UK Services Editions
Around 30 million paperback books were produced as Services Editions for the UK Armed Services between 1943 and 1946, but just 70 years later they seem to have disappeared almost without trace. So far as I am aware there is no collection of them in any library, not even the British Library, the Bodleian or the Imperial War Museum, and there is no list of what exists, other than the incomplete checklists I have compiled, which are available at www.serviceseditions.com. There are around 500 different books in the various series of paperback Services Editions, not including the further 120 books produced by Penguin in their Forces Book Club, or the Penguin Prisoner of War editions. The only ones that are at all common now are the surplus copies that were released for general sale at the end of the war.
For some reason the UK Services Editions have never received the same attention as the US Armed Services Editions, which are relatively well researched and documented. For the last 25 years I have been attempting to research them and put together as complete a collection as possible, which I hope will one day end up in one of the major libraries or museums. It is a race against time. Please contact me if you think you can help at all.
There are links below to a selection of blog posts about Services Editions: