Edmund Charles BLUNDEN [1896-1974]

Submitted by David on Tue, 05/16/2017 - 15:28
Edmund Charles
Birthplace (town, state)
Birthplace (country)

Dates of birth & death from his page on Wikipedia.

The timeline on EdmundBlunden.org says he spent 1953-1964 in Hong Kong, as Chair of English at Hong Kong University:

  • 1953 late September - Sails to Hong Kong to take up position of Chair of English at Hong Kong University.

  • 1964 - Leaves Hong Kong to return to England and moves to the Suffolk village of Long Melford. 

Photos that show this Person



Henry Ching remembers Edmund Blunden:

Jerome Mellor has posted a photo of a bust of Edmund Blunden.  I am not as fortunate as Jerome, but I do have Blunden’s “Undertones of War” and “Cricket Country” on my book shelf, and have read them many times.  

Blunden was not exactly a young man when he arrived in Hong Kong to take up his professorial appointment at the University, but he enthusiastically agreed to keep wickets for our 2nd XI which I captained at the time. The attached is a much treasured note which he sent me excusing himself from  a match.  

Edmund Blunden note

I recall another occasion when a delivery from our fast bowler hit him in the chest. It obviously hurt, but he rubbed his chest gently and crouched down for the next delivery, which he took cleanly. He then approached me and apologetically asked for permission to leave the field.   We learned later that the previous delivery that had hit him had fractured his collar bone.  

He was highly regarded and much respected by us all.  “Glorious will be the long adventurous day, and sweet will vespers be, to hush their play”.

A Hong Kong House


And now a dove and now a dragon-fly

Came to the garden; sometimes as we sat

Outdoors in twilight noiseless owl and bat

Flew shadowily by.


It was no garden; - so adust, red-dry

The rock-drift soil was, no kind root or sweet

Scent-subtle flower would house there, but I own

At certain seasons, burning bright,

Full blown,

Some trumpet-purple blooms blazed at the sun's huge light.


And then? tell more.


The hardy lizard and quite nimble toad

Had courage often to explore

Our large abode.

The infant lizard whipped across the wall

To his own objects; how to slide like him

Along an upright plane and never fall

Ascribe to Eastern whim.

The winged ants flocked to our lamp; and shed

Their petally wings, and walked and crept instead.


The palm-tree top soared into the golden blue

And soaring skywards drew

Its straight stem sketched with many rings.

And one broad holm-like tree whose name I never knew

Was decked through all its branches with broidering leaves

Of pattern-loving creeper; fine warblings

And gong-notes thence were sounded at our ears

By clever birds one very seldom spied,

Except when they, of one tree tired

Into another new desired

Over the lawn and scattered playthings chose to glide.


Edmund Blunden