Alun Lewis


Alun Lewis (July 1, 1915 – March 5, 1944), was a poet of the Anglo-Welsh school.

He was born at Aberdare in the Cynon valley, Wales. By the time he attended Cowbridge Grammar School, he was already interested in writing. He went on to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and the University of Manchester, Manchester. In 1939, he met Gweno Ellis, a teacher, whom he married in 1941. In 1941, he collaborated with artists John Petts and Brenda Chamberlain on the “Caseg broadsheets”. Although best known as a poet, his first published work was a volume of short stories, The Last Inspection (1942). In his poem Raider’s Dawn Lewis makes a biblical reference to Peter and Paul. He died in Burma, in the course of the Second World War campaign against the Japanese. He was found shot in the head, after shaving and washing, near the officers’ latrines, with his revolver in his hand. He died from the wound six hours later. Despite the suggestion of suicide, an army court of inquiry subsequently concluded that he had tripped and the shooting was an accident.

Works

  • The Last Inspection (stories) (1944)
  • Raider’s Dawn and other poems (1944)
  • Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets (1945)
  • In the Green Tree (letters) (1948)