A NEW plaque will be unveiled at the weekend to commemorate the first Oxford home of war poet Edward Thomas.
The renowned poet and writer lived at 113 Cowley Road in 1897, when he was 19, while studying to get into Lincoln College.
He enlisted into the First World War in 1915 and was killed two years later at the age of 37.
The idea for the commemorative plaque came from writer and East Oxford resident Margaret Keeping, author of novel A Conscious Englishman about the life of the Edward Thomas and his wife Helen.
Mrs Keeping, 72, said she felt it was important that the poet’s connection with the city was recognised and was thrilled that the event is finally coming together.
The plaque to be unveiled at a small ceremony on Saturday.
Mrs Keeping, who is a member of the Edward Thomas Fellowship, said: “We first had the idea in 2008.
“It’s a very ordinary house, which is why I wanted it to happen.
“It’s such a creative part of Oxford and I thought it would be great.”
The plaque was carved by stonemason Richard Morley, who just happened to be living at the Cowley Road house at the time of the idea.
He was approached by Mrs Keeping during a stone carving exhibition he was hosting in his garden.
Mr Morley, 34, said: “I’m really excited that it’s finally happening.
“It’s great to be able to work on something at a building I have lived in.
“It’s all come together so poetically.”
Mr Morley, who formerly studied English at Oxford Brookes University, said he had no idea that the famous war poet had lived in the house he had also resided in as a student. He added: “It was really nice finding out.
“It feels like everywhere you go in Oxford there’s been someone famous there before you.”
Thomas, who wrote A Woodland Life, was enlisted into the Artists Rifles in July 1915 after spending years writing.
He was promoted to corporal just four months later and was commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery as a second lieutenant.
Thomas was killed in the Battle of Arras soon after he arrived in France in April 1917.
He was survived by his wife Helen and three children.
The plaque, which was funded by the Edward Thomas Fellowship and Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, will be unveiled on Saturday at 2pm at 113 Cowley Road.
The event is invite-only but people are welcome to view the plaque, which will be attached to the outside of the property.
The house is currently lived in by students and owned by A2 Dominion Housing Association.