Edward Thomas – A Century On

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:



2 thoughts on “Edward Thomas – A Century On

  1. Thank you for highlighting the country books. Growing up I knew that country life often involves mostly mud, cold and hard work, Thomas and others in that great tradition of English (and Scottish, and Irish and Welsh) country writers kept the romance and beauty for me even when my back was aching. There is far too little attention paid to them nowadays. I’ve been grateful for your own advocacy of Borrow and Buchan in the past and there are so many more.


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