Siegfried Sassoon Enlists

Box A


D8861/001 Watergate Lane, 2017


‘Siegfried Sassoon enlists in Lewes & “To Any Dead Officer” by Siegfried Sassoon’ – Miles Jenner, Head Brewer, Harvey’s Brewery.


Audio transcript at bottom of page


Siegfried Sassoon was a friend of E.P Warren of Lewes House, School Hill and whilst staying with him enlisted at the Drill Hall, Watergate Lane, Lewes.


‘Twenty-seven years old, the war poet Siegfried Sassoon enlisted with C Squadron, 1st Sussex Yeomanry at Lewes in August 1914. One of his main motives for joining the cavalry had been to avoid separation from his hunter ‘Cockbird’. After mustering in Lewes Corn Exchange, where they slept the first two nights on the bare floor, the recruits (known as ‘the jolly Yeo-boys’) rode via Brighton to Canterbury. Subsequently commissioned into an infantry regiment, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Sassoon was awarded the M.C. in 1916. His poem ‘To Any Dead Officer’ was written in 1917, shortly after his famous protest ‘against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed’.


“To Any Dead Officer” by Siegfried Sassoon