Synaesthesia Magazine Green - Page 46

Somewhere in North Africa in February 1943, Major Kenneth Eden wrote a 4-verse poem in his diaries which he called 'The Little Almond Tree (To the 'ole in the ground near Gabes)'.

The Little Almond Tree grew immediately outside the entrance to the tent Kenneth shared with Captain Jock Harbord during WW2. The ’ole in the ground referred to the space excavated in the ground for their EPIP tent, which was set in a cavity about 3 or 4 feet deep to about half its vertical height as protection against blast. They then added 2 or 3 steps down to the floor carved into the ground at the entrance.

The Little Almond Tree

The original draft of the poem was accompanied with illustrations of Kenneth and Jock's tent, their clothes hung on tent lines, the little almond tree blowing in the wind with "flowers in profusion".

Kenneth Eden was my grandad, my dad's dad, a well-established neurosurgeon and a poet. 'The Little Almond Tree' has never been published anywhere before now.

It was our priviledge to publish it for the very first time, and dedicate these two pages to a talented, smart and brave soldier.

Carlotta and Tom Eden

(To the 'ole in the ground near Gabes)

This photo of Ken in the background and Jock Harbord (looking like a desert rat) in front of the tent they shared was taken in the almond grove south of Gabes, Tunisia, where they camped for ten days on March 31 1943.

Illustration:

Adrian Carvell

Major Kenneth Eden

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