Do You Know the Mysterious Mr Hinckley?
In the course of research by The English Project into the colloquialisms used by soldiers during World War I for our new teaching resource, we came upon a fascinating WWI glossary credited to a Paul Hinckley. His list of colloquialisms appears on several websites (including many Wikipedia references) which claim to reproduce the work with permission of the author - but our extensive searches for Paul revealed nothing.
We contacted Dr David Tuffley an ICT lecturer at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, whose web pages carry the best reproduction of Hinkley's work Battlefield Colloquialisms . David told us the story of how in the 1990's he had discovered the glossary on an early website of the kind which allowed amateurs to post hobby material for free. It did originally include contact details but they have been lost over the years. David also searched for Hinckley more recently without success; he concluded that Paul Hinckley might have had personal links with The Great War and could well have been elderly. So it seems that David had rescued Hinckley's work and continues to make it available. We do know that Paul operated a website at www.oldcontemptible.com which was a highly-regreded WWI resource, but this disappeared in 2004. We have also found the suggestion that Paul came from Bristol.
But the story doesn't end here. David Tuffley was inspired by Hinckley's archive to refine and build upon it. Using a wide variety of resources including: diaries from the trenches, slang dictionaries, military history journals and a personal account by his own grandfather Albert Money, a private in the King's Royal Rifle Corps (The Green Jackets), David has produced a very affordable and comprehensive book (£0.77 as and e-book) Amazon Kindle , iTunes.
So we are no closer to finding the mysterious Paul Hinckley. Do contact us if you have any information about him, we'd love to know how he came to compile his glossary.