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

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  705 ratings  ·  38 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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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueRegeneration by Pat BarkerGoodbye to All That by Robert GravesA Farewell to Arms by Ernest HemingwayBirdsong by Sebastian Faulks
World War One Literature
11th out of 144 books — 282 voters
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueThe Trigger by Tim ButcherThe Guns of August by Barbara W. TuchmanBirdsong by Sebastian FaulksA Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Great War
20th out of 331 books — 408 voters

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Community Reviews

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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.
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
Dillwynia Peter
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
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
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
Jeff Lacy
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
Mark Speed
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.
Jul 02, 2015 Brianna is currently reading it
"...the father was proud of his disabled son, and I heard him telling one of the nurses hire splendidly the boy had done in the Gommecourt attack, showing her a letter, too, probably from the boy's colonel. I wondered whether he had ever allowed himself to find out that the Gommecourt show had been nothing but a massacre of good troops. Probably he kept a war map with little flags on it; when Mametz Wood was reported captured he moved a little flag an inch forward after breakfast. For him the Wo ...more
Andrew Marshall
It is strange to go back and read again book from your youth. I was forced to read Memoirs if an Infantry Officer at 15 for my English O level where war poets and writers was one of the topics. (I also read All Quiet On The Western Front). However, I decided to re-read because I've been tracing the 1st World War of my great uncle who died at the Battle of the Somme and wanted to get into his mindset. (Like Sassoon, he was an infantry officer but for East Surrey not Welsh Fusiliers). From the fir ...more
Liked this a lot - not as good as Goodbye To All That, but an unsparing view of the war in 1916 and 1917, through the eyes of Sherston, a thinly veiled version of the author. Best on the daily mundane drill of war, and the life of the soldier, - his illnesses , time on the front, being moved around almost aimlessly, observing the first day of the Somme, returning home for leave and recuperation. The tone becomes increasingly questioning as the book progresses, very much a single person memoir, o ...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Not actually a memoir; but a novel. Sequel to "Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man."
Belinda G
Siegfried Sassoon is my favourite war poet. I love the man. I've heard he was a bit of a monster to live with, which does come through in his work, but I'm enthralled by the way he writes. This "memoir" is set from 1915-1917 as "George Sherston" navigates the horror and trauma of the trenches.

I haven't read the first section of these fictionalised memoirs, Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man, because it really didn't appeal to me and because this section is far more relevant to my needs. At first, I t
John D. Farlin
Continuation of the Sherston character. This time as he progresses through WWI and experiences all of the horrors of the that war. It is hard to believe men would subject themselves to that type of senseless slaughter and living conditions. Well written.
Robert Pelfrey
This fictionalization of Sassoon's experiences in the trenches is a fantastic read if you are interested in The Great War and how it has been mythologized; for a modern reader it is written in a more subtle style than today's war memoirs... But it pays off under careful reading with moments of true humor, horror, and irony. Sassoon's voice is clear and offers both delicate and damning insights into his maturation through the war as well as the distance between life on the front and the decisions ...more
Gary Land
The second volume of Sassoon's trilogy tells of Sherston's experiences in the trenches of WWI, particularly the battle of the Somme. He tells of the heat, cold, mud, and--most importantly--the deaths of many of his friends. For a time he seems to take all this as a matter of course, but after being wounded and while convalescing in England, he thoughts come into focus and he decides that the war is a fraud that could be ended if the leaders would just decide to do so. He writes a protest that is ...more
Adriano Koehler
The horror, The horror.
Peter Lorin
Wonderful book about thoughts that all men of all times must at some point or another have considered . When reading it, one can not help to think about ones own possible reactions to the scenes of war, ones own desire to be part of some greater cause, and ones own mental decay.

Read the trilogy, read Goodbye to All That and read All Quiet on the Western Front. Memoirs.... being less brutal than the latter. I found this to be the better of them all, although it should not stand alone.
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.
Gavin Lyon
Comparable in quality with Graves's 'Goodbye to All That' this is Sassoon's semi-fictionalised account of the circumstances leading to his famous statement and subsequent hospitalisation during the War. Eloquent and seemingly lightly written, Sassoon's style is pervasive of the aphorism about still waters as is the profound man himself.
Dublin James

If you're thinking about reading this book well, that means you've read the first book in the trilogy, which means that you already know you should read this book!!!!!

its the literary equivalent of the Godfather II - different than the first but equally as great.

Interesting memoirs - definitely worth reading the Regeneration trilogy if you've enjoyed this, mostly for the comparison between a fictional and self-critical look at Sassoon... However can be a little vague, very much keeps to a typical memoir form.
It was a really enjoyable read. Simplistic style that is still really well written and informative. And only a couple of moments where I wished that Sassoon hadn't graced his readers with the gory details.
Maarten Mathijssen
Everything is great about this book, the subject (if you are interested in history), it's style but above all the main character. Sassoon is one of the most interesting persons in 20th century literature.
ryan bears
i read this book in a day for a class. depressing but good. thought the end with the radical reading kropoptkin was a little silly but otherwise, not too bad.
Really wonderful book. Required for anyone interested in the Great War or those involved who wrote prose or poetry about it.
Another tale from the lost generation of cannon fodder. Compare with "All Quiet on the Western Front" Good pacifist fodder!
Jul 08, 2011 Straker rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: World War I buffs
Shelves: fiction
A fictionalized autobiography of the English poet Siegfried Sassoon, centering around his experiences in World War I.
Mark Findlater
As relevant now as it was when it was written beautiful touching writing from this decorated veteran, author and poet.
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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
The War Poems Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man Sherston's Progress The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston Collected Poems, 1908-1956

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