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Guest Simon Bull

Wyndham Lewis

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Guest Simon Bull

I have recently come across this book. On a cursory examination I cannot tell from the text which artillery unit the author was in.

Can anyone tell me?

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Yorkshire Andy

Hi Simon,

Wyndham Lewis was in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

Here's a bit more info for you.

January 1916 - joined the RGA as Gunner Lewis, ( service number 71050 ) and was posted to Depot 1, R.G.A., Hut 20, Fort Burgoyne, Dover.

then (date unknown)

Hut 61, R.G.A. Westham Training Unit, Weymouth.

promoted to Lance Bombardier sometime after this.

July 1916 - Assigned to 183 Siege Battery but still in Weymouth.

then (date unknown)

posted to Lydd, Kent

Then, around September 1916 or thereabouts, accepted for a cadetship ( commission )and posted to the Field Artillery Cadet School in Exeter. His biography records that he was almost killed here whilst learning to ride a horse.

then (November 1916???)

posted to No.1 R.G.A. Officers Cadet School, Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

Passed his exams and commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on Christmas Day 1916.

then

24 May 1917, embarked for F&F aboard the SS Viper in Southampton as part of 330 Siege Battery which consisted of 6 Officers and 154 OR's. However, on reporting to Heavy Artillery Garrison HQ near La Clytte, Lewis was then assigned to 224 Siege Battery by the beginning of June 1917.

Posted back to 330 Siege Battery on 13 August 1917 near Dunkirk.

That's about as good as it gets from me.

A very interesting character at the time and I admire his artwork from this and the pre-war period ( as I do Henri Gaudier-Brzeska - KIA whilst serving with the French Army 5/6/15 -check out Ken Russell's "Savage Messiah" about Brzeska if you get the chance ). If you want to know more about Wyndham Lewis and the avant garde artists of the period, there is a biography of him available ( Some Sort Of Genius by Paul O'Keeffe ).

The biography is ( and I am no reviewer of books ) "ok" and does not touch upon his war service in very great detail but you should get a bit more than I could provide. If you were drawn to Blasting and Bombardiering due to an interest in the art of the period, please do look up Brzeska - a most fascinatiing and quite brilliant artist.

However (and this forum is most definately not the place for this so I will not elaborate and please no e-mails or IM's or they WILL be deleted), I find some of Lewis' later written work some of the most offensive articles ( offensive to mankind as a whole ) ever committed to paper.

Andy

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Guest Simon Bull

Thanks Andy.

I had surmised that he was in the RGA and was trying to find out if he had happened to be in the same unit as a man I am researching.

I assume that your hostility to his later writings stems from his having moved politically somewhat to the right in his later life, to say the least?

I am not familiar with his art, and will have to educate myself some time.

Thanks again.

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Yorkshire Andy

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