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Birth of Siegfried Sassoon

Posted in Anniversary, Literature, World War 1 on Sunday, 29 August 2010

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picture, World War I, trench warfare

The trench warfare of World War I profoundly affected Sassoon. Illustration by Ron Embleton

8 September marks the anniversary of the birth of poet Siegfried Sassoon in 1886. Born in Matfield, Kent, Sassoon went to Cambridge University to study law and history but dropped out before completing his degree. Instead, he began publishing volumes of poetry.

Sassoon volunteered for the Army at the outbreak of World War I, but a riding accident meant that he saw no action until 1915. The death of his brother Hamo, killed during the Gallipoli campaign, and his own experiences in the trenches profoundly affected Sassoon’s outlook and poetry. Although he was awarded a Military Cross for bravery, he also stood up in defiance of military authority and, at one point, refused to continue fighting.

He continued to write poetry and novels until his death in 1967.

Many more pictures relating to World War I can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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