SASSOON, Siegfried (1886-1967)
Plaque erected in 1996 by English Heritage at 23 Campden Hill Square, Holland Park, London W8 7JY, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
SIEGFRIED SASSOON 1886-1967 Writer lived here 1925-1932
The writer and poet Siegfried Sassoon is commemorated with a blue plaque at 23 Campden Hill Square in Holland Park, his last London home.
FIRST WORLD WAR
Born in Kent, Sassoon lived the life of a country gentleman until the outbreak of the First World War, when he was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers. His exceptional courage earned him the Military Cross and the nickname ‘Mad Jack’.
Recuperating from wounds in 1917, Sassoon spoke out in his writings against the futility of the slaughter on the Western Front and threw the ribbon of his Military Cross into the Mersey. Soon after, at Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh, he met the young poet Wilfred Owen, on whom he was to prove a formative influence. In 1918 Sassoon returned to fight but, later that year, a serious wound ended his military career.
POETRY AND MEMOIRS
His war poems, for which he is best remembered, were first published as a collection in 1919. Sassoon continued to write verse for the rest of his life, winning the Queen’s Medal for Poetry in 1957. He is also known for his autobiographical works, two of which, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928) and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930), were almost certainly written at 23 Campden Hill Square. Here, Sassoon had a flat – leased to him by the house’s owner, the artist Harold Speed (1872–1957) – from 1925 until 1932, when he moved to Heytesbury in Wiltshire, his home for the rest of his life.