Edward Thomas was born in Lambeth on 3 March 1878 to Welsh parents. After studying history at Lincoln College, Oxford, he was determined to live by his pen, and over the
next few years produced numerous volumes of topography, essays and biographical works and wrote over a million words in reviews. Encouraged by the American poet Robert Frost, he began writing poetry in December 1914. What he left behind was a canon of some 140 poems (including Adlestrop and Old Man), before he was killed by the blast of a shell in the Battle of Arras, on Easter Monday 1917.
No. 2 Yew Tree Cottage in the village of Steep was Edward Thomas' third and final home in the area. He lived here with his wife Helen and three children between 1913 and 1916, during which time the majority of his poems were written.