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William Beach Thomas (1868–1957) was a British author and journalist who worked as a war correspondent and wrote about nature and country life. After a short-lived career as a schoolmaster, he began to write articles for newspapers and periodicals, as well as books. During the early part of the First World War he defied military authorities by reporting news stories from the Western Front for his employer, the Daily Mail. He was briefly imprisoned before being granted official accreditation as a war correspondent. His book With the British on the Somme (1917) portrayed the English soldier in a very favourable light. Both France and Britain rewarded him with knighthoods after the war, but Beach Thomas regretted some of his wartime output. His primary interest as an adult was in rural matters. He was an advocate for the creation of national parks in England and Wales, and mourned the decline of traditional village society. He wrote extensively, particularly for The Observer newspaper and The Spectator, a conservative magazine. His book The English Landscape (1938) includes selections from his contributions to Country Life magazine. (Full article...)
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