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Journal, 20 May 1916-31 Oct. 1916 (diary entries finish on 13 June 1916)

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/1/6

Scope and Contents

The volume is a ruled notebook and mostly comprises diary entries written in France (chiefly at Morlancourt, Fricourt, and the front line).

Significant entries include; /2r-7r. accounts of his last day at the Fourth Army School [Flixécourt], trip to Abbeville, and return to Morlancourt; /7v-8r. activity at Fricourt; /9r-14r. descriptions of a raiding party of 25-27th May [for which Sassoon was awarded the Military Cross]; /20v. a description of his dug-out and of feeling 'shut-in'.

The volume also includes:

- drafts of poetry (some are partial): /8v. untitled, begins 'When stars are out its fun to think of dying'; /26r. untitled ['A Ballad']; /26v-27r. untitled, begins 'A man of many sorrows, Captain Blugg'; /27v. 'A testimonial'; /28r. one line: 'The Nation smiled; for in the morning papers' (remainder erased); /28v-29r. untitled, begins 'Poor Captain Gray was wounded in the calf'; /29v. erased poem beginning ['His mother kissed him when he went away']; /42v-43r. draft of sections of the poem later called 'David Cleek'; /44v. erased poem beginning ['I hear the murmur of their voices']; /45r & 46r. untitled, begins 'Know then that I was born to seek the grail', later printed as 'The Poet as Hero'; /46v-47r. 'In Ramah was heard a voice'; /48r. erased work (unidentified); /48v-50r. 'Après la guerre', later called 'They'; /51r-51v. untitled, begins 'The papers told the public'; /52r-53r. 'In the Know' [later called 'The Tombstone-Maker']; /53v. untitled, begins 'When Arthur joined the army'.

- fair copy poetry: /41v-42r. 'David Cleek'; /47v. 'They'; /56r. 'The Cyssan'.

- sketches and doodles: /6r. preparatory sketch for a water colour of a stained glass window, together with a description; /8r. a hillside with trees and a trench; /45v. abstract image, perhaps a body and propeller.

- Copy of an official report on the raid carried out by the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers on the night of 25th-26th May, together with lists of members of the raiding and evacuating party and their fates: /14v-15r.

- cricket match scores: /43r-44r; /54v.

- a list of words beginning with the letter 'A' or 'B' entitled 'Clean-bred English words', together with words in Old English: /55r-56r.

N.B. Sassoon wrote from both ends of this notebook; after folio /41v entries resume from the opposite end. Folios /30r-41r are blank. Enclosures are to be found in a separate envelope. The foliation is the archivist's.


  • 20 May 1916-31 Oct. 1916 (diary entries finish on 13 June 1916)

Conditions Governing Access

This notebook and its enclosures have been digitised and can be viewed in full on the Cambridge Digital Library at The original items are currently unavailable for consultation due to their poor physical condition.


1 volume(s) (1 volume (black morocco with elasticated tie, front pocket, patterned endpapers, 56 ff.); 1 envelope paper) : paper

1 envelope(s) (1 volume (black morocco with elasticated tie, front pocket, patterned endpapers, 56 ff.); 1 envelope paper)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This item is fragile. The binding is cracked and loose. Folio /7 is attached with pressure sensitive tape. Folio /25 has been torn away.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom