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Author Topic: Edward Thomas  (Read 2449 times)
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MichaelBully
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« on: December 30, 2013, 21:47:36 PM »

Interesting film on You Tube about poet/critic Edward Thomas (Killed in Action at Arras 9th April 1917)
with author Matthew Hollis,who wrote 'Now All Roads Lead to France' ,crucial  biography of Thomas . Some great footage of the Hampshire countryside.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Uuq59C-C3Q
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2013, 19:02:54 PM »

Thanks for the link, Michael.  I'm a great fan of Thomas' poetry and have a book of some of his poems.  My favourite is 'May the Twenty-third', ('There never was a finer day....') when he describes a meeting:
'At mid-day then along the lane
Old Jack Noman appeared again,
Jaunty and old, crooked and tall,
And stopped and grinned at me over the wall...........'

What a character!

Trevor McDonald, who reviewed poetry in the 'Daily Telegraph', once said that Thomas, like Frost, was never pompous 'but wrote with charm and clarity'.
(McDonald's favourite poem by Thomas was 'Celandine'.) 
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MichaelBully
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 12:55:37 PM »

Thanks for the information Man of Kent1 & Happy New Year !


There is an interesting website maintained by the Edward Thomas Fellowship : At the start of March each year they organise a memorial walk near Petersfield in Hampshire.

http://www.edward-thomas-fellowship.org.uk/home.html
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 17:46:46 PM »

It's all your fault, Michael!  I used up a Christmas book token today to get the Hollis biography of Edward Thomas Grin!
The first thing I noticed, on looking at the photographs first - a weakness I can never resist - was a portrait of a friend of ET's, Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965), the renowned, award-winning children's author.
I thought "I know that name in connection with A.N.Other"! Then I realised where I knew it from: Lewis Foreman's biography of the composer, Arnold Bax.  Indeed, there she was, popping up all over the place in the book!  She seems to have been one of the few women that Bax never quite managed to seduce!  Albeit, as with ET, she came quite close to  a more intimate relationship although, from a brief run-through of her biography on Wiki, I'm not quite sure what she might have made of the experience Shocked.
Another find was a photo in the Bax book of 'The Old Broughtonians At Calne', a sort of 'Bunbury'-type cricket team, taken on August 11, 1912, by one of Eleanor's brothers, Joseph Jefferson ('J-J') Farjeon, including both Bax and Thomas in the picture.
Below it there was another photo taken in the mid-1920's including Bax, looking suspiciously at the camera as usual, but not, of course, with poor Thomas this time.
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MichaelBully
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 19:38:50 PM »

Hope that you enjoy Matthew Hollis' 'Now All Roads Lead to France' - I certainly did.

Here is an interview that Matthew Hollis gave to Marcel Theroux at the 2012 Charleston Festival about Edward Thomas.
I am sure that we have discussed Eleanor Farjeon on this Forum. Must check through my old posts ! Interesting to realise that she had a connection with Bax.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMnOfuq-IqQ     

EDIT- Yes when discussing illustrator James Guthrie.
Now that the remit of the 'Forum takes in Hampshire, there is more scope to discuss Edward Thomas!

http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4435.msg17992#msg17992
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 22:47:17 PM »

Yes, I remember it now, thanks, Michael. (Sorry about calling you 'Matthew' in last post!)
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MichaelBully
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 20:33:20 PM »

A simply enchanting tribute to Edward Thomas from poet Giles Watson ' Last Words for Edward Thomas' : Read by the author.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqRIK9f-D9g
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 23:33:36 PM »

Very good!  Also found Richard Burton reading 'Adlestrop'! Smiley
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chuffer
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 13:20:07 PM »

Thank you for this topic, I found it a really good read following the links.

Another interesting link to the Agny cemetery in France, including a photo of his grave.

http://www.webmatters.net/txtpat/index.php?id=795

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MichaelBully
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 23:56:44 PM »

Man of Kent1- Glad that you found Burton reading 'Adelstrop'. Apparently it is high up in polls taken for the 'nation's favourite poem'.

Chuffer- pleased to have you joining this thread.Thanks for the link.  Have heard from the Great War Forum that the Dutch branch of the Western Front Association are going to visit Edward Thomas' grave soon and they will read out some of Giles Watson's poems there .

The Edward Thomas Fellowship tend to have an annual gathering and walk near Steep, Petersfield, Hampshire where Edward Thomas lived, at the start of March.
This year's gathering is on Sunday 2nd March.
http://www.edward-thomas-fellowship.org.uk/news.html
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2014, 12:28:44 PM »

As an execrable example of my 'poetry', I 've just found this whilst rummaging through an old file of correspondence.  It's from a letter in 1994 I had sent to the then Highways Manager of Canterbury City Council reminding him about a subsidence in our road which had caused a huge puddle to form in wet weather, about which I had written to him four months previously.  (A vehicle passing through the puddle at speed had drenched my poor wife who was walking to work one morning, and I'd later been caught out one afternoon!):

Yes, I remember the Puddle -
The name, because one afternoon
Of rain a car passed me
Unwontedly.  It was early September.

The spray hissed.  I cleared my throat.
No one left and no one came
On the wet footway.  What I saw
Was Mud - on my glasses.

I duly received this reply then following day:  "No poem, but we will investigate and write later!"

Which they did, and the hollow was duly levelled off!
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MichaelBully
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 16:55:20 PM »

Love the poem Man of Kent1 -LOL.
Just go to show that poetry can change the world. Well, make an impact at least.

The details of  the annual Edward Thomas Fellowship walk,2nd March 2014, at Steep, near Petersfield, are now posted.




http://www.edward-thomas-fellowship.org.uk/news.html#birthday14
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alkhamhills
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 09:48:40 AM »

Hope I have this right !!  Name Philip Edward Thomas, but presumably dropped the Philip ??

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
about Philip Edward Thomas
Name:   Philip Edward Thomas
Death Date:   9 Apr 1917
Rank:   2/Lieutenant
Regiment:   Royal Garrison Artillery
Type of Casualty:   Killed in action
Comments:   244 S


Born ¼ March 1878 South Lambeth, Surrey. Parents Philip Henry and Mary Elizabeth. Believe 5 siblings.
Married Helen Berenice Noble at Fulham 1899

1901 Census. Philip Edward and Berenice with 1 child and a Boarder. At 7 Nightingale Lane, Streatham. Philip Edward an author.

1911 Census. Philip Edward, with Berenice and 3 children, and 1 servant. At Wick Green, Cockshot Lane, Froxfield, Petersfield. 8 room house.  Philip Edward an Author Journalist.

Probate. Of High Beech, Loughton, Essex. Probate to Helen Berenice Thomas(widow). £983.15s.2d

Medal Roll Card—see attached
Initially with 28 London Regiment No 4229 and a Corporal. Joined RGA as 2nd Lieut 23.11.1916. Went to France 30.1.1917.

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thomas 1.jpg
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 17:28:23 PM »

Thanks for that, AA, and for the photo as well.  Thomas died when he was a forward observer for the artillery, a job he found very tedious but at least which gave him the opportunity to cogitate. He had stepped out of his trench to light his pipe and enjoy a bit of fresh air when a passing shell came so close that it sucked the air out of his lungs and killed him.  It's not very clear, from what I've read, whether it was an enemy shell or a 'friendly' one.
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MichaelBully
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 21:04:59 PM »

And thanks from me AA -much appreciate all the information on Edward Thomas.
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