Sassoon

George

George Thornycroft Sassoon, born in October 1936, was the only son of Siegfried and Hester Sassoon. He was a scientist, electrical engineer, translator and author. In 1947 his parents separated and George spent most of his childhood with his mother on the Isle of Mull. He was educated at Greenways Prep School, near Codford, then at Oundle School and finally King’s College Cambridge.

George spoke many languages including Serbo-Croat, Hebrew, Aramaic and Klingon! He was interested in extraterrestrial phenomena and published two books about extraterrestrial visitations. After his father died in 1967 George inherited his country house, Heytesbury House, in Wiltshire. He spent a lot of money restoring the house as it had been neglected by his father. Later, the A36 bypass was built right across the grounds of the house. He sold many of his father’s papers at this time to fund the fight to prevent the road being built but to no avail. Finally there was a severe fire which eventually forced George to move out and take up residence in the nearby village of Sutton Veny. In 1973 he inherited his mother’s property, Ben Buie, on Mull.

George married four times, the first three were dissolved and he died aged 69 in 2006. His body was buried on the Isle of Mull.

The Picts and The Martyrs: or Not Welcome at all (From the library of George Sassoon)

The Picts and The Martyrs

George Sassoon Inscription

The Picts and The Martyrs

The Picts and The Martyrs: or Not Welcome at all  By Arthur Ransome, 2nd impression published in 1944 by Jonathan Cape. The book carries the ownership signature of George Sassoon (above centre), written in ink at the top of the front endpaper. George Sassoon, 1936 - 2006, was the only child of Siegfried and Hester Sassoon.

The Book Of Common Prayer - From the Library of George Sassoon

The Book of Common Prayer

The Book Of Common Prayer - This book is inscribed “George Sassoon from his loving mother. 1950”.

George (1936 - 2006), was the only son of Siegfried Sassoon and this book was given to him by his mother, Hester Sassoon (nee Gatty).

The Book Of Common Prayer Inscription

Letter from Paul Moeyes

Scorched Glory Page 1

Letter to Paul Moeyes

Siegfried Sassoon: Scorched Glory - A Critical Study - By Paul Moeyes, published in April 1993, by Paul Moeyes. This book is a soft back presentation copy of Paul Moeyes’ doctoral thesis which he sent to Siegfried Sassoon’s son, George Sassoon in January 1994. Moeyes had not yet managed to find a publisher for this work and was asking George for advice on the cost of quoting copyright material and also for his opinion of the book.

The book would eventually be published by Macmillan in 1997. The second picture above is the accompanying letter Paul Moeyes sent to George with the book, belatedly requesting permission to quote his father’s work. The third picture above is the first page of the book on which George has made several notes after reading it. The fourth picture shows the subsequent letter (there are two pages) which George sent back to Paul Moeyes. George suggests terms regarding the use of copyright material and also advises of a number of corrections and additions. These include noting that Denis Wheatley used Heytesbury House in his novel ‘The Devil Rides Out’; correcting Moeyes by saying his father was not a ‘Huntsman’ but a member or follower of hunts. He paid to attend hunts, whereas a Huntsman is a salaried employee.

George also noted that his father never published any other autobiographical works because it was “simply copying out his diaries”. For this reason he arranged for Rupert Hart-Davis to edit and publish the diaries.

As for abandoning his protest against the war, (Siegfried) realised that it was futile after Robert Graves effectively defused it by getting him declared shell-shocked and taking him to Craiglockhart. Knowing this, he felt that as an experienced officer, his duty was to his men, so he went back to the trenches. “At least I stopped a few of them from getting killed”, he told him.

Finally George remarks that he is astonished at (Dutchman) Moeyes’ command of English and his understanding of his father’s personality and work. He says, “I get a lot of stuff sent to me, mostly from U.S. universities, which is under-researched rubbish. and your thesis makes a pleasant change”.

A small collection of letters with Sassoon interest, all relating to the well-known author Gerald Gliddon. The letter above left dated 5th November 1986 is signed by George Sassoon and written from Heytesbury House. It is in answer to Gliddon’s request to use eight lines from Siegfried Sassoon’s poem ‘At Carnoy’ in his  forthcoming book, ‘The Battle of the Somme - A Topographical History’ (above centre). George grants permission and gives the cost.

The letter above right, also written from Heytesbury House, dated 27th December 1989 and again signed by George Sassoon, gives Gliddon permission to use six of Siegfried Sassoon’s poems in ‘Anthology for educational use’ for a set fee.

The letter above left is a typed request from Gerald Gliddon dated 28th January 1996, to the author Pat Barker asking permission to use a photograph of Dr Rivers (which had originally been published courtesy of Pat Barker), in his forthcoming book ‘A Bibliography of the Battle of the Somme’. Pat Barker writes back on the same letter on 5th February 1996, giving permission and signing it.

Above right is a letter to Gliddon from The Book Trust in answer to a request from him for a contact address for the Welsh Author (and writer of ‘Up To Mametz’), Llewellyn Wyn Griffths.

The two, signed, handwritten letters above right are both from military historian Phillip Warner, writer of numerous books on the subject of the First and Second World Wars, including ‘Passchendaele’, ‘The Zeebrugge Raid’ and many military biographies. The letters are dated 1st April 1987 and 4th January 1988 and are both replies to Gerald Gliddon accepting his invitation to present talks on the subject of Passchendaele.

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