- 1919-1996 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.161 cubic metres (7 boxes and 1 volume)
Name of creator
Alun Lewis (1915-1944) was a poet and short-story writer. He was born on 1 July 1915 in Cwmaman, Aberdare, the eldest of three sons and a daughter born to Thomas John Lewis, a schoolmaster and his wife Gwladys Lewis. He received his education at Glynhafod Elementary School, 1920-1926, and afterwards he attended Cowbridge Grammar School, 1926-1932, after winning a scholarship. He won scholarships both to Jesus College, Oxford, and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, but chose the latter. He graduated in history in 1935 with first class honours and while at the University he worked on its magazine where he also published his first poems and stories. From Aberystwyth he moved to Manchester University, 1935-1937, where he researched for his masters degree in medieval history before returning to Aberystwyth to follow a teacher training course. He taught history at Lewis Pengam School from 1938 until he joined the Royal Engineers in May 1940.
He married Gweno Ellis of Aberystwyth on 5 July 1941 and was posted to the 6th Battalion South Wales Borderers at Woodbridge in Suffolk in the same year. His first volume of poetry Raiders' Dawn was published in 1942. A volume of short stories The Last Inspection was also published in that year. In the winter of 1942 the battalion was shipped to India. He died in Burma on 5 March 1944 and was buried in Taukyan War Cemetery.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
MSS 1-115: Mrs Gweno M. Lewis, Alun Lewis's widow; Donation; June 1988; A1988/59.
File /1: Mrs Gweno M. Lewis, per Mrs Mary Davies, Aberystwyth; Donation; December 2003; 0200313586.
File /2: Mrs Gweno M. Lewis; Donation; June 2006.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers of Alun Lewis, 1919-1996, including family correspondence and letters from Robert Graves; autograph and typescript copies of published and unpublished poems; typescript copies of published and unpublished prose; personalia; an unpublished autobiographical novella of college life; memorial tributes to Alun Lewis in poetry form; and notebooks containing poetry and other writings by him.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
All papers donated to NLW have been retained.
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
The papers donated in 1988 have been arranged into eleven groups: poetry, prose, worksheets, the Caseg Broadsheets, correspondence, personalia, periodicals, articles, scripts, newspaper cuttings and miscellaneous papers. The 2003 and 2006 donations have been arranged as 2 files.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding the ownership of Alun Lewis copyright can be found at http://tyler.hrc.utexas.edu/ (viewed July 2022).
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Hard copies of the lists describing the papers donated in 1988 and 2003 are available at NLW.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents of fonds.
Papers accumulated by his widow Gweno Lewis postdate Alun Lewis's death.
Virtua system control number
GEAC system control number
Place access points
Name access points
- Lewis, Alun, 1915-1944 -- Archives (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Gwladys E. Lewis, Alun Lewis: My Son (Aberystwyth, 1968); Dictionary of National Biography on CD-ROM; Poetry Wales, 10.3 (1974 - Alun Lewis Special Number); and Welsh Biography Online website, 4 January 2005.
Compiled by Ann Francis Evans.