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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Location: Sussex, England
Something else I found in Graves' 'Goodbye To All That'. He reprints some of Siegfried Sassoon's 'Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration', written in 1917. This made me think of the opening line to 'The Words That Maketh Murder':

'I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops and I can no longer be a party to prolonging these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust.'

--------

Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration

Lt. Siegfried Sassoon.
3rd Batt: Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
July, 1917.

I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that the war upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation has now become a war of agression and conquest. I believe that the purposes for which I and my fellow soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them and that had this been done the objects which actuated us would now be attainable by negotiation.

I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops and I can no longer be a party to prolonging these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust. I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed.

On behalf of those who are suffering now, I make this protest against the deception which is being practised upon them; also I believe it may help to destroy the callous complacency with which the majority of those at home regard the continuance of agonies which they do not share and which they have not enough imagination to realise.

Image

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Finished_ ... eclaration

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Wiggins is so superbly unassuming, he looks like he's about to say 'Pop the gold medal in the post, I'm nipping out for some biscuits'

Mark Steel


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:53 pm
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Location: Chicago
hello sau
Have you read this book? I apologize if you've posted about it before.
It seems an excellent read.

thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Location: Sussex, England
Hello revenire. Yes, I read it quite a few years ago now. I haven't checked properly, but I think his descriptions of life in the trenches start around the page 60 mark. 'Goodbye to all That' is such a good title too. It's considered a classic.

He wrote a highly praised book about Greek myths too.

He does a little bit of acting here!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcJXrfwUiS4

Back to First World War...

From SoundsOfTheLarch on youtube:

'This is a marching song of the Royal Welch Fusiliers from WW1. I found the words in Robert Graves biography, Goodbye to All That. Ive no idea how the original tune wouldve gone. Graves company apparently sang this when first at the frontline, as the shells starting exploding around them. He was a boy-officer, just out of public school, leading a troop of men, and none of them knowing the extent of the horror ahead of them. Somehow, it seems to sum up the insanity of the war, if you can imagine this slightly smutty and rather innocent little music hall ditty being incanted against the death metal squalor and blown-out-brains that surrounded the poor sods.'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEvTX-QSmys

By the way, look out for that film I mentioned somewhere on here, 'Regeneration'. Distressing subject but beautifully made.

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Wiggins is so superbly unassuming, he looks like he's about to say 'Pop the gold medal in the post, I'm nipping out for some biscuits'

Mark Steel


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