Quinton House pupil, who inspired a book and play about an heroic elephant, returns to old school to tell of tsunami experience

Amber Owen and her mother Samantha Miles talk to year seven pupils ar Quinton House school

Amber Owen and her mother Samantha Miles talk to year seven pupils ar Quinton House school

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A former Quinton House pupil whose amazing escape from a tsunami, on the back of an elephant, inspired a story book and play has returned to her old school.

Amber Owen, who attended Quinton House between 2002 and 2014, was on holiday with her family aged 8 in 2004 when the Boxing Day Tsunami hit Phuket.

She had been riding an elephant named Ning Nong, who saved her life after, sensing danger, it ran away from her holiday beach just as the first massive wave came crashing in.

Current year 7 pupils listened as Amber and her mother, Samantha Miles, described their experiences of their holiday back in 2004 and how Michael Morpurgo later got in touch.

Mr Morpurgo, a former children’s laureate and bestselling author of War Horse, wrote his book Running Wild inspired by her story.

The session provided pupils with first-hand inspiration for a creative writing competition on being rescued by an animal in a disaster situation.

Head of English and Performing Arts at Quinton House School, Miss Georgina Pearson, said: “It has been incredibly inspiring for pupils to meet Amber, ahead of seeing the play.

“When we learned of the connection to the school we immediately booked tickets to see the play as part of our curriculum on imaginative writing.”

Amber added: “It was great to let the students know the inspiration behind the story and answer all their questions.”

I really hope they enjoyed the play and that it helped them with their writing.”