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Notebook, 1917-1918, 1917-1918

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9852/6/3

Scope and Contents

Notebook containing poetical drafts (mostly dated 1918), autobiographical notes or prose drafts, with some diary entries. Contents include:

- a list of places Sassoon was posted with the 25th Battalion R.W.F. [Royal Welch Fusiliers], Dec. 1917-18 July 1918: /inside front cover.

- drafts of poetry: /1v. untitled, begins 'Birds have their singing time' (poem is excised); /2r. 'I Stood with the Dead', 18 June 1918; /3r, /14r-15r. 'Flamingoes' (sic); /3v. 'Near Port Said' (excised); /4v. 'Can I forget ...', 10 Aug. [1918]; /5r. untitled, begins 'Soldiers are heroes to the yelping pack' (text is faint), with abstract drawing; /6r. untitled, begins 'I've listened since the war began' (excised; text partially erased); /6v-7r, /8r. 'Hawthornden (to R.S.M.)' [Roderick Sinclair Meiklejohn], St. Hilaire, 6 July 1918; /7v. 'Shadows', 16 April 1918 (text is very faint); /10v-13r. 'Concert-Party'; /15v. 'His Epitaph (in the old-fashioned artificial manner)'; /16v-17r. 'Civilisation (on the boat)', May 1918; /18v. untitled, begins 'For the last time I say, War is not glorious', 3 May 1918; /20v-21v. 'On reading de la Mare's poems after the day's work', 3 June 1918 (excised); /25v. 'Colin', 12 June 1918 (text erased and largely illegible); /29r. 'Requiescant', 4 Aug. 1918; /29v-30r. 'A Soldier's Complaint', 21 June [1918] (excised); /31r. 'The Spirit of the Bayonet', 21 June [1918]; /31v-33r. 'Tactical Points', 5 June [1918] (excised); /33v-34v. 'To any Father who thinks War splendid', 22 June [1918]; /35v. untitled, begins 'For they are dwellers in the dark', 28 June [1918] (excised); /36r. untitled, begins 'I read your songs of birds and flowers and trees' (excised); /44v-45r. 'Pursuit', 19 July [1918] (excised); /47v-48r. untitled, begins 'I love all things that pass'; /48v-49v. two drafts of 'The King of Glory', later called 'Jesus in Heaven', 3 Aug. [1918]; /50r. 'The Crucifix', 7 Aug. 1918 (excised); /50v-51r. draft lines of poetry, some of which were later used in 'The Dug-Out', Lancaster Gate, 9 Aug. 1918; /51v-53r. untitled (early draft of 'Great Men'); /54r. 'B.G.C', June 1918. - prose and diary entries: /2v. 'Incidents', Kantara, Egypt, April [1918]; /4r. 'On the March', Ludd, Palestine, April 1918; /5v. diary entry dated 15 April [1918]; /8v-13r. 'Concert Party' accompanying a draft of his poem of the same name, 17 Apr. 1918; /17v-18r. 'On the boat', 3 May 1918: entry begins 'I get angry and scornful against the officers on board'; /19r. 'Night on the Convoy', [May? 1918]; /19v-20r. diary entry for 4 May 1918; /22r-22v. 'Dreams', beginning 'Last night I dreamed that I was leading my company into battle'; /24r-24v. 'Demeanour (in the trenches)', 10 June 1918; /26r. 'Amenities'; /26v-27r. 'Premonitions (Duhamel again)'; /27v-28v. 'The other side of the picture', 14 June [1918]; /36v-38r. 'What the Bishop said (or the Spiritual Equivalent of Campbell's Bayonet Fighting Lecture)', 7 July [1918]; /38r-44r. 'Confessions (in hospital at the base)', 15 July [1918]; /45v-46v. 'Diagnosis', 30 July [1918].

- two lists of earlier poems by Sassoon, one of which gives publication dates (both are excised): /54v.

- signature, 'Siegfried Sassoon, 3rd RW Fus - Dec. 1917': /inside back cover.

Note that the entries were not written into the notebook in chronological order. From folio /54r entries resume from the back of the notebook. The foliation is the archivist's.


  • 1917-1918

Conditions Governing Access

This notebook has been digitised and can be viewed in full on the Cambridge Digital Library at The original item is fragile and is currently unavailable for consultation.


1 volume(s) (54 ff.)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Notebook of red morocco with metal clasp.


Many of the entries from this notebook have been published in Rupert Hart-Davis ed. 'Siegfried Sassoon: Diaries 1915-1918' (London, 1983).

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom