R.F.C. Poet, Francis St. Vincent Morris
Francis St. Vincent Morris was commissioned as a 2nd lieut. in the 3rd Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters in 1915 and then passed into the Royal Flying Corps where, after graduating the Central Flying School on 27-December-1916, he was posted to No. 3rd Squadron’s airfield at Lavieville on 21-March-1917. Like fellow squadron pilot Cecil Lewis, author of Sagittarius Rising, Morris flew a two-man Morane Parasol. On patrol near Vimy Ridge on 10-April-1917 in Morane -Saulnier Type AI, No. A.6715 - a parasol - he and his second-seat, Sargeant Arthur James Mitchell, were caught in a snow storm and crashed. Morris suffered head wounds, broke both his legs and one had to be amputated. He died on 29th April 1917. His poetry was published posthumously by Blackwell’s later in the year and his work appeared in several anthologies. He is buried at St. Sever Cemetery in Rouen. In his pocket after he died an untitled poem was found and it is transcribed here. This group includes his R.F.C. Central Flying School gradation certificate as well as his notebook, the individual tabs of which he hand-lettered himself and each section includes humorous as well as serious poems about the war, as well as his autographed poem 'Hints for Huns,' the first part of which is included here, and an unpublished photo of a younger Morris at school.