Did George Orwell inspire runaway teenager Arthur HeelerFrood
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Orwell’s 1933 memoir details his time spent living with the poor and destitute The teenager has not been seen since he left for school on his bicycle at 7.30am on Sept 6. The previous day, he had started studying for his A-levels at Colyton grammar, which is one of Britain’s most highly-rated state schools.His parents later discovered a letter in which he informed them he had left home for a year and urged his family not to look for him.The letter read: “I have run away because I am bored of my life. Please don’t try to find me or make me come home.”I don’t know how long I will be away for, but it won’t be any longer than a year. I know you will be upset, but understand that I have to do this.Mr Heeler-Frood said the letter implied that intended to come back and finish his studies.”In a way, he is thinking of this as a gap year early,” she said. “Clearly he is 15 and not spent much time in cities and he has a fairly quiet life in the country.”Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, Mrs Heeler-Frood appealed directly to her son to return home.”Arthur, please, please just make contact with us. We are just desperate to know you are safe,” she said.”I just don’t think you can possibly realise how agonising this has been for us.“We’re baffled by the whole thing and constantly speculating on what he may be doing. We can’t believe he has done this so we have to keep an open mind on what he might be doing now.“There was no row before he left, no indication. You rake over all the conversations before he left. There was absolutely no indication. That’s the same for his school friends. None of them had any inkling.” A missing schoolboy ran away from home, telling his parents he had become “bored of life” after reading George Orwell’s travel memoir Down and Out in Paris and London.Arthur Heeler-Frood, 15, has been missing for nearly nine weeks after leaving his home in Axminster, Devon, in September.His mother Caroline said her son had been reading Orwell’s 1933 work which recounts his time living with the poor and destitute of Europe, during which he fell seriously ill and was robbed.“The book he was reading before he left was Down and Out in Paris and London,” she told The Guardian.“You wonder if that had been influence. He was reading it on a Kindle, which he left behind.”Before he left, Arthur also worked in a restaurant kitchen, just as Orwell had done in Paris.“We think that he felt he wanted his own adventure,” added his mother.”Hester (his sister) was leaving for university and he was going to be the last one at home with us. I think he wasn’t looking forward to being left alone with us. Perhaps he wanted to test himself, prove his abilities.” George Orwell – the schoolboy had been reading the writer’s memoir before he went missing His parents Caroline and Jeremy Heeler-Frood appeal on ITV’s This Morning show for their son to return homeCredit:Ken McKay/ITV/Rex/Shutterstock The teenager is described as white, 5ft 4in tall, of slight build with short, light brown hair which may be short or shaven.Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police have so far struggled to locate the teenager because he did not take his phone with him and has no bank account. No CCTV footage of him has been found.Superintendent Sam de Reya said: “We are appealing to business owners, likely to be restaurateurs, hoteliers and cafe owners who may have had a young man work for them in the last few months or anyone who may have provided accommodation to him in that time period. “His parents have travelled to towns on the south coast and cities, including London, Liverpool and Manchester, to try to find him, putting up posters and speaking to hospitals and homeless charities.If anyone has information, please contact police by calling 101 or emailing [email protected] quoting log 255 of 14 September.