Memoirs of an Infantry Officer

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ISBN 9780571348121 Format Paperback
9780571348121
Paperback
Published 30/08/2018 Length 304 pages
304

About Book

As I stepped over one of the Germans an impulse made me lift him up from the miserable ditch. Propped against the bank, his blond face undisfigured, except by the mud which I wiped from his eyes and mouth with my coat sleeve. He’d evidently been killed while digging, for his tunic was knotted loosely about his shoulders. He didn’t look to be more than eighteen. Hoisting him a little higher, I thought what a gentle face he had, and remembered that this was the first time I’d ever touched one of our enemies with my hands. Perhaps I had some dim sense of the futility which had put an end to this good-looking youth. Anyhow I hadn’t expected the Battle of the Somme to be quite like this…

This first-hand account of the face of battle is as beautifully written as it is historically significant.

As I stepped over one of the Germans an impulse made me lift him up from the miserable ditch. Propped against the bank, his blond face undisfigured, except by the mud which I wiped from his eyes and mouth with my coat sleeve. He’d evidently been killed while digging, for his tunic was knotted loosely about his shoulders. He didn’t look to be more than eighteen. Hoisting him a little higher, I thought what a gentle face he had, and remembered that this was the first time I’d ever touched one of our enemies with my hands. Perhaps I had some dim sense of the futility which had put an end to this good-looking youth. Anyhow I hadn’t expected the Battle of the Somme to be quite like this…This first-hand account of the face of battle is as beautifully written as it is historically significant.
  • About Siegfried Sassoon

    Siegfried Sassoon was born in 1886 and educated at Clare College, Cambridge. He served in the trenches during the First World War, where he began to write the poems for which he is remembered. Despatched as 'shell-shocked' to hospital, he organised public protest against the war. His poetry initially met with little response, but his reputation grew steadily in the following decades. Apart from the War Poems of 1919, he published eight volumes of verse during his lifetime. But it is as a novelist and autobiographer that he is perhaps better known. Sassoon's semi-autobiographical trilogy, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928), Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930) and Sherston's Progress (1936), was outstandingly successful. He published several more volumes of autobiography, including Siegfried's Journey (1945), before his death in 1967.

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