Henry Treece: Teacher, Writer, Poet ... and Intelligence Officer at RAF Dunholme Lodge.

Henry Treece was a poet and author of historical novels, who served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve at RAF Dunholme Lodge.

Henry Treece was born in Wednesbury in Staffordshire in 1911, and was educated at Birmingham University before becoming a schoolteacher.

He was a prolific writer of poetry and historical fiction in the early part of the twentieth century, and was co-founder (with J F Hendry) of the New Apocalypse poetry movement. His collections of poetry include The Black Seasons (1945) and The Exiles (1952). Numbered among his adult historical novels are The Eagles Have Flown (1954), Red Queen, White Queen (1958), and The Green Man (1966). His historical novels for children include Legions of the Eagle (1954), The Viking Saga, Man with a Sword (1962). He also wrote one play, Carnival King (1955).

Henry left his teaching post at Barton-upon-Humber Grammar School during the war to join the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was an Intelligence Officer and served for a time on the Station Intelligence staff at RAF Dunholme Lodge. He was apparently also a dab hand with a piece of charcoal, creating very popular caricatures of Station personnel on the walls of the Officers’ Mess at RAF Dunholme Lodge — including a diplomatically ‘nice’ one of the Station Commander over the large fireplace!

After the war, Henry resumed his teaching and writing career, also making broadcasts on BBC radio. In 1959, ill health forced him to retire from his post as senior English master at Barton-upon-Humber Grammar School, and he died of a heart attack in 1966.

Treece’s poem Lincolnshire Bomber Station was first published in Henry Treece and John Pudney, Air Force Poetry (London: John Lane, 1944), page 80.


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