Siegfried Sassoon on the Western Front
This tour in association with the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship will start, as Sassoon himself did, in French Flanders, we shall use his verse, diaries and memoirs to examine his attitude to war and approach to poetry when he arrived on the Western Front, and how both began to change. We shall follow his journey south to the Somme in early 1916 and learn about his life-changing experiences there. After illness in the latter half of 1916, he returned to the Somme but his battalion was soon on the move and we shall follow their march to Arras and Sassoon’s experience of the Battle of Arras before he was wounded and returned home, stirred by his recent experiences to make his declaration against the war. He was back on the Western Front in the summer of 1918 and we shall learn why he abandoned his protest and trace the movements of his battalion to the River Lys where the poet, wounded again, was finally invalided out of the war.