Sassoon, Owen and Graves
The history of Craiglockhart
The War's effect on ordinary people
links to related sites
Acknowledgements, credit and contact
Pat Barker's trilogy
Music, prose and trench art

Siegfried Sassoon was born into a wealthy family on 8 September 1886 in Kent, and until the outbreak of the Great War he lived the life of a typical English sporting gentleman. With the onset of war, at the age of 28, Sassoon enlisted first as a cavalry trooper in the Sussex Yeomanry before transferring to the Royal Welch Fusiliers as an officer in may 1915. He quickly developed the name 'Mad Jack' for his fearless courage on the Western Front, after volunteering to lead night raids. As the war progressed, Sassoon would increasingly develop angry feelings concerning the conduct of the war.

The War Poets - Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
Sassoon was sent to Craiglockhart for writing a letter of protest to his Colonel in July 1917, stating his alarm at the prolongation of the war, and the political errors that he felt were leading to the unnecessary sacrifice of soldiers' lives. Sassoon believed that the war was being continued longer than was necessary, by those who had the power to end it. This letter known as the 'Soldiers Declaration' was seen as unpatriotic. However, Sassoon had been a good and courageous officer and soldier. In the spring of 1916 he won the Military Cross for rescuing, under heavy fire, a lance-corporal who had been lying wounded close to the enemy line. Sassoon's regimental authorities were reluctant to court martial him but they were unable to ignore such a letter. They treated his protest with equanimity and insisted that he must be suffering from a nervous breakdown and could not be held responsible for his actions. It was under these circumstances that Sassoon found himself bound for Craiglockhart.
Siegfried Sassoon page 2
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