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Memoirs of an Infantry Officer
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Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (Sherston Trilogy #2)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  989 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
An irreverent look at British military leaders during WW1, written by the Hawthornden-Prize winning author.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 1st 1930 by Simon Publications (first published 1930)
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Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war-novels
This is the second of Siegfried Sassoon’s trilogy of autobiographical war novels. It covers the period from 1915 to 1917; Sassoon’s time on the front line, the Battle of the Somme, his time recuperating from wounds, his protest about the war and ends with him being sent to Craiglockart, the psychiatric hospital for those with shellshock.
Sassoon continues to be self-deprecating and tries to capture his feelings throughout, which were often contradictory. Other characters pop up thinly disguised.
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
3.5 – 4 stars

Reading works like this makes me wonder how the human race has survived the hugely numerous and multifarious wars, battles, skirmishes, and ‘military actions’ that it has undertaken during the relatively brief span of its existence when they constantly bring home just how truly limited the insight and abilities of the military elite to see beyond their own arses seems to be. The glamourization of war in both historical and current popular culture makes the ability of a highly traine
Classic WW I memoir thinly disguised as fiction in which 'George Sherston' is the pseudonym for Sassoon. It begins several months into Sherston's tour of duty in France and covers his combat experiences and changing attitude towards the war.This is still one of the more effective accounts of life in the trenches and ,even eighty-three years after it's initial publication, an effective and visceral read. Highly recommended for those interested in the so-called "Great War" and the experiences of t ...more
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This account is fast moving, as Sherston gets pushed from pillar to post by the unseen powers in high command. He finds himself in the thick of battle on several occasions and Sassoon's descriptions of a soldier's mentality in such extreme situations are fascinating. Over the course of the novel Sherston will begin to question the whole point of the war in which so many have lost their lives, and his desire to stand up against the war is balanced by his fear of what his fellow officers and his f ...more
Dillwynia Peter
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd volume of the Siegfried Sassoon autobiographical trilogy recounting his experiences of the First World War. No punches are withheld and it is a brutal commentary of trench warfare, the poor organisation skills and the boredom of stuck waiting for something to happen. For Sherton, doing anything was important & so when he was involved in a raid, he is most alive. The outcome often being his advance is surrounded by failing advances. He could be reckless, but also not shy of ge ...more
Jeff Lacy
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sassoon's account of WWI. It rounds out memoirs and another novel in the WWI genre. I found much stronger and visceral depictions of the soldiers' life in the trenches, in Henri Barbusse's novel, UNDER FIRE, in the memoirs GOODBYE TO ALL THAT by Robert Graves (perhaps the strongest), Ernst Junger's, STORM OF STEEL (from the perspective of the German soldier), Vera Brittain's, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, and John Lewis Barkeley's, SCARLET FIELDS: THE COMBAT MEMOIRS OF A WORLD WAR I MEDAL OF HONOR HERO. T ...more
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was given this book as a present many years ago and first read it at that time. Although I enjoyed it I was conscious that I hadn't read the first book of the trilogy and that I was therefore missing a lot of context. Recently I got round to reading "Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man" and decided to follow that with revisiting this second part.

The life of "George Sherston" set out in this book is very different from the extended adolescence described in the first part of the trilogy; this second p
Mark Speed
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a fictionalised account of one of World War One's greatest poets, Siegfried Sassoon. It's the second in the trilogy of the life of George Sherston.

He describes the incident that won him a Military Cross. When on convalescent leave, he decides to refuse to serve again in protest at the conduct of the war. Sherston describes meeting a fictionalised Bertrand Russell and talking it over.

Sassoon proved his bravery three times in my view. First, in the endeavour that won him a Military Cross.
Kay Howe Lee
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It surprises me how little the principles of infantry warfare have changed over the past 100 years since WWI. Route marches, staff work, "young second lieutenants", etc etc - all this is stuff that we still talk about in the barracks today.

Naturally I found the book quite interesting, for the perspective it presented on the horrors of war, and the technicalities of trench warfare. The author also manages to put in a nuanced examination of the psyche of a frontline soldier (and how he seeks meani
Vilija Pauliukonis
Absolutely wonderful read. Best enjoyed when added to other works from WWI, academic or memoir. Sassoon writes with a Blackadder-esque sense of humour about the ridiculous scenarios in which he finds himself. At the same time, his wistful discussions of trench warfare are sentimental and make great use of imagery. Read his poems, too.
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  • Undertones of War
  • The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry
  • Goodbye to All That
  • The First Day on the Somme
  • The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
  • The Missing of the Somme
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  • Death's Men: Soldiers of the Great War
  • Somme
  • The Great War and Modern Memory
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  • Wounded: From Battlefield to Blighty, 1914-1918
  • Up the Line to Death
  • World War I
  • Her Privates We
  • Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History
  • In Parenthesis
  • Eye-Deep In Hell: Trench Warfare In World War I
Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE was born into a wealthy banking family, the middle of 3 brothers. His Anglican mother and Jewish father separated when he was five. He had little subsequent contact with ‘Pappy’, who died of TB 4 years later. He presented his mother with his first ‘volume’ at 11. Sassoon spent his youth hunting, cricketing, reading, and writing. He was home-schooled until the age of ...more
More about Siegfried Sassoon...

Other Books in the Series

Sherston Trilogy (3 books)
  • Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man
  • Sherston's Progress
“I didn't want to die - not before I'd finished reading The Return of the Native anyhow.” 12 likes
“Against the background of the War and its brutal stupidity those men had stood glorified by the thing which sought to destroy them…. I” 3 likes
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