About Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon (September 8, 1886- September 1, 1967) is lionized today as one of the most influential British poets during World War I. As he was born into a wealthy Jewish family, he was able to lead a leisurely life before the war by pursuing his interests--fox hunting and writing poetry. His first work of poetry was published between 1906 and 1916. 

Due to the outbreak of the First World War, Sassoon served as a soldier in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and even received a Military Cross for his courage on the battlefield. Soon after, Sassoon was wounded in the neck during battle and wrote a letter to the war department and refused to serve any longer. He was horrified by the atrocities and gruesome nature of war and experienced a change in mindset. Through the help of Bertrand Russell, who persuaded the House of Commons to read the letter, and poet Robert Graves, who persuaded the department that Sassoon suffered from shell shock, Sassoon was able to avoid being court-martialed. He was, however, hospitalized in 1917. 

After the war, Sassoon became involved in Labour Party politices and lectured. Siegfried died one week before his 81st birthday due to stomach cancer.