Sasson Siegfried Sassoon was born on 8 September 1886 in Matfield, Kent. His father, Alfred Ezra Sassoon, was part of a wealthy Jewish merchant family, originally from Iran and India, and his mother part of the artistic Thorneycroft family. Siegfried had one older brother, Michael, born in October 1884, and one younger brother, Hamo, born in 1887. His parents separated when he was very young, meaning that in his younger years he saw his father only rarely. Alfred died of consumption in 1895.
As a child Siegfried was prone to illness, and spent many hours reading and writing poetry. He was sent to study at the New Beacon School in Kent in 1900, followed by Marlborough College in 1902. Sassoon studied at Cambridge University but he left after a year without a degree. For the next eight years, he lived the life of a country gentleman, hunting and playing cricket while also publishing small volumes of poetry. Published privately, Sassoon’s poetry made very little impact on the critics or the book buying public.
Siegfried joined the Sussex Yeomanry on 4th August 1914, the day that England declared war, but soon after broke his arm in a hunting accident. He received his commission as a second lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers in May 1915, he was posted to the Western Front in France. Considered to be recklessly brave, he soon obtained the nickname ‘Mad Jack’. While drilling at Litherland in November 1915, he received word of Hamo’s death at Gallipoli. Siegfried left England to join his battalion in France on 17th November (1915) just after the Battle of Loos, serving as a transport officer.
The poem “Glory of women” can be considered to be the typical style of poetry written by the English war time poet, Siegfried Sassoon. Through the use of poetic techniques, Sassoon’s words had painted a picture conveying his anti-war messages, in attempt to break the popular romanticized beliefs the majority population held towards war, conveying the ignorance of the public, ...
In March 1916 Siegfried was finally able to secure a front-line placement. In April 1916, he attended 4th Army School at Flixecourt. He displayed courage and calm under fire, receiving a Military Cross for his actions during a raiding party in May 1916; in fact he displayed such bravery that he attracted the nickname ‘Mad Jack’. He spent the early summer of 1916 on leave, returning to his battalion for the Somme offensive in July. He contracted dysentery, and was invalided to Somerville College, Oxford. In June 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross for bringing wounded man back to the British lines while under heavy fire. While in France he met the poets Robert Graves and Wilfred Owen. During his recovery period, discouraged by the politics of war at home and the deaths of numerous friends at the front, he made contact with the group of pacifists led by Bertrand Russell and Lady Ottoline Morrell. He returned to France in January 1917, was wounded by a sniper during a raid near Fontaine-les-Croisilles in April, and was sent back to England. In July 1917 he published a Soldier’s Declaration.
In July, at Craiglockhart Hospital, he was officially referred with shell-shock; he met Wilfred Owen. In February 1918 Siegfried was dispatched to serve in Palestine, but in May found himself back in France with the battalion supporting allied forces shaken by the St Michael’s Offensive of March. On 13th June while returning to the trenches from a patrol in No Man’s Land he was accidentally mistaken for a German by a sentry from his company, and was shot in the head. This event ended his direct experience of the war. He also published Counter-Attack and Other Poems.
In the inter-war years he developed a wide literary circle, lived in Oxford and involved himself in Labour politics, served as literary editor for the Daily Herald, and travelled widely in the United States and Europe. 1920 Lecture tour of U. S 1926 Satirical Poems published 1928 Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man published 1930 Memoirs of an Infantry Officer published 1933 Marries Hester Gtty 1935 Vigils published 1936 Sherston’s Progress published 1936 Son, George, is born 1938 The Old Century and Seven More Years published 942 The Weald of Youth published 1945 Siegfried’s Journey published1945 Marrige ends 1953 Made an Honouarary Fellow at Clare College 1957 Sequences published 1957 Awarded the Queen’s Medal for Poetry 1967 Dies on the 1st of September at Heytesbury House in Wiltshire WHY WAS HE IMPORTANT IN WWI? Siegfried Sassoon was a major influence on the poetry world as he spoke how he felt and how he viewed WWI. He provided an eyewitness view on life in the trenches and showed a darker side to life in the war; that people had not seen.
The machine gun mechanized war. Artillery and gas mechanized war. They were the hardware of the war, the tools. But they were only proximately the mechanism of the slaughter. The ultimate mechanism was a method of organization-anachronistically speaking, a software package. 'The basic lever,' the writer Gil Elliot comments, 'was the conscription law, which made vast numbers of men available for ...
He wrote poems on suicide in the trenches and he gave his view on the world through the eyes of a soldier. | The Death-Bed HE drowsed and was aware of silence heaped| | Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;| | Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,| | Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep. | | Silence and safety; and his mortal shore| 5| Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death. | | | | Someone was holding water to his mouth. | | He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped| | Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot| |