Author(s): Siegfried Sassoon
'It is my own story I am trying to tell, and as such it must be received; those who expect a universalization of the Great War must look for it elsewhere.'
Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, first published in 1930, is Siegfried Sassoon's fictionalized autobiography of the period between the early spring of 1916 and the summer of 1917. The narrative moves from the trenches to the Fourth Army School, to Morlancourt and a raid, then to and through the Somme. The mind of the narrator turns from unquestioning acceptance of the war and of the standards which it set up, to doubting the necessity of the seemingly endless slaughter.
Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon: 'It is my own story I am trying to tell, and as such it must be received; those who expect a universalization of the Great War must look for it elsewhere.'
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.