Edward Thomas was educated at Battersea Grammar School and St Paul’s School before going up to Oxford to read History. At St Paul’s a fellow pupil remembered him as

a boy of grave and reserved demeanour, who habitually kept small animals and snakes in his pockets, and gave them the run of the inside of his desk during school hours.

Having joined the Artists’ Rifles in July 1915 Thomas took a commission in the Royal Artillery, going to France in early 1917. When he was asked by his friend Eleanor Farjeon why he had joined up Thomas stopped, picked up a pinch of earth and crumbled it between finger and thumb before letting it fall. He then replied ‘Literally, for this.’

Edward Thomas was killed by a shell blast at Arras on 9 April, 1917.

Edward Thomas’ Poems:

More about Edward Thomas

Thomas and Poetic Language
Thomas and Melancholy
More from our resources pages
Edward Thomas Fellowship

Drawing of Edward Thomas

Illustration of Edward Thomas by Tim Fox-Godden illustratingthegreatwar.co.uk