The only child of Edward William Lewis, a Congregationalist minister, Cecil Arthur Lewis, author of the aviation classic "Sagittarious Rising" and 18 other books, attended school at Oundle. At age 17, he joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915. He received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2205 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Brooklands on 19 December 1915. In 1916 he flew the Morane Parasol in combat and won the Military Cross for his actions during the Battle of the Somme. Flying the S.E.5a with 56 Squadron, he was credited with eight victories during May and June of 1917. One of the founders of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Lewis left the BBC in 1926 for work in theatre and film. At the 1938 Academy Awards ceremony, Lewis, George Bernard Shaw, Ian Dalrymple and W.P. Lipscomb received Oscars for their screen adaptation of Shaw's play "Pygmalion." Lewis returned to service with the Royal Air Force during World War II and attained the rank of Wing Commander.
"You should live gloriously, generously, dangerously. Safety last!" Cecil Lewis, Sagittarious Rising
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Military Cross (MC)
2nd Lt. Cecil Arthur Lewis, R.F.C., Spec. Res.
For conspicuous skill and gallantry. He has done fine work in photography, with artillery and on contact patrols. On one occasion he came down very low and attacked a column of horsed limbers, causing casualties and scattering the limbers.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 14 November 1916 (29824/11058)