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Cecil Arthur Lewis

Cecil Arthur Lewis, a fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps, had only 20 hours of flying experience when first posted to France for reconnaissance and contact patrol duties.

Cecil was a fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps, and had only 20 hours of flying experience when first posted to France for reconnaissance and contact patrol duties. His unique account documents the appearance of the Somme from the air - trenches that looked like the edge of lace doilies, and shells like lobbed tennis balls. His account is permeated with fearful honesty about how frightening it was to fight alone in the air, in stark contrast to the almost enjoyable hours spent on the airfields and towns of France.

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39 minutes

The Great War Interviews Collection

The Great War Interviews Collection
This programme is part a collection of interviews with World War One veterans and civilians filmed in the 1960s for the landmark BBC series The Great War.

Go to the BBC Four Great War Interviews Collection

More about this programme

More about this programme
Cecil Lewis became a famous war veteran who often publicly recalled his experiences. He was one of the founding members of the BBC and had a long and celebrated career as a writer, notably of the aviation classic Sagittarius Rising. At the 1938 Academy Awards, he won an Oscar along with George Bernard Shaw and two others for their screen adaptation of Pygmalion.

Credits

Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest Cecil Arthur Lewis
Producer Detlef Siebert
Executive Producer Sandra Gorel

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