Monday, 20 August 2007

Edward Thomas' War Diary

Edward Thomas' War Diary was discovered by his grandson Edward amongst his fathers documents and papers. Last month Edward and his wife kindly brought the diary to the Oxford Bodleian Library to be digitised for the archive.

The cover pages of the diary are creased, suggesting that Thomas was carrying the pocket book either when he was knocked over by a shell blast from a 5.9 shell on the 8th of April, or when he was killed at an observation post while directing the fire of 244 Battery during the opening barrage of the Battle of Arras.

Here we can see the final page of the diary which contains what is undoubtedly the last poem that Edward Thomas wrote. The poem shows a strong influence of Shakespeare's sonnets, for as his diary and letters show, he read Shakespeare regularly each night during the short time he was stationed in France.

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