Allegorical story telling story of an operation in terms of knights of medieval Kingdom of Avalon setting out and riding to battle in the land of the Huns and city of Burlyne. Tells story of operation including wounding of crew and return flight. Ends with award of Distinguished Flying Cross and Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.




Eleven page handwritten document


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[underlined] LEGEND [/underlined]

And it came to pass there was bitter fighting in the Kingdom of Avalon, and great monsters with wings flew to the Land of the Huns and spread fire and laid waste the countryside of the Teutonic Knights. King Arthur and all the knights of the Round Table, together with many Knights and Squires from distant lands – even from strange lands across the Northern Ocean – did ride to battle and to joust in mortal combat against the Knights and men-at-arms of the Black King.

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Thus it came about that Merlin advised King Arthur to ride forth against the Wicked King on the [deleted] 3 [/deleted] XXXth night of the first month, as there was no moon, and to smite him in his lair which stood in the centre of a Great City which was called Burlyne. Accordingly all of King Arthurs' Knights, as was their custom on these occasions, donned great coats of mail and finely spun jerkins and leather casques and divers [sic] other armour, and their waiting men helped them into great machines which Merlin had made with much magic and cunning workmanship.

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In the cavalcade which rode forth into the starlit night was one Sir Gwillam of Breckenridge who hailed from the Northernmost bounds of the Isle of Avalon, and his chief Squire and advisor was named Richard, Son of Horace, an old knight who dwelt in the furthermost reaches beyond the setting sun, and by means of magic and by divining from the stars which were at that time in the House of Capricornus the Goat. A great multitude of Knights rode through the darkness until they saw before them the gates of the Castle of Burlyne. But the people of the Land of the Huns were

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hostile and threw great burning embers and missiles of iron and molten lead, and they lighted the darkness with strange torches, and many of King Arthurs Knights did fall by the wayside, being grievously wounded, and having come upon the Walled City of Burlyne the Chief Squire did advise Sir Gwillam to charge with his lance upon the centre of the Fortress of the Wicked King that one of the lesser squires could drop a great stone upon the base and rude people living in the Kingdom of Germania.

But even as the Fair Knight came upon the fortress, one of the Teutonic

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Knights bore down upon him riding hard upon a swift steed and he thrust with his lance while his squire did shoot flaming arrows upon King Arthurs' Knight and his goodly crew. Yet even as he did charge did Sir Gwillam evade him, and his manservant dropped the great stone upon the castle where it smote right heavily and the people in the Land of Evil were sore afraid. The Black Knight thrust thrice and Sir Gwillam and his band were sorely tried. One of his servants, Hamish by name, from the Northern

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Reaches of Ayrshire was struck and fell mortally wounded, and the blood did gush from his mouth, he thereupon did die unshriven, there being no priest nearby.

And he who rode upon the tail of the Monster was struck by flying arrows, and was sore afraid. Richard the Chief Squire was grievous wounded by the Black Knight whose sword did smite at his heart, but the evil Knights thrust was parried and the sword did miss his heart by as little as half the length of a thumb.

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Now Merlin, by means of a magic box saw what had befallen Sir Gwillam and he caused a blindness to fall upon the Black Knight. By sorcery and magic orisons he cast a spell upon all the Teutonic Knights and their squires. Merlin's engines of war did bear away Sir Gwillam and the body of Hamish his servant together with his goodly crew.

Now the Squire Richard being sorely wounded did by means of magic practices and by great cunning, advise Sir Gwillam how to get out of the Forest of Darkness unseen. And they slipped away quietly nor were molested by the people of Germania. Much

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woe had been caused by King Arthurs men, and the rude people of the Hun were sore afraid and waxed wroth, but they could not find Sir Gwillam.

And upon the second watch of the night the squire Richard spake unto the Knight saying 'Sire, but look you upon yonder horizon and you shall see the fair Isle of Avalon." And Sir Gwillam looked and it was as the Squire had spoken whereupon he was filled with joy. So he did descend upon the land, being directed thither by great tapers of light which the people threw up into the sky.

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But great was the speed of Merlin's war machine – even faster than the winds, its landing did sorely shake all of his household, but they were not afraid. The mighty charger was mortally wounded as it lay upon the greensward, and all the common people marvelled saying "The magic of Merlin hath prevailed over the Black Knight".

Now the Squire being sorely wounded was supported by divers men-at-arms, and he fell into a swoon. Thus he was borne away, together with one of the archers. They were taken to a great infirmary hard by the City of Ely, and the leech was summoned and came and plucked from his breast the arrow

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of lead which had entered Richard.

And he dwelt therein for the full space of a new moon. Fair maidens did bathe his wounds and comforted him whilst page-boys did bring him meat and drink.

And it came to pass that King Arthur and his Good Queen Guenieve [sic] didst hear of the Knights adventures, and he summoned all of the Knights men to appear before him. And at the day of the Investiture King Arthur pinned upon Sir Gwillam the Noble Riband of the Distinguished Flying Cross. And to the Chief Archer also he gave the

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Distinguished Flying Cross.

And upon the breast of the Chief Squire, Richard, King Arthur attached the Riband of the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. Thus came upon the crew of Sir Gwillam much Honour. A great feasting and merry-making befell them and all the Knights of the Round Table.

So endeth the tale.


“Legend,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/36084.

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