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Siegfried Sassoon
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Poet
    (September 8, 1886-September 1, 1967)
    Born in Matfield, Kent, England, United Kingdom
    Poetry collections include 'The Old Huntsman' (1917), 'Counterattack and Other Poems' (1918), 'War Poems' (1919), 'The Heart's Journey' (1928), 'Vigils' (1935) and 'Sequences' (1956)
    Wrote the three-part 'fictionalized autobiography' 'Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man' (1928), 'Memoirs of an Infantry Officer' (1930) and 'Sherston's Progress' (1936)
    He left Cambridge without a degree and lived off family money, playing cricket, hunting foxes and self-publishing poetry.
    After a period of convalescent leave in WWI, he threw away the ribbon of his Military Cross, declared he would not return to duty, and sent a letter to the press accusing the government of deliberately prolonging the war.
    He was saved from being court-martialed only by the intervention of fellow poet-soldier Robert Graves, who convinced the authorities that Sassoon was suffering from shell shock.
    He was a notoriously bad driver, cracking up several cars and managing to scare the usually unflappable T.E. Lawrence.
    A biographer wrote that he 'made unerringly bad choices in love.'
    In later years, he resented being remembered primarily as a 'war poet.'
    During World War I, he was nicknamed 'Mad Jack' for his near-suicidal bravery.
    He was awarded the Military Cross for rescuing wounded soldiers while under fire.
    While undergoing treatment for shell shock, he befriended poet Wilfred Owen, and after Owen's death edited and published his poems.
    His younger brother Hammo and several friends (including Owen) were killed in battle during World War I.
    After returning to action, he was wounded by friendly fire when another British soldier shot him in the head.
    His war poems were intended to convey the ugly reality of life in the trenches.

Credit: C. Fishel


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