With thanks to Dr Margaret Stetz for finding this poet for us
During the First World War, Newman attended several military training camps, beginning with Lake Charles in Louisiana, then Plattsburg Camp in the Spring of 1916. When he left home for military service, his mother gave all of his civilian clothes to the Red Cross in a patriotic gesture.
Having heard a talk given at a college reunion given by Guy Empey, who wrote a book entitled “Over the Top” about his WW1 service, Newman realised he would probably not be able to cope with trench life. So he applied to become a cadet in the Army Air Corps, known at the time, as he points out in his book “My Double Life”, as the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps. (p. 89).
In April 1917, Newman wrote a poem entitled “Mr Yankling Sees it Through”, inspired by H.G. Wells’ novel “Mr Britling sees it through”. Newman's poem was published and he received 50 Dollars for it.
Newman then learnt to fly aeroplanes at the US Army School of Military Aeronautics in Ithaca, New York. After buzzing his own airfield he was grounded and went to New York to try to enlist in April 1918. However, Army enlistments were closed but the Navy was an option, so Newman was sent to yet another training camp - Pelham Bay Naval Training Station in Pelham Bay Park's Rodman's Neck in the Bronx. Located near City Island, and Westchester county, it was operational from 1917 to 1919. They published a magazine at Pelham – “The Broadside”.
After his discharge, Newman wrote some verse for “The Conning Tower” a newspaper column edited by American journalist Franklin Pierce Adams (1881 – 1960). The column began in the “New York Evening Mail” -1904 to 1913 – and was then called "Always in Good Humor” publishing reader contributions. In 1914, Franklin moved his column to the “New-York Tribune”, where it was retitled “The Conning Tower” and was considered to be "the pinnacle of verbal wit. Later still the FPA, as he was known, took the column to “The World”.
Newman’s verse and some of his short fiction was published in "The New Yorker" and also collected in three books: “Opera Guyed”, “Theatre Guyed” and “Gay But Wistful Verses”.