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Sagittarius Rising (1938) | Cecil Lewis

Sagittarius Rising (1938)

Price $86.00 Sale


Cecil Lewis

PETER DAVIES, London, 1938

The classic WW1 Royal Flying Corps pilot's memoir by Cecil Lewis. Lewis was a RFC flying ace with the celebrated 56 Squadron. He fought against Von Richthofen's 'Flying Circus' over the Western Front while serving alongside legendary fliers including Albert Ball, 'Beery' Bowman and Arthur Rhys David. During his career he flew a wide variety of aircraft, from nimble scouts like the Sopwith Pup, Spad, Nieuport Scout and Sopwith Camel, to the cumbersome Vickers Vimy Bomber. This is the sixth impression, published in March 1938. Complete with the original illustrated dust jacket.

Cecil Lewis (1898–1997) was a WW1 British fighter pilot. He went on to co-found the BBC, and enjoyed a long career as a writer. Lewis joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915 and learned to fly at Brooklands. In 1916, he flew the Morane Parasol in combat with No. 3 Squadron and was awarded the M.C. for his actions during the Battle of the Somme. Flying over the battlefield on 1st July 1916 to report back on British troop movements, Lewis witnessed the blowing of the huge mine at La Boiselle. He later described the early morning scene in his book Sagittarius Rising. As he watched from above the village of Thiepval, almost two miles from where the mine exploded, Lewis saw a remarkable sight: 'At Boiselle the earth heaved and flashed, a tremendous and magnificent column rose up into the sky. There was an ear-spitting roar, drowning all the guns flinging the machine sideways in the repercussing air. The earthly column rose, higher and higher to almost four thousand feet.'

During May and June 1917, when he was flying the SE5 with No. 56 Squadron, Lewis was credited with eight victories. Back in England, Lewis served with Nos. 44 and 61 Squadrons on Home Defence before returning to France in late 1918 with No. 152 Night Fighter Squadron, flying the Sopwith Camel.


In  good condition. The boards are in good condition, with minor signs of wear. The dust jacket is in good condition, with general signs of wear and some old tape repairs to the rear. The binding and hinges are good and secure. The text is in very good condition.

Published: 1938
Grey boards, with original illustrated dust jacket
Dimensions: 140mm x 200mm
Pages: 332