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the history of Leyton and Leytonstone

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the later Victorian and Edwardian times 1890 to 1919

Famous people who came from our area

Reginald Horace Blyth, surely one of the most remarkable and independent-minded people to come from the area, was born on 3rd December 1898 at 93 Trumpington Road, Leytonstone, (above) the son of a railway clerk.  He attended Ilford County High School for Boys 1. He was imprisoned as a conscientious objector in 1916 but obtained a degree at London University after the First World War, and in 1925 became Assistant Professor in English at Seoul, Korea.  He developed an interest in Japanese culture.  After divorcing his first wife he married a Japanese woman in 1937 and settled in Japan.  He was imprisoned during the Second World War but after Japan surrendered Blyth helped negotiate the declaration by which Emperor Hirohito declared himself to be a human being and not divine.  In the 1950s and to his death Blyth was a Professor of English in Japan, teaching the language to the future emperor Akihito, and the author of numerous English language publications about Zen philosophy, haiku poems and related subjects (none currently in print) 2.

1  http://www.gardendigest.com/zen/blyth.htm#Biography

2  Wikipedia

Eric Ashby, Harry Beck, George Bolton, George Coles, Fanny Cradock, Frank Dobson, Zoe Dyke, Charles Eade, Kenneth Farnes, Henry C Fehr, Stuart Freeborn, James Hilton, Roy Ullyett

Reginald Blyth birthplace
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