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Today in History

Name: Cecil Arthur Lewis
Military Cross (MC) Cecil Lewis
Country: England
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 3, 9, 23, 44, 56, 61, 152
Victories: 8
Born: 29 March 1898
Place of Birth: Birkenhead, Cheshire
Died: 27 January 1997
Place of Death: Westminster, London
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
The Independent, Obituary by T. H. Bridgewater, Wednesday 29 January 1997
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.
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 05 May 1917 1845-1945 56 S.E.5 (A4853) Albatros D.III (OOC) Montigny
2 07 May 1917 0930 56 S.E.5 (A4853) C (OOC) S of Lens
3 07 May 1917 1830-1900 56 S.E.5 (A4853) Albatros D.III (OOC) 1 N of Cambrai
4 11 May 1917 0600-0810 56 S.E.5 (A4853) Albatros D.III (OOC) Pont a Vendin
5 23 May 1917 1555-1810 56 S.E.5 (A4853) Albatros C (OOC) Beaumont
6 27 May 1917 1900-2000 56 S.E.5 (A4853) Albatros D.III (OOC) E of Bugnicourt
7 07 Jun 1917 1200-1230 56 S.E.5 (A4853) Albatros D.III (OOC) Wervicq
8 17 Jun 1917 0845-0930 56 S.E.5 (A4853) Albatros D.III (OOC) Haubourdin

1 Shared with Lt Henry Meintjes (A8900), 2Lt Reginald Hoidge (A4862), 2Lt W B Melville (A4852)
All My Yesterdays
An Autobiography by Cecil Lewis / Hardcover / Element 1993
Farewell to Wings [ also available Ayer Co Pub ]
Cecil Lewis / Hardcover / Ayer Co Pub 1979
Gemini to Joburg
Cecil Lewis / Hardcover / Random 1984
Sagittarius Rising [ or try here ]
Cecil Lewis / Paperback / MacMillan Pub Co 1970
Sagittarius Surviving
Cecil Lewis / Hardcover / Leo Cooper 1991
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