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Home Maidstone News Article
But one group of resourceful servicemen decided to go one better than taking a copy of the Kent Messenger – they made their own.
The wartime replica was produced on board HMS Kent, with the first issue published in February 1942 – around the time the ship was accompanying convoys to and from northern Russia.
An instructive front page added: “Those whose articles are printed may shout ‘scoop’ or ‘flash’ at intervals of not less than one hour.”
The fortnightly publication included factfiles on foreign countries likely to be encountered as well as cartoons and poems.
The series is now in the possession of Mike Ash, a relative of assistant editor Herbert William Dench, who would have been in his late 30s when it launched.
Mr Dench died in 1979, but little is known about him.
Mr Ash, who is in his 70s and lives in Wales, said: “A whole caseload of papers came to me from my step-daughter.
“They look as if they were produced on a hectograph, a messy process involving special inks laid on a jelly bed off of which copies could be taken, one sheet at a time – no copiers in those days.”
The ship was one of 11 vessels to have been named HMS Kent. It was launched in 1926 and sold for scrap in 1948 once the conflict ended. She could carry 784 officers and men. Her service also involved escorting convoys in the Indian Ocean.
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