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'This is a book everyone should read. It is the autobiography of an ace, and no common ace either. The boy had all the noble tastes and qualities, love of beauty, soaring imagination, a brilliant endowment of good looks ...this prince of pilots ...had a charmed life in every sense of the word' - George Bernard ShawSent to France with the Royal Flying Corps at just seventeen, and later a member of the famous 56 Squadron, Cecil Lewis was an illustrious and passionate fighter pilot of the First World War, described by Bernard Shaw in 1935 as 'a thinker, a master of words, and a bit of a poet'. In this vivid and spirited account the author evocatively sets his love of the skies and flying against his bitter experience of the horrors of war, as we follow his progress from France and the battlefields of the Somme, to his pioneering defence of London against deadly night time raids.
Cecil Lewis distinguished himself in action with eight victories throughout WWI and was awarded the Military Cross. After the war he became a flying instructor in China and later achieved fame as one of the founders of the BBC and as a respected playwright, winning an Oscar for the screenplay of Pygmalian. He died in 1997.