Edward Thomas was born in Lambeth on 3rd March 1878 and served, and died, in World War 1. He was a literary critic and country writer who came late to writing poetry, now being one of the War Poets commemorated in Westminster Abbey.
Thomas was encouraged by American poet Robert Frost, after they met in 1913, to write poetry and verse. He and Helen had moved to Steep, just outside Petersfield, in 1906 where they lived in three different houses around the village. Edward drew inspiration to write his poems from the beautiful Hampshire countryside which surrounds Steep.
The Birthday Walk, this year held on the Sunday 3rd March 2019, retraces the life of Edward Thomas and shares collected poems and prose of his work.
The Birthday Walk
Two walks will be led by Mike Cope and will start at the car park of Bedales School, Church Road, Steep, GU32 2DG. Parking and toilets will be available throughout the day. The theme for the 2019 walk, is ‘Helen Thomas, Steep and Edward’s legacy’, with poems from ‘Under Storm’s Wing’ and from Edward’s poetry (inspired by Steep).
Those coming on the morning walk should meet in the car park between 10:00 and 10:15 am. The morning walk (a fairly strenuous 4 ½ miles) will start at 10:30 am prompt and will include a visit to the memorial stone on the Shoulder of Mutton Hill. The afternoon walk will start at 2:30 pm from the car park of Bedales School, and will be a more leisurely stroll of around 2 ½ miles. It will include a visit to Berryfield Cottage (the Thomases’ first home in Steep).
Please wear suitable clothing and footwear (walking boots or wellingtons) for both walks and take note of the safety briefing at the start of both walks. Further information including itinerary & maps of the routes can be found be in the following link. You are also encouraged to read the Health and Safety Procedure for walks as advised by The Edward Thomas Fellowship.