Talk:Siegfried Sassoon

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Blanked this page rather than deleting it. I don't really care if people try to use a talk page as a chat room as long as they don't delete anything useful. Deb 07:09, 3 May 2005 (UTC)


I'm sorry to advise that George Sassoon, Siegfried's son, passed away on 7 or 8 March 2006 in the United Kingdom. (


I'm currently trying to find the copyright holder of the first photograph. On the chance that I am unable to secure that I found another photo of Siegfried taken by his son George. I have written to the copyright holder of that photo in an attempt to secure permission to post that photo. Wjbean 13:18, 2005 May 3 (UTC)

I think we're clear if the photographer died before 1955 - as the word would then be public domain -, but the law in question confuses the hell out of me anyway. Hmm. There's bound to be at least one public-domain image of him out there, given he was well-known at a fairly young age. Shimgray 13:38, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
That could well be, but since it's an English as opposed to American photograph the copyright might be a bit different. Still, in an effort to find the person(s) whose permissions might be required I ran across another photo of Siegfried in his fifties. This one was taken by his son George. I've written to the publisher asking permission to use it here, but have not yet heard back from them. I have also written to the publisher of the photo at the top of the page and have not heard back from them either. Wjbean 20:36, 2005 May 31 (UTC)
Haven't seen that last photo before - I rather like it. Deb 17:27, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
From what I understand this photo was taken by George Sassoon, Siegfried's son. Any idea why we don't have an entry for George? I've tried to find him on the internet and the only George Sassoon I've found is a George T. Sassoon. He wrote a book with a scientist about the possibility that the Arc of the Covenant was a Manna making machine given to the early Hebrews by extraterrestrials. Here's a link. This Sassoon is in the U.K.
Finally there may be a problem with the last two images. WikiCommons policy does not allow fair use. e.g.
Wjbean 18:34, 2005 Jun 2 (UTC)
That George Sassoon is, as I understand it, the same chap - look at the bottom of the page. Shimgray 20:07, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I believe it is the same person. George Sassoon has some non-mainstream interests. I suppose the fact that he's an author as well as SS's son means that he could be notable enough for his own article, but it's difficult to find out much about him. He is an honorary patron of the SSF but he does not like to talk about his father or get involved in any events. Deb 21:06, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Update! Well I heard from a Barbara Levy who says she represents George Sassoon. They want 100 pounds for a two year license. This translates to $182.00 in today's dollars. Of course, there's no way I'm going to pay that much for a free content site. Oh well. The image has been removed. Wjbean 17:16, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
New Update! I heard from George T. Sassoon via email. He has granted permission for use of this photograph. "You are welcome to use the photograph of him by the sundial with the present acknowledgement." George T. Sasson via email. Wjbean 13:11, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
How lovely of him. Thanks, Mr Sassoon! Deb 16:28, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
He's sent me another which I like even better. I've asked his express permission to use it. Deb, I think the Sassoon Family as whole and as individuals deserve entries here. His mother was obviously as talented as his father. And there's no question in my mind that George has talents as well. He's an accomplished linguist (having mastered Arameic and Hebrew) as well as an author. We can see that he's also a pretty good photographer. Wjbean 16:32, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Have you run across The Sassoons (~1968)? I flicked through a copy in a charity shop the other day - didn't have much cash on me, sadly, or I'd have picked it up. Quite the intriguing family; definitely worth an article. (You got some really interesting groups kicking around in the 1850s...) Shimgray 18:43, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There's an article on Uncle Hamo, which I created a while back. Theresa might merit an article, but I doubt that Alfred would. Deb 21:20, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'll see if I can find a copy somewhere. I had read that the Sassoon's were part of the "Salon" set in the late 1800s. A wealthy and well respected British family. I know too that the Thornycroft's produced a number of sculptors. So what do you think of the new pics? Wjbean 00:50, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Neurasthenia and shell shock[edit]

"Rather than court-martial Sassoon, the military authorities decided that he was unfit for service, and sent him to Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh, where he was officially treated for neurasthenia ('shell shock')."

I'm no expert but would not have thought that neurasthenia was the same as shell shock. The first was also known as nervous exhaustion, or a form of clinical depression, the second is what we would now call post-traumatic stress disorder. Anyone able to clear this up? Flapdragon 01:09, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

I've seen a copy of the admissions book for Craiglockhart; everyone in it (with possibly one or two exceptions) is down as "neurasthenia". The concept of shellshock wasn't well understood, then, and a lot of the medical terms applied were either different from how they'd be used in a contemporary sense - or simply misdiagnoses. It's generally accepted, I believe, that most of the neurasthenic cases were likely forms of PTSD, just not seen as such. Shimgray 01:15, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I suppose in an ideal world someone would amend the neurasthenia article to that effect (i.e. that it could cover shell-shock/PTSD), and likewise at shell-shock (combat stress reaction) - but I for one am not remotely qualified to do that. Flapdragon

In Goodbye to all that Graves says that shell-shock was officially classified as neurasthenia Spicemix (talk) 08:38, 1 January 2011 (UTC)


Note to Sassoon enthusiasts -- this may be a good opportunity and place to mention that the annual conference of the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship will take place on Saturday, 1st October, at Marlborough College, Wiltshire. Deb 17:22, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why is Sassoon in the category of Jewish-British people? Doesn't the Jewish faith descend from the mother's side? Furthermore, since he converted to Catholicsm later in life, shouldn't we include him in a category "Catholic British people"?

I agree. And now a plug for the 2006 conference (it is of course the 120th anniversary of Sassoon's birth) and we will be meeting at Brenchley in Kent, near his birthplace, on Saturday, September 9th. Get in touch with me for more details. Deb 17:51, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

New edits[edit]

I think most of the edits by the anon were reasonable, and I suspect the source is Max Egremont's new biography. Not sure about Canon Loraine being half-Jewish, though, or about Alfred Sassoon's mother going into mourning. Deb 12:45, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

The edits were so large that the 'compare versions' tool made it almost impossible to determine what if anything had changed, and as there was no edit summary, I felt the best thing was to revert. We can try to identify and re-introduce the changes more incrementally along with appropriate edit summaries. Of course, it would be easier for the original contributor(s) to do this. — Stumps 14:12, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Deb 18:14, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Deleted image[edit]

What was the reason for deleting the photograph of the older Sassoon? Deb 16:59, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

It was probably unsourced. Arniep 20:20, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
It was the second of George Sassoon's photos, as mentioned above by Wjbean. I think it should be restored. Deb 11:46, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
It was restored, but the image has been modified. It is severely pixelated. William (Bill) Bean 12:51, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

On Passing the New Menin Gate[edit]

I find it difficult to accept that a lengthy article could be written about Siegfried Sassoon that does not mention On Passing the New Menin Gate. I will attempt to rectify this soon. Ben-w 13:08, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Good for you! It's worthy of a mention. Deb 14:15, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

In the line "Sasson's period on the western front were marked by recklessly brave actions" I am going to change the word recklessly to exceptionally. I feel that the term reckless is a POV and have problems with the semantics, how can something "recklessly brave?" isn't it brave or reckless?. the definition of reckless is "a state of mind where one doesn't consider the consequences of his or her actions" is there any evidence that Sassoon didn't consider the consequences?. He had been on the western front a good long while and had to have known how dangerous it was, and his poems reflect it. on the other hand the majority of men on the front were not decorated for bravery and that would be the exception in the word exceptionally. Colin 8 18:32, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't argue with your reasoning -- but, yes, there is evidence that he didn't consider the consequences of his actions. He makes this quite clear in everything he wrote about this part of his life. He was distraught because of the death of a friend, and had no concern whatever for his own safety. Deb 20:12, 11 May 2007 (UTC)


Sassoon wasn't technically Jewish, as his mother was a gentile. Deb 18:19, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I like "Early Life and Education." The phrase "to a Jewish father and an English mother" seems wrong somehow. Both the father and mother had names; Alfred Sassoon and Theresa (née Thornycroft). Also, both were English. The father being a Sephardic Jew and the mother a Catholic. William (Bill) Bean 12:58, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
You know, it's a funny thing, someone complained about that exact same phrase in the SSF membership leaflet. We're going to change that. Deb 13:42, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
May I suggest the following;
"Sassoon was born in a house named Weirleigh (which still stands) in the village of Matfield, Kent, to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. His father, Alfred, one of the wealthy Indian Baghdadi Jewish Sassoon merchant family, was disinherited for marrying outside the faith. His mother, Theresa, belonged to the Thornycroft family, sculptors responsible for many of the best-known statues in London — her brother was Sir Hamo Thornycroft. There was no German ancestry in Sassoon's family; he owed his unusual first name to his mother's predilection for the operas of Wagner. His middle name was taken from the surname of a clergyman with whom she was friendly."
Judiasm is a faith as is catholicism. William (Bill) Bean 14:18, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Bill - I like it! Deb 17:48, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Except that she wasn't Catholic, she was Anglican! Deb 11:43, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll have to check into that with my British source. According to my source, Theresa was Catholic. In fact, later in his life Siegfried converted to Catholicism. Of course I'll discuss it here first regardless of what I hear. William (Bill) Bean 12:07, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Indeed he did convert, and last Monday I had the pleasure of interviewing the monk who gave him his instruction (nearly 90). We'll be discussing this very subject at the SSF conference in Downside Abbey on Saturday (plug - you can pay at the door). But Theresa attended the local parish church and her children were christened in the Church of England. I can't find any reference to her flirting with Catholicism. Having said that, "Catholicism" in the UK tends to mean "Roman Catholicism" except to people who are very "High Church" who consider themselves Catholic in the broadest sense. THat's why I changed it. Deb 17:41, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Makes sense to me. So why not just say Anglican? I'm an American and know that means Church of England. Are you Deb Fisher? William (Bill) Bean 20:39, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
'Course I am! Deb 20:41, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah!Ha!! I'll shut up then. ;^) William (Bill) Bean 23:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Title colour[edit]

Why is the article's title in yellow ? Machete97 (talk) 21:02, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Cambridge University Library[edit]

There is a Sassoon room at Cambridge University Library. Should this be mentioned as a source of research meterial? -- wloveral —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:29, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Weirleigh hospital clarification[edit]

The article says: "Siegfried Sassoon was born at Weirleigh hospital (which still stands)" I very much LIKE the way this is worded... I only wanted to ask if "(which still stands)" needs a date or something attached to it, to clarify at what point the author stated that it was still standing. Maybe "which still stands as of 2007" or something? It may be fine as it is now, I just wanted to ask. Fallendarling (talk) 14:13, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Lead picture[edit]

I do prefer the second, sepia 1915 photograph more than the 1916, as the main image, due to greater clarity, sharpness, and tidiness. Maybe I'll be bold and just switch them after a few days, if no one objects here. EryZ (talk) 07:36, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Personally, I wouldn't object. Deb (talk) 11:43, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Siegfried Sassoon signature.svg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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The Western Front: Military Cross[edit]

"...his views on what may be called 'gritty realism' "

Whose views? It's not clear.

When that's fixed, we should change 'gritty realism', which is stale, and weakened by the timid single quotes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:03, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Try "_____'s uncompromising realism"

Hamo Sassoon's date of death.[edit]

The article currently states that Hamo Sassoon died around spring 1915, and cites the CWGC, whereas the CWGC gives Hamo's date of death as 1 November 1915 (i.e. the autumn). Which is correct? --IxK85 (talk) 16:42, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

1 November is correct. I'll fix it and add a ref. Thanks for pointing that out. Deb (talk) 16:46, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Dead link: WGBH Max Egremont Lecture[edit]

The link to the lecture on Sassoon biographer by Max Egremont leads to what seems to be the site of the production company, with no obvious way of getting to the lecture itself. I made a brief attempt to track it down, but couldn't find it. JamesSchmidt 22:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I can't verify this as the site is blocked by my firewall. Deb (talk) 10:33, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it must be this, on youtube: William Avery (talk) 10:42, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

awkward section "Affairs"[edit]

The text under the section "Affairs" currently reads as follows: "Sassoon, having matured greatly as a result of his military service, continued to seek emotional fulfilment, initially in a succession of love affairs with men, including:" Quite aside from the misspelling of "fulfillment", this is rather awkward editorializing, isn't it? What does his having love affairs have to do with maturing or military service, and doesn't it go without saying that we all seek emotional fulfillment in love affairs? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shrinkydink07 (talkcontribs) 07:58, 1 June 2016 (UTC) Shrinkydink07 (talk) 08:45, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

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