Red faces at National Archive after Baldrick poem published with WW1 soldiers’ diaries

Owen, Sassoon, Brooke, .... Baldrick?

Owen, Sassoon, Brooke, …. Baldrick?

Officials behind the launch of a major initiative detailing lives of ordinary soldiers during the First World War were embarrassed by the discovery that they had mistakenly included the work of Blackadder character, Baldrick, in the achieve release.

The work, entitled ‘The German Guns’ and attributed to Private S.O. Baldrick, was actually written by the sitcom’s writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton some 70 years after the end of the conflict. Elton was reported to be “delighted at the news” and friends said he was already checking to see if royalty payments may be due.

Although the archive release was scrutinised by experts, it is understood that the Baldrick poem was approved after a clerk recalled hearing Education Secretary Michael Gove referring to Baldrick in relation to the Great War, and assumed that he was of contemporary cultural significance.

A spokesman for the National Archive tried to laugh off the gaffe with a bigger gaffe by saying “Someone’s going to be shot for this”, which created a immediate storm on social media for its insensitivity.

Undaunted, the Imperial War Museum has said that they wouldn’t let the mistake mar their own forthcoming commemoration of the start of the First World War, promising that their authentic trench experience will show how the troops entertained themselves by balancing slugs on their upper lips and sticking pencils up their noses whilst wearing army underpants on their heads. The authentic canteen will feature ratatouille with real rat and beverages will include trench cappuccino with real Flanders mud and improvised chocolate.

The poem in full:

The German Guns by Pte S O Baldrick

Boom, boom, boom, boom

Boom, boom, boom

Boom, boom, boom, boom

Boom, boom, boom.


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2 Responses to Red faces at National Archive after Baldrick poem published with WW1 soldiers’ diaries

  1. PLEASE get the actor who played Baldrick at the Archive to read “his” poem!