Felicity Fair Thompson is a writer and film maker and lives on the Isle of Wight. Her documentary Carisbrooke Castle was broadcast on SKY TV and three of her other fourteen independently made travel films for the retail market, were shown on Australian television. She has taught Creative Writing for Screen South, Connexions, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight College, and alongside Sir Andrew Motion for the Bi-centenary celebrations for Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as well as guiding young writers with learning difficulties, and teaching independently. Her published writing includes three children’s stories, an EU funded community play, theatre reviews, personality profiles, award winning poetry, scenic travel features, and three novels: Cutting In was one of three top finalists in the People’s Book Prize 2014. The Kid on Slapton Beach has received rave reviews. Hold Tight is her latest novel.
Exit the King, performed at the 2017 Ventnor Isle of Wight Fringe Festival, and in January 2018 at Carisbrooke Castle, was her first stage play.Now she and the writer and historian Tim Wander have combined their writing talents to produce this first of two stage play: Voices Over Passchendaele.
THE KID ON SLAPTON BEACH – the story starts at Christmas in 1943 when three thousand people are forced to leave the coastal area. Harry, her young hero leaves his home in the village of Torcross at Slapton Sands with his mother and his little sister. Imagine – packing up, leaving everything you know and love behind, and not knowing why.
But Harry has left his most precious possession behind. And he goes back. And it’s just as Exercise Tiger is about to happen….
American President Harry Trueman once said: “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”
Seeing these poppies
she thinks of a quiet corner of a field,
wild poppies and fragments of dark slate,
white bones of a song bird, or
Them all. Him.
A spent shell risen. A rusted gun plate.
Huge rolled tangles of barbed wire
marking trenches on that drawn out line
and lives lived beside already buried men.
Dripping oil, and smell of fire and fear,
called up young men, and volunteer.
Horses. Screaming. Squelching mud,
and gunfire round.
Boots biting deep into that ground,
leaving pale thin scar,
and more over there.
A sign it might be where
These poppies glisten in the London sun.
He was his country’s man and King’s.
Like a cross she bears his name.
Coming here, the Tower,
listening to young voices
generations on, so strong and clear,
for her this flower field blooms in bright blood red
and though he’s long dead, she cares.
She holds the line.
She’s glad she came. She knows
Looking out into the misty bay here on the Isle of Wight, the sea is that wonderful cool grey, with shafts of sunlight breaking through to turn the water a glittering silver. There’ll be mist in Edinburgh too. And probably in Cardiff, and in Belfast. A new day. Our sea. Our coast. Our country. Our future.
I was in Devon last week promoting my book The Kid on Slapton Beach
Slapton Sands looks so beautiful and peaceful in this sunshine but in 1944 it was the setting for dramatic D-Day rehearsals. Look for the book title on YouTube, or visit http://www.wightdiamondpress.com
Devon’s a great place to visit – we stayed in Dartmouth: http://www.discoverdartmouth.com