A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Blunden, Edmund Charles [MC] – Born: London on 1.11.1896.  Parents: Charles Edmund Blunden (Schoolmaster) and Georgina Margaret [née Tyler] (Elementary Teacher).  Home: Boys School Home, Yalding, Kent (1901), Christ Hospital School, West Horsham, Sussex (1911), Japan [1924 to 1927], Talbot Road, London [1929], Hawstead, Suffolk [1930], Ker Letty, Old Boars Hill, Wootton, Oxfordshire (1939), Hong Kong [1953], Hall Mill, Long Melford [1964 to 1974].  Occupation: College Tutor of English Literature (1939) also Poet, Author and Critic.  Married: Mary Daines in 1918 [divorced], Sylvia Norman in 1933 [divorced], Claire Margaret Poynting in 1945.  Service Record: Attested in 1915 with the Royal Sussex Regiment and posted to France in May 1916 with ‘C’ Company, 11th [Service] Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, as part of 116th Brigade, 39th Division.  On 13.11.1916 Second Lieutenant Blunden was awarded the Military Cross, the citation reading: ‘For conspicuous gallantry in action.  He displayed great courage and determination when in charge of a carrying party under heavy fire.  He has previously done fine work.’  During this six-month period the Battalion took part in the Battles of Thiepval Ridge and Ancre and experienced intense fighting during the capture of the heavily fortified strongpoint, the Schwaben Redoubt.  Some of 11th Royal Sussex’s War Diary is completed in Blunden’s neat hand.  His recording of the daily events is handled with greater humanity than is normally the case found in the diaries of other battalions.  In 1917 the Royal Sussex saw further action during the Third Battle of Ypres.  Blunden was discharged in February 1919.  Died: Long Melford on 20.1.1974 and buried in Long Melford [Holy Trinity] Churchyard.[i]

Notes – [i] Edmund Blunden Undertones of War [London: Penguin Classics, 2000].  Other general information on his life can be found on https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/7663347.  For notification of his commission see London Gazette 10.9.1915, p.8993.  For details of 11th Royal Sussex’s movements see War Diary [WO 95/2582].  [ii] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Sudbury, Suffolk.  See his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363] and for date and place of death the National Probate Calendar.

Extract from the War Diary of 11th [Service] Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment for 30 October 1916, showing Edmund Blunden's neat hand. (Source: TNA - WO 95.2582)
Hall Mill House in Long Melford where Blunden spent the last ten years of his life. (Courtesy of the Sandham Collection)
Research by David Gevaux MA © 2024
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