Khao Lak beach, Thailand: British schoolgirl Tilly Smith, dubbed the "Angel of the Beach" for saving scores of lives during the December 26 tsunami, returned yesterday to Thailand to commemorate the anniversary with a poem.

It wasn't devastation or death that won the day.

It was humanity that triumphed, the shining victory of generosity, courage and love.

The 11-year-old knew what was happening when she saw the sea draw back from the Khao Lak beach in southern Thailand because she had learned about tsunamis in school. Her adamant warning of looming danger is credited with saving 100 lives.

Another part of the poem was read by Patiwat Komkla, 10, who survived two days at sea after the tsunami swept him from the shore.

"Coming back was quite rough," she told a news conference on the island of Phuket before heading north to the Khao Lak beach.