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❶Siegfried Sassoon's only child, George Sassoon , died of cancer in

Siegfried Sassoon

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Analysis of Aftermath by Siegfried Sassoon

Do you remember the rats; and the stench Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench— And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain? Do you remember that hour of din before the attack— And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men? Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back With dying eyes and lolling heads—those ashen-grey Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

He had served in action in the woods at Mametz and, haunted by the guilt of the survivor, the question he repeatedly asks is of himself. There really are no depths that rag will not plumb.

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If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. How unlike you to crib my idea of going to the Ladies' College at Oxford , Sassoon wrote to him in 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: 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 ". 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. 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 , 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 , 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 , but was allowed to retain the rank of captain.

After the war, Sassoon was instrumental in bringing Owen's work to the attention of a wider audience. 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 took up a post as literary editor of the socialist Daily Herald.

He lived at 54 Tufton Street, Westminster from to ; the house is no longer standing, but the location of his former home is marked by a memorial plaque. During his period at the Herald , Sassoon was responsible for employing several eminent names as reviewers, including E.

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 , 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 , 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 James Tait Black Award for fiction. In later years, he revisited his youth and early manhood with three volumes of genuine autobiography, which were also widely acclaimed. 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.

The marriage led to the birth of a child, something which he had purportedly craved for a long time:. 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 , 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. 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. During this time he also became interested in the supernatural , and joined the Ghost Club. The Poetry is in the pity. The year saw the publication of Memorial Tablet , an authorised audio CD of readings by Sassoon recorded during the late s.

Siegfried Sassoon's only child, George Sassoon , died of cancer in George had three children, two of whom were killed in a car crash in Sassoon's long-lost Military Cross turned up in a relative's attic in May It was bought by the Royal Welch Fusiliers for display at their museum in Caernarfon.

Sassoon's other service medals went unclaimed until when his son George obtained them from the Army Medal Office, then based at Droitwich. In June , 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.

In , Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War , a major exhibition of Sassoon's life and archive, was held at Cambridge University. 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. The discovery in 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: I want to rewrite my biography and I probably shall be able to get some of it in.

It's a treasure trove. 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 was a major blow to Sassoon. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 1 August Kent and Sussex Courier. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Penguin, , p. The London Gazette Supplement.

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Aftermath by Siegfried you forgotten yet For the worlds events have rumbled on since those gagged days Like traffic checked while at the crossing of cityways And the. Page/5(7).

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A highly personal poem, “Aftermath” used to be broadcast on Armistice Day in the years immediately after the war. Siegfried Sassoon survived the Great War, but he continued to revisit the trenches in his poetry and prose for the rest of his life. He couldn’t forget .

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Aug 12,  · Jean Moorcroft Wilson's biography of Sassoon is effectively in two parts 'Siegfried Sassoon- The Making of a War Poet ' and 'Siegfried . Sassoon wrote ‘Aftermath’ in He had served in action in the woods at Mametz and, haunted by the guilt of the survivor, the question he repeatedly asks is of himself.

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Tags: Aftermath, Siegfried Sassoon This poem was written in March , shortly after the poet was demobilised. By this stage, Sassoon had come to despise the war, but retained, throughout his life a great affection for the men with whom he had served, which is reflected in this piece. Analysis of Aftermath by Siegfried Sassoon. This poem was written in March and, according to Jean Moorcroft-Wilson, in her biography of the poet, was probably composed as a reaction to the poet’s demobilisation, which occurred on the 12th of that month.