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The Sunday Dispatch was a British newspaper, published between 27 September 1801 and 1961.[1][2] Until 1928, it was called the Weekly Dispatch.



First published as the Weekly Dispatch in 1801, it was bought by Alfred Harmsworth and Lord Rothermere in 1903[3] from the Newnes family.[4] The pair turned the newspaper around from bankruptcy, and made it the biggest selling Sunday newspaper, changing its name to the Sunday Dispatch in 1928.

As editor Charles Eade had served as Press Liaison officer for Lord Mountbatten during World War II, distribution was up from 800,000 to over 2 million copies per edition in 1947.[5]

In light of comment from Randolph Churchill that Esmond Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere was "pornographer royal" for his ownership of the Daily Sketch and Sunday Dispatch, Rothermere fired both Eade and the editor of the Daily Sketch in 1959.[6] Under its last editor Walter Hayes, it still had pre-printed posters with the headline "CHURCHILL IS DEAD," in preparation of the death of his father Winston Churchill[7]

In an era when other papers such as the News Chronicle, the Empire News and the Sunday Graphic were rapidly falling to the influence of television, the Sunday Dispatch ceased publication in 1961.[8]

The possible late 1960s Dispatch was the fictional setting of Philip Norman's 1996 novel Everyone's Gone to the Moon about reporting in the British pop-invasion of America in the 1960s.[9]

Famous stories and headlines

  • September 1927 - In light of the trial verdict of the murder of PC Gutteridge of the Metropolitan Police, the headline read "Hanged by a microscope." An early case of ballistics science, it reflected the fact that microscopic examination of the Smith and Wesson gun cartridge cases had provided the crucial evidence to convict car thieves Frederick Browne and Pat Kennedy of the murder.[10]
  • 1933 - published Harry Price's book "Leaves From a Psychist's Case-Book" in a series of 10 articles.[11]
  • 1945 - the first Miss Great Britain contest was held by Morecambe and Heysham Council in association with the Dispatch, which as a preliminary to the personal appearance heats at Morecambe, photographic heats held in the newspaper attracted contestant from all over the country.[15] The first prize was 7 guineas and a basket of fruit.[16]
  • 2 December 1945 - broke news that British spy John Amery was dying of Tuberculosis. A post mortem revealed after his conviction and execution for high treason that he had not been suffering from the disease.[17]
  • 13 February 1949 - in light of the importation of American "dark humour" comics, the headline read: "Horror has crept into the British nursery. Morals of little girls in plaits and boys with marbles bulging in their pockets are being corrupted by a torrent of indecent coloured magazines that are flooding bookstalls and newsagents."[18] The counter article was co-written by the Reverend Marcus Morris, later founder of "The Eagle" comic[19]
  • 25 April 1954 - the headline read "Doctor's Journal Launches a Startling Campaign - Smoking sensation - MP Urges Ban On Manufacture Of Cigarettes As Move Against Cancer Peril" on the risks of smoking and lung cancer. The article was later cited in 2000 by Gallaher Tobacco to the UK Parliamentary Health select committee showing that such risks had been known for some while[25][26]
  • 1954 - broke the story that racing driver Mike Hawthorn was not called up for National Service because he cited that he was not in the country, while actually he was.[27]
  • 1959 - exposed a story about Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, where he sold shares at $65 each in a company that didn't exist. Hubbard apologised, and returned all monies, allegedly commenting: "It's lucky the police did not become involved, otherwise something most unpleasant might have happened."[28]

Former journalists and editors


1915: M. Cotton
1915: Hannen Swaffer
1919: Bernard Falk
1933: H. Lane
1934: William Brittain
1936: Collin Brooks
1938: Charles Eade
1959: Bert Gunn

Source: David Butler and Anne Sloman, British Political Facts, 1900-1979, p. 445


  • N.J.Crowson - Fleet Street, Press Barons and Politics Cambridge University Press/Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-521-66239-7
  1. ^ Concise History of the British Newspaper in the 19th Century: The British Library Newspaper Library
  2. ^ Georgian Index - British Newspapers
  3. ^ Harold Harmsworth, Lord Rothermere
  4. ^
  5. ^ Popular Newspapers During World War II, Parts 1 to 5, 1939-1945
  6. ^ Can Desmond really make things OK! at the Express? | Columnists | Guardian Unlimited
  7. ^ Peter Betts || Biography
  8. ^ DMGT, Rothermere and Northcliffe: landmarks
  9. ^ Yesterday's Papers - New York Times
  10. ^ Metropolitan Police Service - History of the Metropolitan Police Service
  11. ^ Writings by Harry Price - Introduction
  12. ^ "Churchill kept ghettoes warning under wraps" - Telegraph
  13. ^ Scotland on Sunday
  14. ^ "Real History and Churchill's War"
  15. ^ Miss Great Britain
  16. ^ TDG/reports/korneeva-morecambe-wolfe.ppt
  17. ^ John Amery
  18. ^ Review: Great British Comics by Paul Gravett & Peter Stanbury | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books
  19. ^ a b The Eagle comic
  20. ^ case histories photo hoaxes
  21. ^ Globe In Transit
  22. ^ ufo - UFOS at close sight: The West Freugh Incident, 1957
  23. ^
  24. ^ Liddell Hart 9 Military writings; books, 1925-1970
  25. ^ House of Commons - Health - Minutes of Evidence
  26. ^
  27. ^ Mike Hawthorn's Tribute Site - the story of Mike and National (Compulsory Military) Service - and how he managed to intentionally avoid it. During the enforcement period, 2.5 million young men did their time for National Service with around 6,000 called up every month. The disruption caused by national service to young lives was major
  28. ^ The Scandal of Scientology / Chapter 15: Is Scientology Political?
  29. ^ Ursula Bloom (1892-1984)
  30. ^ The Promising Editor - TIME
  31. ^ Departments of Medieval and Modern History
  32. ^ Randolph's Resignation - TIME
  33. ^ Alastair Forbes - Telegraph
  34. ^ BBC News | UK | Aston Martin creator dies
  35. ^ News Shopper: About/Contact Us: Our History
  36. ^ "The Art of Donald McGill" | Nick Lewis: The Blog
  37. ^ Tidy, Bill
  38. ^ BBC - WW2 People's War - The Williams at War
  39. ^ Ian Wooldridge - Obituaries, News -

External links



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