Laurence Edward Alan "Laurie" Lee (June 26, 1914 – May 13, 1997) was an English poet, novelist, and screenwriter. His most famous work was an autobiographical trilogy which consisted of Cider with Rosie (1959), As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991). The first volume recounts his childhood in the Slad Valley. The second deals with his leaving home for London and his first visit to Spain in 1935, and the third with his return to Spain in December 1937 to join the Republican International Brigades.
Having been born in Stroud, Lee moved with his family to the village of Slad in 1917. At twelve, he went to the Central Boys' School in Stroud. After leaving the Central School at fifteen, Lee became an errand boy at a Chartered Accountants. At twenty he worked as an office clerk and a builder's laborer, and lived in London for a year before leaving for Spain in the summer of 1935. Walking more often than not, he eked out a living by playing his violin. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936, Lee was picked up by a British destroyer from Gibraltar, collecting marooned British subjects on the southern Spanish coast. During this period, he met a woman who supported him financially. He started to study for an art degree but returned to Spain in 1937 as an International Brigade volunteer. It was in Spain that he met his patron, wealthy English feminist Wilma Gregory (1886-1964). Lee's service in the Brigade was cut short by his epilepsy.
Before devoting himself entirely to writing in 1951, Lee worked as a journalist and as a scriptwriter. During World War II, he made documentary films for the GPO Film Unit (1939–40) and the Crown Film Unit (1941–43). From 1944 to 1946 he worked as the Publications Editor for the Ministry of Information. Lee's first love was always poetry, though he was only moderately successful as a poet. Lee's first poem appeared in The Sunday Referee in 1934 followed by his first volume of poems, The Sun My Monument, in 1944.