Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


Thomas completed an external degree in music at Oxford, before he arrived there in 1913 to work for the degree of B.A. which he obtained in 1918. In 1916 he migrated from Christ Church to Exeter College, with which he was to be associated for the rest of his life.

Dr Wood in the National Portrait gallery

However there are indications that he may well have associated with other
well known authors at Oxford

Nevill Coghill (1899-1980) was Fellow and Tutor of English Literature at Exeter College, the same University that Thomas was teaching

Nevill was associated with the famous Oxford literary group "The Inklings", of which J R R Tolkein and C S Lewis were members.

The Inklings were a gathering of friends - all of them British, male, and Christian, most of them teachers at or otherwise affiliated with Oxford University, many of them creative writers and lovers of imaginative literature - who met usually on Thursday evenings in C.S. Lewis's and J.R.R. Tolkien's college rooms in Oxford during the 1930s and 1940s for readings and criticism of their own work, and for general conversation. "Properly speaking," wrote W.H. Lewis, one of their number, the Inklings "was neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections." An overlapping group gathered on Tuesday (later Monday) mornings in various Oxford pubs, usually but not always the Eagle and Child, better known as the Bird and Baby, between the 1940s and 1963. These were less formal meetings, and contrary to popular legend the Inklings did not read their manuscripts in the pub

The more regular members of the Inklings, many of them academics at the University, included J. R. R. "Tollers" Tolkien, C. S. "Jack" Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, Christopher Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien's son), Warren "Warnie" Lewis (C. S. Lewis's elder brother), Roger Lancelyn Green, Adam Fox, Hugo Dyson, R. A. "Humphrey" Havard, J. A. W. Bennett, Lord David Cecil, and Nevill Coghill. Other less frequent attenders at their meetings included Percy Bates, Charles Leslie Wrenn, Colin Hardie, James Dundas-Grant, Jon Fromke, John Wain, R. B. McCallum, Gervase Mathew, and C. E. Stevens. Guests included author E. R. Eddison and South African poet Roy Campbell.


As Thomas and Nevill Coghill were good friends (article left) It seems logical that Thomas was involved with "The Inklings" whilst at Oxford.
This means he would have known J. R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis,
two of our countries finest authors.

Extract from a publication "Music and Letters Vol 32 dated 1951  

This is a poster published by the Oxford University Press dated 1949.
It is stamped "IOWA State Library" Feb 8th 1949

Here we see Thomas writing a preface in the novel "Robbery Under arms", only one year before his death.


NOTE:- Thomas Alexander Browne (6 August 1826 – 11 March 1915) was an Australian writer, who sometimes published under the pseudonym Rolf Boldrewood and best known for his novel "Robbery Under Arms"


Research by Alan Beales