn, her brother stands

“My brother, go” she sadly cries

“Oh Philip, hasten from these lands.”

He turns, then mutely kneeling down,

Beside that prostrate form,

With lips compressed, and beating heart,

She ———– his lifeblood warm.

She see the face she dearly loves

Now stamped with death’s grey hue

Grow fainter, fainter as she looks

With loving eyes and true.

One glance, one kiss, one gasp, one tear and all is o’er

She knows that brave heroic heart

Will beat on earth no more.

Then rising quickly from her knees

With a steadfast upward glance

She stoops beside the fallen man

And holds his fatal lance.

“I will not live my life” she cries,

With the passion of despair

Then with one sharp homeward thrust

She lies beside him there.


Stirring stuff!

A variety of article styles are parodied or pastiches from dramatic poems, romantic gothic melodrama stories to nature notes and etiquette observations.

Page Fourteen – a portrait of Dick Iberville by R. Springfield ‘An Eminent Member of our Staff’

Page Fifteen – ‘By The Old Style’ [Styal?] story by Major Pearl: the heroine’s face “beautiful it is beyond doubt. Beautiful in the full beauty of womanhood and yet there is a winning girlish charm about it. She raises expressive blue grey eyes to the man’s face …”Etc, etc.

Page Sixteen and Seventeen – ‘By the Old Style’ story continued

‘To be continued in our next’ issue – by Major Pearl – do any other issues of Warrior and Pacific exist?

Hold the Back Page! For the next 120 years …


I shall type out a few more of these strange little mock articles in the coming weeks.

Warrior and Pacific Magazine – Excellent for the ImagiNations?

I feel the Warrior and Pacific should have a travel writer or war correspondent. Maybe we can send an eminent member of our staff Dick Iberville or hope that Captain the Earl of Haynuaght is not too busy with Princess Eloise to provide some Churchill style dispatches from the front?

Warrior and Pacific – It ought to have a railway company named after it.

I feel sure that we should ‘find’ a few more back issues of the Warrior and Pacific, (c/o The Editor Maidstone) in future.

Why do I like this tiny very fragile magazine?

I really like the mixture of tones in the article, faithfully recreating or mocking the magazines of their day.

As a comic book writer and cartoonist at school, I was part of an underground 1980s fanzine / samizdat culture of small comics and magazines satirising events and caricaturing school and national personalities. These were often in small runs of a couple of hand stapled photocopies or hand-drawn originals circulated to avoid unwanted attention from “the authorities”. A scurrilous rival comic in the sixth form got busted, snitched or grassed to teachers (not by me, I hasten to add), shortly before we left school and expulsions were threatened.

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

Interesting comment from Rosemary Hall on the handmade little books, worth sharing:

A delightful find! It reminded me of a handwritten (but full-size) Edwardian magazine, written by members of a family, at least one of whom was awarded a military award – as featured in episode 3 of History Hunters, originally shown on Yesterday, and still, I think, available on catch-up (UKTV).

The writing of such magazines was not unusual, in the days before the availability of commercial entertainment – think of the Hyde Park Gate News, the magazine that Virginia and Vanessa Stephen (to become Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell) and their siblings produced during their childhood. &, while not a magazine, there was the Journal that Beatrix Potter kept for several years, a journal that was not just in tiny writing (like the Brontes’ little magazines) but in code.

Another example of the kind of writing produced for amusement by young people in the past is the collection of handwritten little books produced by the Nelson brothers in 19th century America. The collection was discovered by Pamela Russell when she was at an auction house in southern New Hampshire, and came across a ‘flimsy, old shoebox filled with tiny carefully handwritten books’ – a collection consisting of over 60 volumes!

They are described as comprising ‘an astounding, one-of-a-kind trove of stories and drawings [revealing]…what life was like for …[youngsters] growing up in rural 19th century America.’ The books are now in the collections of Amherst College. To find websites describing the collection, go to a search engine, and type in ‘Amherst Nelson brothers’- and on one website there are digital images of pages from some of the booklets (which always made me think of the Brontes.) You see how the brothers combined accounts of their ordinary daily life with imaginative embellishments.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 6 / 7 June 2021.

15 thoughts on “The Warrior and Pacific August 1901 tiny handwritten magazine”

  1. Thanks for bringing this to a wider audience. It is fascinating to read and see the illustrations. The nearest I got to this was making up an Imaginary Turkish newspaper during a Diplomacy campaign whilst at school. I hand wrote it,cut out illustrations from history textbooks and photocopied it prior to distribution to others in the campaign.
    I sometimes feel the hobby needs more of that sort of thing today. Paper copy not pdf material. I recall sending stamps to people to get the next X issues of sci-fi fanzine thingies.


    1. I agree that the Fanzine / Punk spirit of DIY hand printed, handmade has mostly shifted to blogs and gained much polish but also lost something of its charming roughness. Luckily the hand drawn maps etc have survived. Thankfully the slow days of “send stamps and SAE for unillustrated catalogue and sample figure” seems to have past too. The handmade, handprinted small press is still alive though, as you showed in your daughters friend’s books on the seashore.

      How good is your Imaginary Turkish?

      Maybe your railway venture will give you a new opportunity to produce promotional material as A.M. Gruber, General Manager and Publicity Manager for your railway.


  2. A terrific find and great fun. Wonderful that it finds a new audience. I was thinking as I was reading it how it could find a home in its own contemporary Warrior and Pacific blog, with new articles and illustrations borrowing much from the same style – as you say, from newly ‘found’ articles or editions.

    You exploits on running a 6th form magazine echo my own. My friends and I established and ran a spoof poetry magazine (feigning serious, artistic pretension but publishing doggerel). We had the tacit approval of the ‘authorities’ and used the library printing press for print runs of up to 100 (sold out even at 20p each!). The printing support continued even when we spoofed their in-house “Link” magazine with a mock version called “Limp”. Eventually, like you, scandal rocked the magazine staff. The editor and I were called in to redact an article subtly fingering a student for a ‘dent and run’ incident that happened in the car park – ironically the only truthful item we’d ever published! 😀


    1. The Warrior and Pacific blog is a very good idea. No reason why new finds of copies or articles can’t turn up on several people’s blogs and the overall Warrior and Pacific blog that I will set up can make a link to them. Much easier than joint editor access which I have done on one project blog for work.
      I have several bound Victorian & Edwardian volumes that I have photographed illustrations of places and peoples for use in my ImagiNations, much as Alan Gruber has done with Tradgardland.
      A W & P Blog is good. (W & P being of course the inhouse or onboard magazine of the Warrior and Pacific Railroad and Shipping Company of Maidstone, Kent and Maidstone Georgia short lines USA – Available at All good newsagents and book stalls on The Warrior and Pacific lines, hence the small circulation and few surviving copies). I wonder if Alan Gruber will advertise it on his garden railway bookstall?
      This is also good idea as Man of TIN blog after four photo heavy years is filling up its free GBs. As I fill up my free 3GB per blog, I already have plans for a ManofTINblogTwo having created separate thematic blogs for Scouting Wide Games, Railways in Sidetracked, PoundStore Plastics and Look Duck and Varnish Home Guard games.

      Oddly my last school magazine parody [it never changed from year to year except for the boys names] saved me from possible expulsion, as we had done a mock generic one with [insert names here] throughout. When discovered, This spoof magazine was popular enough with the poor teachers who had to annually write this uninspired yearly School Club, Society and Games reports that they let me run off more copies on the school photocopier. It was about the same pocket size as W&P. Style (typewritten!), gentler humour and illustrations were generally good or individual enough that I was not too long a suspect on the “who produced the scurrilous non PC one?” that caused all the problems. (It wasn’t me. I know who grassed up the whole scurrilous magazine though).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha – brilliant! I can see you’re off and flying with this immensely improving venture in blog form!

        I note that there is some sage advice to bow rather than shake hands with strangers – almost prophetic 🙂


      2. As you say, prophetic and wise advice in 1901 and even today!

        If you ‘uncover’ or ‘come across’ any suitable W&P material on your blog, I can make a link to it here on the W&P archive.


  3. That isa brilliant bit of ephemera- a real joy.

    I too have been involved in the world of fanzines- mostly music/ underground culture ones though. I still pick up the odd one.




    1. Fanzines are becoming more collectible like rare vinyl because there were often few of each one in circulation. I remember many of the fan review and student music review ones I came across being a bit lush and purple and overwritten in places.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. An impressive find! The artwork in particular is sublime – I wonder if it was copied from other magazines of the day? We had an underground newspaper at my high school too, and the administration was up in arms about it.

    Reading thru a lot of 60’s/70’s wargaming books lately; an excellent one is Charles Grant, The Battle of Fontenoy, which is a charming piece of work on both the history of the action and how the author went about reenacting it – accurately – on the tabletop. Grant, Featherstone and Peter Young are my go-to these days to cheer myself up, as they all have a delightful, friendly style – and an Imagi-nations flavor too.

    I ordered some of the cardboard trees, but haven’t received them yet; a couple of Peter Dennis’ books have also gotten lost in the mail – twice. I’m starting to suspect it’s my apartment’s mail service and not the vicissitudes of overseas shipping that is the problem here…


    1. I imagine the illustrations to Warrior And Pacific Magazine are inspired by or copied from Victorian magazines and maybe even toy and doll catalogues of the day. Some of the portrait heads look doll like rather than lifelike.

      I wonder if Underground magazines still exist in print or hard copy or if they have become digital? I would be disappointed if “the authorities” weren’t opposed to these magazines.
      The banned one at my school that caused trouble, looking back, is quite scurrilous, offensive to some and decidedly non PC in some parts.

      I agree that Featherstone and other 1960s early authors like Stuart Asquith have a charming and relaxed air of authority and enthusiasm, easy to dip back into like the original War Games 1962, nourishing and something that I’m sure modern wargames writers like Bob Cordery and Neil Thomas aim for.

      I hope your trees arrive safely and that you will have good fun with these at the library games and elsewhere, likewise the Peter Dennis books when they finally arrive.


  5. I like the new look/font etc makeover. Was there anything in particular that made you decide to do it now?


    1. I was setting up the potential new Warrior And Pacific Magazine blog and liked the fresh look of this theme. I doesn’t have such obvious links and blogs I like type thing though, I imagine these will need to be customised. WordPress are just about to launch a new editor but thankfully / hopefully the old classic editor will stay.


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