INTRO. CHRONICLES. SOCIETIES. PARISH. VILLAGE. CHURCH. PEOPLE.

A History of YALDING, Kent, England

The war was to influence him profoundly, hence his poetry and prose on that subject. He became friendly (possibly after the war) with another war poet, Siegfried Sassoon, who lived in the adjacent parish of Brenchley.
Following the war Edmund took up his Scholarship at Oxford but left without a degree in order to become a literary journalist in London, In 1924 he was appointed Professor of English Literature at Tokyo Imperial University He returned to London in 1927 to continue his work with various literary publications. The following year saw the publication of his best known book, ''Undertones of war'. In 1931 he became Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Merton College, Oxford when he was awarded an Honorary M,A. for his literary works'
In 1947 he returned to Japan, serving with the U.K. Liaison Mission as Cultural advisor until 1950, having given hundreds of lectures on English literature and culture. In 1953 he returned to the Far East to become professor of English Literature at Hong Kong University, a post he held until 1964 when he returned to England to live in retirement at Long Melford, Suffolk. Two years later he was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford University in succession to Robert Graves. Edmund died at Long Melford on 20th January 1974.
Edmund married firstly Mary Daines in 1918, the couple having three children; Joy, their first child died when only a few months from fever in 1919. Clare and John survive, Edmund's poem `The Child's Grave' describes a visit to Joy's grave.
He married secondly Sylva Norman, the novelist and critic, in 1933, and thirdly Claire Poynting in 1945, Edmund and Claire had four children, Margaret, Lucy, Frances and Catherine.
Blunden Family.
Of the other siblings of Edmund; Charlotte, Gilbert, Phyllis, Lancelot, Geoffrey and Annie attended Yalding Infants' School followed by the Girls' or Boys' School as appropriate.
Lancelot and Gilbert also attended Cleaves Grammar School.
It is understood that Charles was not very good with money, and often left his large family short, when asked to help someone out of a problem.
In an attempt to correct this in 1912 Charles accepted a temporary post in London before returning to Framfield as Head Master. The family, meanwhile stayed on in Yalding until 1913. Further Headships followed at the Training Ship "Mount Edgecombe" under Saltash Bridge (the family living at Plymouth), and then at Salcombe, Devon. By 1930 Charles had retired and on 10th December that year he and Georgina returned to Yalding to live at Cleaves House, Cleaves School having closed in 1921. This period of residence has also misled some people into thinking that Charles taught at Cleaves. He never did. For a period In the early 1930 s Edmund lived at Cleaves with his parents. About 1934 Charles and Georgina moved to The Cottage in Vicarage Road, where Charles died in 1951. Georgina left Yaldinq shortly afterwards and died in Hampshire in 1967. Both are buried in Yalding Cemetery,
Gilbert subsequently became a bus driver and moved to Australia.
Lancelot joined the Martin Baker Aircraft Company, as an inspector of ejector seats. With his wife Dorothy they came to Yalding in 1951, living first at The Cottage, then until 1953 at the Lower School House, which they named The Gables. Their final move was to Bridgewater, Somerset.
Geoffrey taught at Kintbury, Berkshire; Frances and Annie became nurses, whilst Phyllis worked in the Post Office at Salcombe, Devon, then moved to nearby Kingsbridge.
Hubert worked for 42 years at our own local I.C.I. plant near the rail station, whilst living with his wife Hilda along Vicarage Road.
At the junction of Vicarage Road with the High Street, is the Village Green, where a plaque has been erected containing a verse by Siegfried Sassoon called “Blunden's Beech”.