From then on I was hooked. I vaguely remembered from my school days that Sassoon was a war poet and so began my search for his books, both poetry and prose. I find Sassoon incredibly interesting not just for his writing, but also for his amazing bravery, both physically on the battlefield, and morally with regard to his protest.
On the battlefield he went out alone on night patrols into no-mans-land because he saw these compulsory duties as pointless and wasn’t prepared to risk the lives of his men unnecessarily. He won the Military Cross twice and very narrowly missed getting the Victoria Cross. Later, when he was making his protest and refused to fight he knew full well that he could end up facing a firing squad. The fact that he didn’t was down to the machinations of the Army and the government and the unsolicited intervention of his friend and fellow war poet Robert Graves.
The other reason I like Sassoon so much is that I am very much into nostalgia, and no-one can conjure up an evocation of the past like Siegfried Sassoon.
Did I say I also like books? That I suppose goes without saying!
I have written three books myself about the city I live in, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and I am proud to say they are in the local library and museum. They are war books and cover the men from Peterborough who were killed during the First World War; what happened in the city and district during 1914; and Peterborough at War 1939-1945, the complete history of the city during the Second World War. This year I intend to write Peterborough at War 1914-1918, the complete history of Peterborough in the First World War. It will take a great deal of work to get this completed but I am not worried, as Sassoon said:
“Time’s but a golden wind that shakes the grass...”