Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE, MC (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967) was an English poet, writer, and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front,[1] he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches and satirised the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon's view, were responsible for a jingoism-fuelled war.[2] Sassoon became a focal point for dissent within the armed forces when he made a lone protest against the continuation of the war in his "Soldier's Declaration" of 1917, culminating in his admission to a military psychiatric hospital; this resulted in his forming a friendship with Wilfred Owen, who was greatly influenced by him. Sassoon later won acclaim for his prose work, notably his three-volume fictionalised autobiography, collectively known as the "Sherston trilogy".

Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon (May 1915) by George Charles Beresford
Siegfried Sassoon (May 1915)
by George Charles Beresford
BornSiegfried Loraine Sassoon
8 September 1886
Matfield, Kent, England
Died1 September 1967 (aged 80)
Heytesbury, Wiltshire, England
Pen nameSaul Kain, Pinchbeck Lyre
OccupationSoldier, poet, diarist, memoirist, journalist
NationalityBritish
Alma materClare College, Cambridge
PeriodEarly 20th century
GenrePoetry, fiction, biography
Notable worksThe Complete Memoirs of George Sherston
SpouseHester Gatty
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
RankCaptain
UnitSussex Yeomanry
Royal Welch Fusiliers
Battles/warsFirst World War
AwardsMilitary Cross

Early life and education

Siegfried Sassoon was born to a Jewish father and an Anglo-Catholic mother, and grew up in the neo-gothic mansion named "Weirleigh" (after its builder, Harrison Weir), in Matfield, Kent.[3] His father, Alfred Ezra Sassoon (1861–1895), son of Sassoon David Sassoon, was a member of the wealthy Baghdadi Jewish Sassoon merchant family. For marrying outside the faith, Alfred was disinherited. Siegfried's mother, Theresa, belonged to the Thornycroft family, sculptors responsible for many of the best-known statues in London—her brother was Sir Hamo Thornycroft. There was no German ancestry in Siegfried's family; his mother named him Siegfried because of her love of Wagner's operas. His middle name, Loraine, was the surname of a clergyman with whom she was friendly.

Siegfried was the second of three sons, the others being Michael and Hamo. When he was four years old his parents separated. During his father's weekly visits to the boys, Theresa locked herself in the drawing-room. In 1895 Alfred Sassoon died of tuberculosis.

First World War 1914 - 1918- War Poets HU50506
Sassoon (front) with his brother Hamo and other students on the morning after a college May Ball at Cambridge University in 1906

Sassoon was educated at the New Beacon School, Sevenoaks, Kent; at Marlborough College, Wiltshire; and at Clare College, Cambridge, where from 1905 to 1907 he read history. He went down from Cambridge without a degree and spent the next few years hunting, playing cricket and writing verse: some he published privately. Since his father had been disinherited from the Sassoon fortune for marrying a non-Jew, Siegfried had only a small private income that allowed him to live modestly without having to earn a living (however, he would later be left a generous legacy by an aunt, Rachel Beer, allowing him to buy the great estate of Heytesbury House in Wiltshire.[4]) His first published success, The Daffodil Murderer (1913), was a parody of John Masefield's The Everlasting Mercy. Robert Graves, in Good-Bye to All That describes it as a "parody of Masefield which, midway through, had forgotten to be a parody and turned into rather good Masefield."

Sassoon expressed his opinions on the political situation before the onset of the First World War thus—"France was a lady, Russia was a bear, and performing in the county cricket team was much more important than either of them". Sassoon wanted to play for Kent County Cricket Club; the Marchant family were neighbours, and Frank Marchant was captain of the county side between 1890 and 1897. Siegfried often turned out for Bluemantles at the Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells, where he sometimes played alongside Arthur Conan Doyle. He had also played cricket for his house at Marlborough College, once taking 7 wickets for 18 runs. Although an enthusiast, Sassoon was not good enough to play for Kent, but he played cricket for Matfield village, and later for the Downside Abbey team, continuing into his seventies.[3][5]

War service

The Western Front: Military Cross

Siegfried Sassoon by Glyn Warren Philpot 1917.jpeg
Portrait of Sassoon by Glyn Warren Philpot, 1917 (Fitzwilliam Museum)

Motivated by patriotism, Sassoon joined the British Army just as the threat of a new European war was recognized, and was in service with the Sussex Yeomanry on 4 August 1914, the day the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland declared war on Germany. He broke his arm badly in a riding accident and was put out of action before even leaving England, spending the spring of 1915 convalescing. (Rupert Brooke, whom Sassoon had briefly met, died in April on the way to Gallipoli.) He was commissioned into the 3rd Battalion (Special Reserve), Royal Welch Fusiliers, as a second lieutenant on 29 May 1915.[6] On 1 November his younger brother Hamo was killed in the Gallipoli Campaign,[7] and in the same month Siegfried was sent to the 1st Battalion in France. There he met Robert Graves, and they became close friends. United by their poetic vocation, they often read and discussed each other's work. Though this did not have much perceptible influence on Graves's poetry, his views on what may be called 'gritty realism' profoundly affected Sassoon's concept of what constituted poetry. He soon became horrified by the realities of war, and the tone of his writing changed completely: where his early poems exhibit a Romantic, dilettantish sweetness, his war poetry moves to an increasingly discordant music, intended to convey the ugly truths of the trenches to an audience hitherto lulled by patriotic propaganda. Details such as rotting corpses, mangled limbs, filth, cowardice and suicide are all trademarks of his work at this time, and this philosophy of 'no truth unfitting' had a significant effect on the movement towards Modernist poetry.

Sassoon's periods of duty on the Western Front were marked by exceptionally brave actions, including the single-handed capture of a German trench in the Hindenburg Line. Armed with grenades, he scattered sixty German soldiers:[8]

He went over with bombs in daylight, under covering fire from a couple of rifles, and scared away the occupants. A pointless feat, since instead of signalling for reinforcements, he sat down in the German trench and began reading a book of poems which he had brought with him. When he went back he did not even report. Colonel Stockwell, then in command, raged at him. The attack on Mametz Wood had been delayed for two hours because British patrols were still reported to be out. "British patrols" were Siegfried and his book of poems. "I'd have got you a D.S.O., if you'd only shown more sense," stormed Stockwell.[9]

Sassoon's bravery was so inspiring that soldiers of his company said that they felt confident only when they were accompanied by him.[10] He often went out on night-raids and bombing patrols and demonstrated ruthless efficiency as a company commander. Deepening depression at the horror and misery the soldiers were forced to endure produced in Sassoon a paradoxically manic courage, and he was nicknamed "Mad Jack" by his men for his near-suicidal exploits. On 27 July 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross; the citation read:

2nd Lt. Siegfried Lorraine [sic] Sassoon, 3rd (attd. 1st) Bn., R. W. Fus.

For conspicuous gallantry during a raid on the enemy's trenches. He remained for 1½ hours under rifle and bomb fire collecting and bringing in our wounded. Owing to his courage and determination all the killed and wounded were brought in.[11]

Robert Graves described Sassoon as engaging in suicidal feats of bravery. Sassoon was also later recommended for the Victoria Cross.[12]

War opposition and Craiglockhart

Despite his decorations and reputation, in 1917 Sassoon decided to make a stand against the conduct of the war. One of the reasons for his violent anti-war feeling was the death of his friend David Cuthbert Thomas, who appears as "Dick Tiltwood" in the Sherston trilogy. Sassoon would spend years trying to overcome his grief.

In August 1916, Sassoon arrived at Somerville College, Oxford, which was used as a hospital for convalescing officers, with a case of gastric fever. He wrote: To be lying in a littel white-walled room, looking through the window on to a College lawn, was for the first few days very much like a paradise. Graves ended up at Somerville as well. How unlike you to crib my idea of going to the Ladies' College at Oxford, Sassoon wrote to him in 1917.

At the end of a spell of convalescent leave, Sassoon declined to return to duty; instead, encouraged by pacifist friends such as Bertrand Russell and Lady Ottoline Morrell, he sent a letter to his commanding officer entitled Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration. Forwarded to the press and read out in the House of Commons by a sympathetic member of Parliament, the letter was seen by some as treasonous ("I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority") or at best as condemning the war government's motives ("I believe that the war upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation has now become a war of aggression and conquest"[13]). Rather than court-martial Sassoon, the Under-Secretary of State for War, Ian Macpherson, decided that he was unfit for service and had him sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh, where he was officially treated for neurasthenia ("shell shock").[12]

For many years it had been thought that, before declining to return to active service, Sassoon had thrown his Military Cross into the River Mersey at Formby beach. According to his description of this incident in Memoirs of an Infantry Officer he did not do this as a symbolic rejection of militaristic values, but simply out of the need to perform some destructive act in catharsis of the black mood which was afflicting him; his account states that one of his pre-war sporting trophies, had he had one to hand, would have served his purpose equally well. In fact, the MC was discovered after the death of Sassoon's only son, George, in the home of Sassoon's ex-wife, which George had inherited. The Cross subsequently became the subject of a dispute among Sassoon's heirs.[14]

At Craiglockhart, Sassoon met Wilfred Owen, a fellow poet who would eventually exceed him in fame. It was thanks to Sassoon that Owen persevered in his ambition to write better poetry. A manuscript copy of Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth containing Sassoon's handwritten amendments survives as testimony to the extent of his influence and is currently on display at London's Imperial War Museum. Sassoon became to Owen "Keats and Christ and Elijah"; surviving documents demonstrate clearly the depth of Owen's love and admiration for him. Both men returned to active service in France, but Owen was killed in 1918, just a week before Armistice. Sassoon, despite all this, was promoted to lieutenant, and having spent some time out of danger in Palestine, eventually returned to the Front. On 13 July 1918, Sassoon was almost immediately wounded again—by friendly fire when he was shot in the head by a fellow British soldier who had mistaken him for a German near Arras, France. As a result, he spent the remainder of the war in Britain. By this time he had been promoted to acting captain. He relinquished his commission on health grounds on 12 March 1919, but was allowed to retain the rank of captain.[15]

After the war, Sassoon was instrumental in bringing Owen's work to the attention of a wider audience. Their friendship is the subject of Stephen MacDonald's play, Not About Heroes.

Post-war life

Green plaque Siegfried Sassoon
Green plaque on the site of Sassoon's former home in Tufton Street, Westminster, London
Quiller-couch letter to Sassoon
A handwritten letter to Sassoon from Arthur Quiller-Couch, about the possibility of Quiller-Couch writing for The Daily Herald.

Editor and novelist

Having lived for a period at Oxford, where he spent more time visiting literary friends than studying, he dabbled briefly in the politics of the Labour movement, and in 1919 took up a post as literary editor of the socialist Daily Herald. He lived at 54 Tufton Street, Westminster from 1919 to 1925; the house is no longer standing, but the location of his former home is marked by a memorial plaque.[16]

During his period at the Herald, Sassoon was responsible for employing several eminent names as reviewers, including E. M. Forster and Charlotte Mew, and commissioned original material from "names" like Arnold Bennett and Osbert Sitwell. His artistic interests extended to music. While at Oxford he was introduced to the young William Walton, to whom he became a friend and patron. Walton later dedicated his Portsmouth Point overture to Sassoon in recognition of his financial assistance and moral support.

Sassoon later embarked on a lecture tour of the USA, as well as travelling in Europe and throughout Britain. He acquired a car, a gift from the publisher Frankie Schuster, and became renowned among his friends for his lack of driving skill, but this did not prevent him making full use of the mobility it gave him.

Sassoon was a great admirer of the Welsh poet Henry Vaughan. On a visit to Wales in 1923, he paid a pilgrimage to Vaughan's grave at Llansantffraed, Powys, and there wrote one of his best-known peacetime poems, "At the Grave of Henry Vaughan". The deaths within a short space of time of three of his closest friends – Edmund Gosse, Thomas Hardy and Frankie Schuster – came as another serious setback to his personal happiness.

At the same time, Sassoon was preparing to take a new direction. While in America, he had experimented with a novel. In 1928, he branched out into prose, with Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, the anonymously-published first volume of a fictionalised autobiography, which was almost immediately accepted as a classic, bringing its author new fame as a humorous writer. The book won the 1928 James Tait Black Award for fiction. Sassoon followed it with Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930) and Sherston's Progress (1936). In later years, he revisited his youth and early manhood with three volumes of genuine autobiography, which were also widely acclaimed. These were The Old Century, The Weald of Youth and Siegfried's Journey.

Personal life

SiegfriedSassoonGraveMells(GrahamAllard)May2006
Siegfried Sassoon's gravestone in Mells churchyard
Siegfried Sassoon 23 Campden Hill Square blue plaque
Blue plaque, 23 Campden Hill Square, London

Affairs

Sassoon, having matured greatly as a result of his military service, continued to seek emotional fulfilment, initially in a succession of love affairs with men, including:

Only the last of these made a permanent impression, though Shaw remained Sassoon's close friend throughout his life.[19]

Marriage

In September 1931, Sassoon rented Fitz House, Teffont Magna, Wiltshire and began to live there.[20] In December 1933, he married Hester Gatty, who was many years his junior. The marriage led to the birth of a child, something which he had purportedly craved for a long time:

  • George Sassoon (1936–2006), who was married four times: firstly Stephanie Munro, at Inverness in 1955 (dissolved 1961); secondly Marguerite Dicks in 1961 (dissolved 1974); thirdly Susan Christian-Howard in 1975 (dissolved 1982); and lastly Alison Pulvertaft.

George became a scientist, linguist, and author, and was adored by Siegfried, who wrote several poems addressed to him. However, the marriage broke down after the Second World War, Sassoon apparently unable to find a compromise between the solitude he enjoyed and the companionship he craved.

Separated from his wife in 1945, Sassoon lived in seclusion at Heytesbury in Wiltshire, although he maintained contact with a circle which included E M Forster and J R Ackerley. One of his closest friends was the cricketer, Dennis Silk who later became Warden (headmaster) of Radley College. He also formed a close friendship with Vivien Hancock, then headmistress of Greenways School at Ashton Gifford, where his son George was a pupil. The relationship provoked Hester to make strong accusations against Hancock, who responded with the threat of legal action.[21]

Religion

Towards the end of his life, Sassoon converted to Roman Catholicism. He had hoped that Ronald Knox, a Roman Catholic priest and writer whom he admired, would instruct him in the faith, but Knox was too ill to do so.[22] The priest Sebastian Moore was chosen to instruct him instead, and Sassoon was admitted to the faith at Downside Abbey in Somerset.[23] He also paid regular visits to the nuns at Stanbrook Abbey, and the Abbey press printed commemorative editions of some of his poems. During this time he also became interested in the supernatural, and joined the Ghost Club.[24]

Death and awards

Sassoon was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1951 New Year Honours.[25] He died from stomach cancer on 1 September 1967, one week before his 81st birthday.[26] He is buried at St Andrew's Church, Mells, Somerset, not far from the grave of Father Ronald Knox whom he so admired.[27][28]

Legacy

On 11 November 1985, Sassoon was among sixteen Great War poets commemorated on a slate stone unveiled in Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner.[29] The inscription on the stone was written by friend and fellow War poet Wilfred Owen. It reads: "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity."[30]

The year 2003 saw the publication of Memorial Tablet, an authorised audio CD of readings by Sassoon recorded during the late 1950s. These included extracts from Memoirs of an Infantry Officer and The Weald of Youth, as well as several war poems including Attack, The Dug-Out, At Carnoy and Died of Wounds, and postwar works. The CD also included comment on Sassoon by three of his Great War contemporaries: Edmund Blunden, Edgell Rickword and Henry Williamson.[31]

Siegfried Sassoon's only child, George Sassoon, died of cancer in 2006. George had three children, two of whom were killed in a car crash in 1996. His daughter by his first marriage, Kendall Sassoon, is Patron-in-Chief of the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship, established in 2001.[32]

Sassoon's long-lost Military Cross turned up in a relative's attic in May 2007.[33] Subsequently, the medal was put up for sale by his family. It was bought by the Royal Welch Fusiliers for display at their museum in Caernarfon.[34]

Sassoon's other service medals went unclaimed until 1985 when his son George obtained them from the Army Medal Office, then based at Droitwich. The "late claim" medals consisting of the 1914-15 Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal along with Sassoon's CBE and Warrant of Appointment were auctioned by Sotheby's in 2008.[35]

In June 2009, the University of Cambridge announced plans to purchase an archive of Sassoon's papers from his family, to be added to the university library's existing Sassoon collection.[36] On 4 November 2009 it was reported that this purchase would be supported by £550,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, meaning that the University still needed to raise a further £110,000 on top of the money already received in order to meet the full £1.25 million asking price.[37] The funds were successfully raised, and in December 2009 it was announced that the University had received the papers. Included in the collection are war diaries kept by Sassoon while he served on the Western Front and in Palestine, a draft of "A Soldier’s Declaration" (1917), notebooks from his schooldays, and post-war journals.[38] Other items in the collection include love letters to his wife Hester, and photographs and letters from other writers.[39] Sassoon was an undergraduate at the university, as well as being made an honorary fellow of Clare College, and the collection is housed at the Cambridge University Library.[40] As well as private individuals, funding came from the Monument Trust, the JP Getty Jr Trust, and Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement.[41]

In 2010, Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War, a major exhibition of Sassoon's life and archive, was held at Cambridge University.[42]

Several of Sassoon's poems have been set to music,[43] some during his lifetime, notably by Cyril Rootham, who co-operated with the author.[44]

The discovery in 2013 of an early draft of one of Sassoon's best-known anti-war poems had biographers saying they would rewrite portions of their work about the poet. In the poem, 'Atrocities,' which concerned the killing of German prisoners by their British counterparts, the early draft shows that some lines were cut and others watered down. The poet's publisher was nervous about publishing the poem, and held it for publication in an expurgated version at a later date. Said Sassoon biographer Jean Moorcroft Wilson on learning of the discovery of the early draft: "This is very exciting material. I want to rewrite my biography and I probably shall be able to get some of it in. It's a treasure trove."[45]

Books

SiegfriedSassoonTheHague3
Poem Everyone Sang by Sassoon on a wall in The Hague

Poetry collections

  • The Daffodil Murderer (John Richmond: 1913)
  • The Old Huntsman (Heinemann: 1917)
  • The General (Denmark Hill Hospital, April 1917)
  • Does it Matter? (written: 1917)
  • Counter-Attack and Other Poems (Heinemann: 1918)
  • The Hero [Henry Holt, 1918]
  • Picture-Show (Heinemann: 1919)
  • War Poems (Heinemann: 1919)
  • Aftermath (Heinemann: 1920)
  • Recreations (privately printed: 1923)
  • Lingual Exercises for Advanced Vocabularians (privately printed: 1925)
  • Selected Poems (Heinemann: 1925)
  • Satirical Poems (Heinemann: 1926)
  • The Heart's Journey (Heinemann: 1928)
  • Poems by Pinchbeck Lyre (Duckworth: 1931)
  • The Road to Ruin (Faber and Faber: 1933)
  • Vigils (Heinemann: 1935)
  • Rhymed Ruminations (Faber and Faber: 1940)
  • Poems Newly Selected (Faber and Faber: 1940)
  • Collected Poems (Faber and Faber: 1947)
  • Common Chords (privately printed: 1950/1951)
  • Emblems of Experience (privately printed: 1951)
  • The Tasking (privately printed: 1954)
  • Sequences (Faber and Faber: 1956)
  • Lenten Illuminations (Downside Abbey: 1959)
  • The Path to Peace (Stanbrook Abbey Press: 1960)
  • Collected Poems 1908-1956 (Faber and Faber: 1961)
  • The War Poems ed. Rupert Hart-Davis (Faber and Faber: 1983)

Prose books

  • Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (Faber & Gwyer: 1928)
  • Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (Faber and Faber: 1930)
  • Sherston's Progress (Faber and Faber: 1936)
  • The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston (Faber and Faber: 1937)
  • The Old Century and seven more years (Faber and Faber: 1938)
  • On Poetry (University of Bristol Press: 1939)
  • The Weald of Youth (Faber and Faber: 1942)
  • Siegfried's Journey, 1916-1920 (Faber and Faber: 1945)
  • Meredith (Constable: 1948) - Biography of George Meredith

In popular culture

The novel Regeneration, by Pat Barker, is a fictionalised account of this period in Sassoon's life, and was made into a film starring James Wilby as Sassoon and Jonathan Pryce as W. H. R. Rivers, the psychiatrist responsible for Sassoon's treatment. Rivers became a kind of surrogate father to the troubled young man, and his sudden death in 1922 was a major blow to Sassoon.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Sassoon, Siegfried. "Journal, 26 June 1916-12 Aug. 1916". Cambridge Digital Library. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  2. ^ Siegfried Sassoon: The Making of a War Poet, Jean Moorcroft Wilson (Duckworth, 2004).
  3. ^ a b Chapman, Frank (10 December 2010). "War poet was tasty with bat". Kent and Sussex Courier. p. 42.
  4. ^ Heytesbury House
  5. ^ Coldham, James D (1954) Siegfried Sassoon and cricket, The Cricketer, June 1954. Republished at CricInfo.
  6. ^ "No. 29175". The London Gazette. 28 May 1915. p. 5115.
  7. ^ "Casualty Details: Sassoon, Hamo". Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  8. ^ Max Egremont, Siegfried Sassoon (2005), p. 103.
  9. ^ Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That (London: Penguin, 1960), p. 174.
  10. ^ Egremont, Siegfried Sassoon (2005), p. 99.
  11. ^ "No. 29684". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 July 1916. p. 7441.
  12. ^ a b Hart-Davis, Rupert (2004). revised, ed. "Sassoon, Siegfried Loraine (1886–1967)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35953. Retrieved 9 July 2009. (Subscription required (help)).
  13. ^ Peter Smollett (9 November 2010). "War resisters also deserve a memorial". Toronto Star. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  14. ^ "Family in row over Sassoon war medal sale". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  15. ^ "No. 31221". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 March 1919. p. 3269.
  16. ^ City of Westminster green plaques. Archived 16 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Miller, Neil (1995). Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present. p. 96.
  18. ^ a b c d John Gross (22 April 2003). "The war poet's long peace". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  19. ^ a b Jean Moorcroft Wilson (2003). Siegfried Sassoon: The Journey from the Trenches : a Biography (1918-1967). Psychology Press. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-0-415-96713-6.
  20. ^ Wilson, Jean Moorcroft (2003). Siegfried Sassoon: The Journey from the Trenches : a Biography (1918-1967). Psychology Press. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-415-96713-6.
  21. ^ Wilson 2003, pp. 345-6.
  22. ^ Catholic Authors - Ronald Knox
  23. ^ Fisher, Deb (July 2008), "Interview with Dom Sebastian Moore", Siegfried's Journal, 14
  24. ^ "The Ghost Club". www.ghostclub.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
  25. ^ "No. 39104". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1950. pp. 10–12.
  26. ^ Egremont, Max (2014) "Siegfried Sassoon: A Biography", Page 516, Pan Macmillan, ISBN 1447234782 Retrieved June 2016
  27. ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Location 41668). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  28. ^ Cameron. "Siegried Sassoon Mells Somerset poet grave". www.poetsgraves.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
  29. ^ Poets of the Great War.
  30. ^ "Preface", Manuscript and transcription from The Poems of Wilfred Owen.
  31. ^ Siegfried Sassoon, Memorial Tablet CD audiobook (CD41-008).
  32. ^ "The Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship". www.sassoonfellowship.org. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  33. ^ "War poet's medal to go on display". BBC News: Scotland. 26 May 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  34. ^ Campbell, Duncan (10 May 2007). "War poet's medal turns up in attic". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  35. ^ "Auction of medals".
  36. ^ University of Cambridge news
  37. ^ Brown, Mark (4 November 2009). "Siegfried Sassoon archive likely to stay in UK after £550,000 award•Siegfried Sassoon papers attracted interest from US•Cambridge library still short of asking price". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  38. ^ Collett-White, Mike (17 December 2009). "Cambridge acquires anti-war poet Sassoon's papers". Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  39. ^ "Great War poet Siegfried Sassoon's papers saved for the nation". Daily Mail. UK. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  40. ^ "Sassoon Journals". Cambridge Digital Library. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  41. ^ "War poet Siegfried Sassoon's papers arrive in Cambridge". BBC News. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  42. ^ Siegfried Sassoon archive goes on show at Cambridge Maev Kennedy, The Guardian, Wednesday, 21 July 2010.
  43. ^ "Music". Siegfried Sassoon Bibliography. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  44. ^ John (October 2010). "Set to music". Sassoon Project blog. Cambridge University Library. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  45. ^ Alberge, Dalya (February 2, 2013). "Draft Siegfried Sassoon poem reveals controversial lines cut from Atrocities: Manuscript shows World War I poet toned down piece about British soldiers killing German prisoners". The Observer.

References

Further reading

External links

Ariel Poems (Faber)

The Ariel Poems were two series of pamphlets that contained illustrated poems published by Faber and Gwyer and later by Faber and Faber. The first series had 38 titles published between 1927 and 1931. The second series, published in 1954, had 8 titles.Each numbered pamphlet had an illustrated cover naming the author and illustrator. Four pages were sewn inside the cover. The frontispiece had another illustration, usually multicolored. Following that page was the poem. Several authors and illustrators had multiple pamphlets.The pamphlets in the first series, in order, are as follows:

Yuletide in a Younger World by Thomas Hardy, drawings by Albert Rutherston

The Linnet's Nest by Henry Newbolt, drawings by Ralph Keene

The Wonder Night by Laurence Binyon, drawings by Barnett Freedman

Alone by Walter de la Mare, wood engravings by Blair Hughes-Stanton

Gloria in Profundis by G. K. Chesterton, wood engravings by Eric Gill

The Early Whistler by Wilfred Gibson, drawings by John Nash

Nativity by Siegfried Sassoon, designs by Paul Nash

Journey of the Magi by T. S. Eliot, drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (August 1927)

The Chanty of the Nona, poem and drawings by Hilaire Belloc

Moss and Feather by W. H. Davies, illustrated by Sir William Nicholson

Self to Self by Walter de la Mare, wood engravings by Blair Hughes-Stanton

Troy by Humbert Wolfe, drawings by Charles Ricketts

The Winter Solstice by Harold Monro, drawings by David Jones

To My Mother by Siegfried Sassoon, drawings by Stephen Tennant

Popular Song by Edith Sitwell, designs by Edward Bawden

A Song for Simeon by T. S. Eliot, drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (September 1928)

Winter Nights, a reminiscence by Edmund Blunden, drawings by Albert Rutherston

Three Things by W. B. Yeats, drawings by Gilbert Spencer

Dark Weeping by "AE", designs by Paul Nash

A Snowdrop by Walter de la Mare, drawings by Claudia Guercio

Ubi Ecclesia by G. K. Chesterton, drawings by Diana Murphy

The Outcast by James Stephens, drawings by Althea Willoughby

Animula by T. S. Eliot, wood engravings by Gertrude Hermes (October 1929)

Inscription on a Fountain-Head by Peter Quennell, drawings by Albert Rutherston

The Grave of Arthur by G. K. Chesterton, drawings by Celia Fiennes

Elm Angel by Harold Monro, wood engravings by Eric Ravilious

In Sicily by Siegfried Sassoon, drawings by Stephen Tennant

The Triumph of the Machine by D. H. Lawrence, drawings by Althea Willoughby

Marina by T. S. Eliot, drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (September 1930)

The Gum Trees by Roy Campbell, drawings by David Jones

News by Walter de la Mare, drawings by Barnett Freedman

A Child is Born by Henry Newbolt, drawings by Althea Willoughby

To Lucy by Walter de la Mare, drawings by Albert Rutherston

To the Red Rose by Siegfried Sassoon, drawings by Stephen Tennant

Triumphal March by T. S. Eliot, drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (October 1931)

Jane Barston 1719-1746 by Edith Sitwell, drawings by R. A. Davies

Invitation To Cast Out Care by Vita Sackville-West, drawings by Graham Sutherland

Choosing A Mast by Roy Campbell, drawings by Barnett FreedmanThe pamphlets in the second series are as follows:

The Cultivation of The Christmas Tree by T. S. Eliot, drawings by David Jones

Mountains by W.H. Auden, drawings by Edward Bawden

Christmas Eve by C. Day-Lewis, drawings by Edward Ardizzone

Nativity by Roy Campbell, drawings by James Sellars

The Other Wing by Louis MacNeice, drawings by Michael Ayrton

Sirmione Peninsula by Stephen Sender, drawings by Lynton Lamb

Prometheus by Edwin Muir, drawings by John Piper

The Winnowing Dream by Walter de la Mare, drawings by Robin Jaques

Bradford Pioneer

Bradford Pioneer is a defunct newspaper published in Bradford between 1913 and 1936 under the auspices of the Bradford Independent Labour Party, Bradford Trades Council and Workers' Municipal Federation.The 1913 volume contains several early articles by J. B. Priestley, and on 27 July 1917 it published A Soldier’s Declaration by Siegfried Sassoon.In 1914, Joseph Burgess was the editor. Another editor was Frank Betts, father of Barbara Castle.

David Cuthbert Thomas

David Cuthbert Thomas (1895 – 18 March 1916) was a Welsh soldier of the First World War, best known for his association with the poet Siegfried Sassoon.

Thomas was the son of Evan and Ethelinda Thomas of Llanedy Rectory, Pontardulais, Glamorgan, and educated at Christ College, Brecon. His first commission was as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. That regiment also included the writers Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, with whom he became close friends. After training, Thomas was posted to the regiment's 1st Battalion, which was then attached to 22 Brigade, itself part of 7th Infantry Division. On 18 March 1916 Thomas was leading a working party to repair wire emplacements in no man's land at the Citadel, near Fricourt in France when he was shot in the throat. He then walked to a first aid post for treatment but died soon afterwards after he began choking. He is buried at reference D3 in Point 110 New Military Cemetery at Fricourt. Graves wrote the poem 'Not Dead' in Thomas's memory and Thomas also appears in Graves' autobiography Good-Bye to All That, Sassoon's 'Sherston trilogy' of fictionalised autobiographies (as "Dick Tiltwood") and several other poems by both men.

Dennis Silk

Dennis Raoul Whitehall Silk (born 8 October 1931) is a former first-class cricketer and schoolmaster. He was also a close friend of the poet Siegfried Sassoon, about whom he has spoken and written extensively.

Edward Marsh (polymath)

Sir Edward Howard Marsh (18 November 1872 – 13 January 1953) was a British polymath, translator, arts patron and civil servant. He was the sponsor of the Georgian school of poets and a friend to many poets, including Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon. In his career as a civil servant he worked as Private Secretary to a succession of the United Kingdom's most powerful ministers, particularly Winston Churchill. He was a discreet but influential figure within Britain's homosexual community.

Felicitas Corrigan

Dame Felicitas Corrigan OSB (6 March 1908 – 7 October 2003) was an English Benedictine nun, author and humanitarian.She was born Kathleen Corrigan into a large Liverpool family, and developed a talent as an organist. In 1933, she entered Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire as a nun, and eventually became director of its choir. One of her projects was to develop an English language version of the office of Compline for the abbey. In the course of her career, Dame Felicitas befriended and/or corresponded with several famous figures who converted to Catholicism, including poet Siegfried Sassoon, actor Alec Guinness; and novelist Rumer Godden.

Dame Felicitas' biography of Helen Waddell was awarded the 1986 James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her book, The Nun, the Infidel, and the Superman, inspired by the life of Laurentia McLachlan, was turned into a play by Hugh Whitemore and later became a film for television starring Wendy Hiller. She also wrote about other figures in whom she was interested, including Hildegard of Bingen and the poet Coventry Patmore. She also edited publications for the Stanbrook Abbey Press. Other works include:

In a Great Tradition (1956)

George Thomas of Soho (1970)

Siegfried Sassoon: Poet's Pilgrimage (1973)

Benedictine Tapestry (1991)Dame Felicitas was Stanbrook Abbey's organist from 1933 until 1990. She died at Cheltenham.

Georgian Poetry

Georgian Poetry refers to a series of anthologies showcasing the work of a school of British poetry that established itself during the early years of the reign of King George V of the United Kingdom.

The Georgian poets were, by the strictest definition, those whose works appeared in a series of five anthologies named Georgian Poetry, published by Harold Monro and edited by Edward Marsh, the first volume of which contained poems written in 1911 and 1912. The group included Edmund Blunden, Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves, D. H. Lawrence, Walter de la Mare, Siegfried Sassoon and John Drinkwater. It was not until the final two volumes that the decision was taken to include female poets.

Jean Moorcroft Wilson

Jean Moorcroft Wilson (born 3 October 1941) is a British academic and writer, best known as a biographer and critic of First World War poets and poetry.A lecturer in English at Birkbeck, University of London, she has written a two-volume biography of Siegfried Sassoon, as well as works on Virginia Woolf, Charles Sorley, Robert Graves, Isaac Rosenberg and William Watson. Her husband is the publisher Cecil Woolf.

Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man is a novel by Siegfried Sassoon, first published in 1928 by Faber and Faber. It won both the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, being immediately recognised as a classic of English literature. In the years since its first appearance, it has regularly been a set text for British schoolchildren.

Memoirs of an Infantry Officer

Memoirs of an Infantry Officer is a novel by Siegfried Sassoon, first published in 1930. It is a fictionalised account of Sassoon's own life during and immediately after World War I. Soon after its release, it was heralded as a classic and was even more successful than its predecessor, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man.

National Heritage Memorial Fund

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was set up in 1980 to save the most outstanding parts of the British national heritage, in memory of those who have given their lives for the UK. It will receive £20 million Government grant in aid between 2011–15, allowing for an annual budget of between £4 million and £5 million.

A diverse list of over 1,200 heritage items have been safeguarded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund to the tune of nearly £300 million, including:

The St Cuthbert Gospel (£4.5M to the British Library, 2012)

The Mappa Mundi

The Mary Rose

Flying Scotsman

The last surviving World War II destroyer, HMS Cavalier,

Orford Ness nature reserve in Suffolk

Beamish Exhibition Colliery

Sir Walter Scott manuscripts

Antonio Canova's "The Three Graces"

Picasso's "Weeping Woman"

The Nativity, a miniature by Jean Bourdichon

Thrust2 world land speed record car

The Amarna Princess, an ancient Egyptian statuette, later proved to be a forgery by Shaun Greenhalgh

Canterbury Astrolabe Quadrant.

The personal archive of Siegfried Sassoon, World War I soldier, author and poet

Skokholm Island, site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Pembrokeshire

The Craigievar ExpressThe NHMF is funded by grant in aid from the Government through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In 1993 NHMF was given the responsibility for distributing the share of heritage funding from the National Lottery for the heritage good cause. It does this through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Sherston's Progress

Sherston's Progress is the final book of Siegfried Sassoon's semi-autobiographical trilogy. It is preceded by Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer.

The book starts with his arrival at 'Slateford War Hospital' (based on Craiglockhart War Hospital). The famous neurologist W. H. R. Rivers is a major character in the book, having a profound influence on Sassoon in real life.

Sherston eventually returns to the army and is sent to Palestine and Ireland (where he is introduced to 'The Mister', an alcoholic, eccentric millionaire) and finally the Western Front in France. There he is shot in the head, survives and returns to recover in London, where he meets Rivers and sees the armistice celebrations.

Suicide in the Trenches

"Suicide in the Trenches" is one of the many poems the English poet Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967) composed in response to World War I, reflecting his own notable service in that especially bloody conflict. Sassoon was a brave and gallant upper-class officer who eventually opposed the war, but he never lost his admiration for the common soldiers who had to fight it. Sassoon felt contempt for the political leaders and civilian war hawks who, safe in their power and comfort, sent young men off to die in huge battles that seemed futile and pointless. It was first published February 23, 1918 in Cambridge Magazine, then in Sassoon's collection: Counter-Attack and Other Poems. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter and consists of twelve lines in three stanzas.The poem exemplifies the sensibility of war poets in "avoid[ing] sentimentality and self-pity while describing the realities of war". It tells of the suicide of a young man sent off to war and attacks the "'smug-faced' crowds who greet the returning soldiers". This is one of the poems referenced when Copp states, "It was with poems like these that Sassoon, more than any other trench poet writing in English, brought home to an uninformed public the true reality of the ghastly nature of the war."

The Dead-Beat

"The Dead-Beat" is a poem by Wilfred Owen. It deals with the atrocities of World War I.

The Eye in the Door

The Eye in the Door is a novel by Pat Barker, first published in 1993, and forming the second part of the Regeneration trilogy.

The Eye in the Door is set in London, beginning in mid-April, 1918, and continues the interwoven stories of Dr William Rivers, Billy Prior, and Siegfried Sassoon begun in Regeneration. It ends some time before the conclusion of the First World War later the same year. The third part of the trilogy, The Ghost Road, continues the story.

Whereas Regeneration is an anomalous, but not unique, mixture of fact and fiction, The Eye in the Door acknowledges real events, including the campaign against homosexuals being waged that year by right-wing MP Noel Pemberton Billing, but remains consistently within the realm of fiction. This grants Barker more freedom to explore her characters and their actions, the descriptions of which might be considered libellous if attributed to real people. A major theme of the book, Prior's intense and indiscriminate bisexuality, is effectively contrasted with Rivers's tepid asexuality and Sassoon's pure homosexuality. Greater fictional scope also permits a deeper treatment of the psychological, political and professional life of the central character, Billy Prior.

The Hydra

The Hydra was a magazine produced by the patients of the Craiglockhart War Hospital, noteworthy for having been edited at one time by Wilfred Owen, and for including poems by Siegfried Sassoon. The magazine was headquartered in Edinburgh. Another editor was Black Watch officer James Bell Salmond, who went on to be editor of The Scots Magazine and was later the Keeper of Muniments at the University of St Andrews. In 1918 George Henry Bonner became the editor. The magazine ceased publication the same year.The Hydra is mentioned in Pat Barker's novel Regeneration about the experiences of patients at Craiglockhart War Hospital during World War I.

The name was a reference to the hospital’s pre-war role as a centre for hydrotherapy. All issues of the magazine were archived by Oxford University.

The Old Huntsman

The Old Huntsman is a 1917 collection of poems by Siegfried Sassoon and the name of the first poem in the collection.

They (poem)

They is a 1917 poem by the English soldier and poet Siegfried Sassoon published in The Old Huntsman and Other Poems. It disparages the attitude of the established church to the Great War.The first verse of the poem tells of a bishop's speech about the noble sacrifice of the soldiers, and in particular mentions his view that "they lead the last attack / On Anti-Christ". The second verse contrasts with the soldiers' reply, telling of the woes of four common soldiers; the bishop replies that "The ways of God are strange!"The poem is still under copyright in some countries. It is currently in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923, but will only become public domain in most countries after 2038 (author's death + 70).

Wild with All Regrets

"Wild With All Regrets" is a poem by Wilfred Owen. It deals with the atrocities of World War I.

Owen wrote the poem in December 1917, while stationed at Scarborough, and sent it to his friend Siegfried Sassoon. The original manuscript shows a dedication to Sassoon, accompanied by the question "May I?". Owen later expanded the poem into "A Terre".The poem's title paraphrases a line of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's 1847 poem "The Princess": "Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;"

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