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The Individual and Society by Department Delhi Department of English University of Delhi

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21

Return from the Somme

Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967) went to Clare College, Cambridge, and enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers when he was twenty-eight. He was a courageous if rather rash soldier and received the Military Cross for bravery a day before the Battle of the Somme. However, his experiences in the trenches in France taught him to despise the jingoism of war leaders and the ‘callous complacence’ of those at home while he developed a great compassion for his comrades. Wounded in 1917, he was sent to convalesce in England where he decided to defy military discipline and speak out publicly against the war: ‘I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this war, upon which I entered ...

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