Living Memorial | Cy Grant
16770
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Cy Grant

1919 - 2010

About This Project

Cy Grant was born on November 8 1919 in British Guiana (now Guyana). In 1941 he joined the Royal Air Force and became a navigator as part of 103 Squadron, based at RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire. He was one of a seven-man crew of an Avro Lancaster bomber.

 

In 1943, Flight Lieutenant Grant was shot down over the Netherlands during the battle of the Ruhr, landing in Holland. Although he parachuted safely into a field, he was captured by the German forces and subsequently imprisoned in Stalag Luft III camp. In 1945 he was liberated by the Allied Forces.

 

After the war, Grant studied law, which lead to him becoming a member of the Middle Temple in London, as well as qualify as a barrister in 1950. Unfortunately, he was unable to find work in this field and therefore decided to pursue acting. This was the beginning of his fruitful career in the creative industry, as he successfully auditioned for Laurence Olivier and consequently made appearances in St James Theatre, London and Ziegfeld Theatre, New York. As there was a lack of opportunities for Black actors in Britain, Cy later on decided to become a singer, having learnt to sing and play the guitar in Guiana. Following this, the musician performed in several countries such as Kenya, Italy and Australia.

 

In acknowledgment of his range of talents, Grant featured regularly on British TV, making him one of the first Black people to do so. Furthermore, Cy helped film the documentary Into The Wind (2011), in which he speaks of his experiences during WW2. He was the voice of Lt Green in the popular children’s TV series Captain Scarlet. He wrote several books, that included non-fiction as well as poetry. Grant was a father of four children and lived in London, Highgate, with his wife Dorith. He died in February 2010. See obituary here.

Origin

British Guyana

Category
Royal Air Force