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Planes of the Great War 1914-18 | Howard Leigh | Compass Library

Planes of the Great War 1914-18

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Howard Leigh

With an Introduction by W. E. Johns

JOHN HAMILTON, London, 1934

Howard Leigh's beautifully illustrated collection of 50 collotype prints of the iconic aircraft of the First World war. The book includes brief details of each aircraft alongside Leigh's tipped-in plates. It is introduced by W. E. Johns, author of the Biggles stories.

Howard Leigh (1909-1942) was brought up in Edgbaston. Upon leaving school in the late 1920s, it was his brother-in-law, and Biggles author, W. E. Johns who initially encouraged Leigh to make the most of his artistic skills, despite the fact that he had no formal art training. Leigh worked with Johns at the Aircraft & General Fine Art Company in East Grinstead, Sussex, a company specialising in aviation cards, playing cards, jigsaws, postcards and calendars. By the early 1930s, Leigh had established himself as an aviation artist and was beginning to contribute to aviation periodicals of the day, including the early issues of Popular Flying. During this period he made several attempts at writing, mostly aviation non-fiction. Most notable was his book Planes of the Great War 1914-1918 (published by John Hamilton in 1934). Howard Leigh continued to illustrate aviation books and magazines until the outbreak of WW2. He joined the National Fire Service and at the time of his death in February 1942 was a Senior Company Officer.


In very good condition. The boards are in good condition, with some fading to the spine titling. The original dust jacket is in good condition, with a few  marks. It is protected by a removable archival film cover. The binding and hinges are very good and secure. The text and plates are in very good condition. With an ink signature to the front endpaper and title page.

Published: 1934
Black boards with gilt titling, in original illustrated dust jacket
Illustrated with 50 collotype plates
Dimensions: 190mm x 255mm
Pages: 112