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Lusk Collection

David James Theodore Lusk (1915-1940)


Son of Rev David Colville Lusk (Balliol 1901) and Mary Theodora Lusk; born 18 Sept. 1915.  Lusk was educated at Oxford High School (1920- 22), Dragon School, Oxford (1922-9) and Rugby (1929- 34), where he became Head of School Field House.  He was at Balliol 1934- 7 and gained a 2nd class degree in P.P.E.  At Oxford he was a member of the University Air Squadron. After completing his studies, Lusk commenced training to become a Chartered Accountant with Messrs Moores, Carson and Watson, Glasgow in 1937.  He continued his interest in aviation as a Reserve Air Force Officer.  With the outbreak of war in 1939, Lusk became a full time member of the Royal Air Force.  He  completed his training at various locations in the British Isles before becoming a member of Number 22 Squadron, based at North Coates, Grimsby.  Lusk was deemed to have been killed in action after he failed to return from a flight over the NW German Coast on 7 May 1940.

Lusk's poem General Knowledge appeared in The Spectator, 25 Dec. 1936, No. 5 661 and he had a letter published in The Spectator, Dec. 1935 (see B; C1 v and viii; C4 4xxxiii.)

The collection contains 1 ALS and 1 TLS from P.G.Wodehouse (C4 4b- d); 1 TLS from Albert Einstein (C4 4a) and correspondence of the critic, Philip Toynbee.


The papers were deposited by Rev. John Colville Lusk (Balliol 1932), brother of D.J.T. Lusk, following correspondence with John Jones which can be found in Section A of the collection.

The collection has been sorted and divided into sections A- C (with 5 sub- sections for section C.) by Rev. J.C.Lusk.  Slips of paper which J.C.Lusk used when arranging the papers have been kept in the positions where they were found.

A preliminary report describing the collection was produced by John Jones in June 1992; this is reproduced below to provide a summary of the contents and arrangement of the papers.


In September 1991 the Revd JC Lusk (Balliol 1932) wrote to me concerning the papers of his brother DJT Lusk (Balliol 1934, killed in action 7 May 1940 over the NW German coast). Following further correspondence these were sent to me in May 1992. The collection, hereafter the Lusk Collection, now comprises the following:

A. Correpsondence about the collection, 1991-2.

B. A black file of writings by DJTL, mostly poetry, with numerous loose insertions. [Three xerox xopies of the entire contents of this file were made for JCL and his sisters.]

C. Four boxes of material arranged and numbered 1 - 5 by JCL as follows:

1. Writings by DJTL: also diaries of 1927 and 1935 (the latter being a detailed record of a continental trip, especially in Germany.)

2. Letters from DJTL in the RAF 1939-40.

3. Letters re DJTL after his death.

4. Letters to DJTL 1934-40, including

a) A TLS from Albert Einstein (Princeton 20/12/34) addressed to DJTL, Balliol JCR ['Ich kann mich nicht mehr genau erinnern, wie rasch ich die richtige Lösung herausgefunden habe, jedenfalls aber nicht sofort. Den meisten meiner Kollegen erging es ähnlich.']

b) Two TLS and one ALS from PG WOdehouse; the ALS (Le Touquet, 26/11/1934) speaks of PGW's method of writing and says he is fond of reading his own books, especially Leave it to Psmith and Sam the Sudden.

5. Miscellaneous documents - school reports, certificates, etc.

- Dr JH Jones, June 1992


DJTL  David James Theodore Lusk.

DCL  Rev David Colville Lusk, DJTL's father.

IT  Ivor Thomas, author of a poem in reply to DJTL's which   appeared in The Spectator, 25 Dec. 1936.

JCL   Rev John Colville Lusk, DJTL's brother.

MTL  Mary Theodora Lusk, DJTL's mother.



- Charlotte Fisher, Modern Manuscripts Assistant. June 1992.

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