Walking in the footsteps of Edward Thomas

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On 16 November 1914 Edward Thomas embarked on his first poetic journey- writing Up in the wind. This poem was inspired by a conversation with a barmaid in the Pub with No Name.

On Sunday 16 November 2014, a crowd of Edward Thomas fans assembled to commemorate this and to embark on a poetic journey of their own- walking in the footsteps of the great man. The day began with two lectures which gave the audience details of the intriguing milieu of Thomas’ life. The first lecture was given by Dr. Guy Cuthbertson- Professor of English literature at Liverpool University and biographer of Thomas. The second was given by David Cave the Head of English at Churcher’s and our very own Head of English, David Anson. These informative and enjoyable talks were followed by a poetic tour of Steep- Thomas’ home village- which included his home, Steep Church and the crossroads (by the Cricketers) mentioned in his poem; ‘Aspens’. Soon it was time to embark on a treacherous expedition to the Poet’s Stone. This was a dangerous mission as the steep ascent had a thick coating of mud, yet for those dedicated clamberers it was most fruitful- leading to a sensational view. At the top our effort was duly rewarded with special Edward Thomas sausages and a heart warming poetry reading by the renowned critic Edna Longley and her husband, Michael Longley. As the day drew to a close, a commemorative Beech tree was planted at the Pub with No Name so that this brilliant man’s life and legacy could be appreciated in time to come. View photos.

“The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet”
Edward Thomas- Early one morning

By Flora Shaw, 6.1


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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