Leslie Thomas
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Leslie Thomas said book title was 'my best three words'

The best-selling novelist, Leslie Thomas, once described the title of his most famous book, The Virgin Soldiers, has the "best three words I ever wrote".

Thomas, who has died aged 83, grew up in a seafaring family in Newport, south Wales, spent time in a children's home before becoming a journalist and going on to work in Fleet Street.

The Virgin Soldiers made him a household name and was the beginning of a hugely successful literary career that saw him awarded the OBE in 2004.

In the BBC Wales programme Great Welsh Writers, Thomas described the ambition that drove his creativity.

  • 07 May 2014
  • From the section Wales