The poet, walker, and country writer Edward Thomas died one hundred years ago today,
During the opening day of the Battle of Arras he came out from his observation post at Beaurain. A passing shell killed him instantly, its passage taking the air from his lungs.
His little pocket diary was creased from the passage of the shell. It bore this last entry from the day before:
A bright warm Easter day but Achicourt shelled at 12.39 and then at 2.15 so that we all retired to cellar. I had to go over to battery at 3 for a practice barrage, skirting the danger zone, but we were twice interrupted. A 5.9 fell 2 yards from me as I stood by the f/c post. One burst down the back of the office and a piece of dust scratched my neck. No firing from 2-4. Rubin left for a course.
His legacy as a writer lives on, not only in his poems but in his country books such as The Icknield Way, The South Country, The Heart of England, and so many more.
Do seek them out. They are writings that every country walker will appreciate.
If you want to find out more about Edward Thomas, visit the website of the Edward Thomas Fellowship at: