This year sees the 100th anniversary of the battle of Passchendaele. It was one of the bloodiest campaigns of the First World War and will be forever associated with the appalling conditions created by the continuous rain and mud of the battlegrounds. Men died needlessly for little military gain.
Back home in Britain, people were often ignorant, or complacent, about the truth of what the men were suffering in the trenches. The agonies suffered by the men at Passchendaele were very different from the myth of glorious sacrifice propagated at home. The war poet Siegfried Sassoon had seen and experienced the horrors of the trenches and was determined to convey the grim reality through his poetry.
Sassoon first enlisted with the Sussex Yeomanry in 1914, and was commissioned into the Third Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers as a Second Lieutenant in 1915. Continue reading »