Poems and Rhymes by Jeffery Day WW1 poet 1st / 1st 1919
First edition and first print published by Sidgwick and Jackson in 1919. This scarce volume of poems is in near fine condition. The wrapper is very complete with no chips or tears. along the spine and to the left side of the front panel are several tanning marks and there are smaller marks across the wrapper. It is a remarkable survivor and scarce as such. The book is very clean and presentable with light blue boards. The label on the spine presents as fine. The pages are very clean and free from foxing or previous owners marks. The top textblock is dusty. Overall a near fine copy of a scarce title.
Flight Commander Miles Jeffery Game Day DSC, (1 December 1896 – 27 February 1918) was a World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories, and also a war poet. Between 3 January and 19 February 1918 he scored five victories while flying a Sopwith Camel. On 27 February, he was shot down in flames into the sea about 25 miles west of Dunkirk by a German seaplane. According to his commanding officer's report:"...He was shot down by six German aircraft which he attacked single-handed, out to sea. He hit the enemy and they hit his machine, which burst into flames; but, not a bit flurried, he nose-dived, flattened out, and landed perfectly on the water. He climbed out of his machine and waved his fellow-pilots back to their base; being in aeroplanes [not sea-planes] they could not assist him." A search was immediately launched, but no trace of him was found.
Inspired by Rupert Brooke, Day began to compose poems. Only three of these; "On the Wings of the Morning", "An Airman's Dream" and part of "To My Brother", were published in his lifetime, the first in Cornhill, and the other two in The Spectator. "To My Brother" was inspired by the death of his older brother Dennis Ivor Day, who was serving as a second lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery when he was shot by a sniper at Vermelles on 25 September 1915, finally dying from the injury on 7 October.
Day's collected poems (this volume) were published post-war, and two of his poems were anthologised in A Treasury of War Poetry, British and American Poems of the World War, 1914-1919, edited by George Herbert Clarke, and also in Cambridge Poets 1914-1920: an Anthology, compiled by Edward Davison, published in 1920. A scarce collection of poetry in this condition and with its original wrapper.