Siegfried Sassoon

1886-1967

 

Siegfried Sassoon is buried in St Andrew's Churchyard, Mells, Somerset, England. 
 



Gravestone of Siegfried Sassoon
Photograph by Rhys Jones

During his first spell at the front line Sassoon was awarded the Military Cross for bravery - a medal which he later threw away. However, by 1917 he had become an outspoken opponent of the war. His Declaration of Wilful Defiance nearly resulted in a court-martial but Robert Graves intervened on his behalf and he was admitted instead to Craiglockhart War Hospital,  Edinburgh suffering from 'shell-shock'. 

It was here that he met Wilfred Owen and encouraged him to write poetry. 

On returning to the trenches, he further proved his bravery by crawling within 50 yards of enemy machine-guns to hurl grenades, but while making his way back to his own lines he was mistaken for a German and shot; the bullet grazing his skull.

In 1957 Sassoon converted to Roman Catholicism and subsequently wanted to be buried in St. Dominic's Churchyard near to  Monsignor Ronald Knox, who died in the same year.

Sassoon died at his home at Heytesbury Hall, Wiltshire on 1st September 1967 - one week before his 81st birthday.

Sassoon is chiefly remembered for his war poetry which dealt realistically and bleakly with his experience of the trenches. After the war he wrote mainly religious poetry, inspired by poets such as George Herbert and Henry Vaughan.

He is also remembered for his semi-autobiographical trilogy: Memories of a Fox Hunting Man (1928), Memories of an Infantry Officer (1930) and Sherston's Progress (1936).

See also War Poets.

'Good-morning; good-morning!' the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead,
And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
'He's a cheery old card,' grunted Harry and Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.
     *               *                *                *              *
But he did for them both by his plan of attack.

The General

 

 


 

 

 
 
 
 

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