Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Virgin Soldiers author Thomas dies

Writer Leslie Thomas, best known for his national service novel The Virgin Soldiers, has died aged 83.

The journalist-turned-novelist died at home near Salisbury in Wiltshire yesterday after a lengthy illness.

His wife Diana said: "He had a wonderful life and he travelled the world. All he ever wanted to do was write and that is what he did.

"He died at home with his family around him."

Thomas, who was born in Newport, Wales, grew up in a Barnardo's home and started work as a reporter on a weekly newspaper before a stint on Fleet Street with the London Evening News, where he covered major stories including the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.

But it was his time as a national serviceman in Malaya that inspired his most famous work, a comic tale of British soldiers based in the Far East that became a huge bestseller and a hit film.

Thomas, who was given an OBE for services to literature in 2004, wrote scores more novels, non-fiction and travel books in his career.

He leaves his wife, four children and four grandchildren.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph