Sopwith Pup

Sagittarius Rising talk takes place at the Army Flying Museum

THE story of the last fighter ace of the First World War will come alive in an illustrated talk at the Army Flying Museum next week.

Broadcaster, journalist and historian, Paul Beaver, returns to the Middle Wallop based Museum for the first time since it re-opened to tell the story of the Royal Flying Corps, and most notably Cecil Lewis.

Cecil Lewis was a giant of a man in a time when there were many tall men – he knew George Bernard Shaw, won an Oscar, founded the BBC, wrote features for the Daily Mail and spent his final years – lots of them – on Corfu,” said Paul.

When he died in 1998, he was the last fighter ace of the First World War.

In fact, he became an ace around his 19th birthday and by the time he was 20 had a Military Cross and more a dozen ‘kills’.

In the Second World War, he re-enlisted and returned to flying and then command.

The talk, which takes place on Thursday 11 July, will draw from the autobiographical account Sagittarius Rising.

Paul will be using the Museum’s own displays to tell the story of fragile aeroplanes and pilots who flew without parachutes. Paul will cover its creation, first actions, successes and failures as well as why it morphed into the Royal Air Force.

Paul added:

Cecil Lewis has always intrigued me. He was a master at everything he attempted. His appearance on Desert island Discs is legendary in the BBC because at 95 he still managed to flirt with the presenter.

Impossible act to follow.

A curry supper is also available from the Apache Cafe at 6pm. Spaces are limited so book in advance to avoid disappointment.

For more information, or to purchase tickets visit or call 01264 781086

Photo: Sopwith Pup

Army Flying Museum

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