Friday, August 1, 2014

Treasuring The Time, Remembering The Young Men

Hi Dear Folk,

This morning was one of those up early days.  I do love this time it is always quiet, the morning doves are cooing special stolen time, when I am not tired before my day begins.  At 5:00AM it is still dark but with an iPad one doesn't have to worry about that.  So I make myself a cup of tea, gather up Tinkerbell who is becoming an old lady and sit down and catch up on the world.

This morning on BBC Radio they mentioned that Siegfried Sassoon's notebooks from WWI and afterwards, have all been cataloged and are now on digital display for all to access.  See the write up here in the Telegraph  and the actual collection University of Cambridge Digital Library here  I have long had an interest in First World War Poets and have even collected some books of lesser known poets of WWI which I will have to revisit.  I do like Wilfred Owen here being my favourite, but I do very much like Siegfried Sassoon.

It is hard for me to get my mind around the fact that it is the 100th Anniversary of the start of WWI, I think because some of my friends' grandfathers and even grandmothers were in that war and I remember them.  So it is not so far removed from me to be just dry dust in a history book.

I remember an older family friend, Violet who lost her husband in the War and never remarried.  A photo of him sat on her sideboard.  My mum remembers that so many young men of the landed gentry died as officer's in the war, that older men of this rank, were called back from India to marry these young ladies of title and means, a generation of young men was wiped out on all levels and strata of society.  My Grandfather's oldest brother, on my father's side, was killed in the war and a great aunt on my mother's side, served as a matron in a wartime hospital.  Also my Great Grandfather, on my father's side, died a few years after the war of lung problems due to being poisoned in the trenches.

So this morning I read some of these online journals of Siegfried Sassoon, along with viewing the little sketches that he did.  Of course he survived the war, was almost court marshaled, for refusing to go back to the insanity, and in the end was sent to Scotland as a shell shock victim, the government's way of covering over the difference between an officer's refusal and an enlisted man's refusal.  Probably because he did have a higher social standing.

At Craiglockhart near Edinburgh he met Wilfred Owen and encouraged him with his poetry.  Both men did return to active duty, but Wilfred Owen was killed in 1918. 

To think these young men were the age of my boy and younger, is too sad.  So I am enjoying the time left with my Boy before he goes off to Ithaca.

Have a great weekend.


1 comment:

  1. Yes I had a little browse of the Sassoon journal too and it looks interesting. I feel the same as I knew lots of people who had fought in the Great War and it seems impossible it was so long ago. Also its hard to believe not many left who fought in the 2nd W.W as did my dad and so many others I grew up around.


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