- -1985 / (Creation)
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Alun Lewis 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
1988 group; Mrs Gweno M. Lewis, Alun Lewis's widow; Donation; June 1988; A1988/59.
2003 group; Mrs Gweno M. Lewis, per Mrs Mary Davies, Aberystwyth; Donation; December 2003; 0200313586.
2006 item; Mrs Gweno M. Lewis; Donation; June 2006
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Papers of Alun Lewis, -1985, including family correspondence and letters from Robert Graves; autograph and typescript copies of published and unpublished poems; typescript copies of published and unpublished prose; personalia; an unpublished autobiographical novella of college life; memorial tributes to Alun Lewis in poetry form; and notebooks containing poetry and other writings by him.
A copy of a T. E. Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia', 1888-1935) newsletter for Autumn 1996 which includes an account by Alun Lewis (1915-1944) of his visit to Lawrence's cottage, and also comments by Mrs Gweno Lewis of meeting him as a young girl soon after the First World War.
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