Kalanyot is an account of Alan Mead's time in the Parachute Regiment in Palestine, between 1945-48.
It is primarily a record of letters he wrote, and sent home initially to his grandfather, but later to Ivy, who would later become his wife. However it also covers his memories of being an evacuee during the second world war and is a fascinating account of what life was really like for a teenager during this period. He also documents events at the various training camps he had to attend.
Airborne troops earned the Jewish ‘Kalanyot’ nick-name which associated the maroon beret with a red poppy that has a black heart. The troops took it as a kind of battle honour. However, a girl at a nearby school told Alan to smell one, and said to him ‘…we call it the poppy that stinks.’