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Base Details by Siegfried Sassoon
Transcript of Base Details by Siegfried Sassoon
The Meaning Of The Poem
"Base Details" creates a sharp contrast between the privileged life of the majors as they are "guzzling and gulping in the best hotels" and the pain being experienced by the ordinary solider's on the front line. This difference seems to be based on wealth and power. If you were wealthy you stood a chance of surviving the war.
The major seems to care very little for the lives of the young men being sacrificed on the frontline. He demeans their deaths by referring to them as having "lost heavily in this last scrap".
Their deaths are contrasted with the saftey of the major's exitence as he can "toddle safely home and die- in bed".
If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,
I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You’d see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
Reading the Roll of Honor. “Poor young chap,”
I’d say — “I used to know his father well;
Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.”
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I’d toddle safely home and die — in bed.
Some Background on World War One
In World War I, many soldiers were forced to fight in trenches, with horrible conditions such as mud, water, blood, gore, rats, artillery, and other horrible conditions as you can see in the picture above.
Style Of Writing
Regular Rhyme Scheme
"Guzzling and gulping"
These words sound like their meaning.
Use Of Colour
their faces are red from eating and drinking too much.
Conditions they lived in.
They were expected to sleep within the dank, muddy labyrinthine trench system
Soldiers slept on the rock hard floor with a coat covering them, when it rained they would have to make do sleeping in a big puddle and also they had to sleep within all sorts of creatures like rats, frogs and horned beetles.
if they were lucky, whey could sleep on the firing step.
In some cases soldiers would dig fox holes beside or near the trenches to avoid trench foot.
Men Mobilised = 65 Million In Total
First World War Casualties
Killed = 8.5 Million In Total
Wounded = 21 Million In Total
Prisioner Of War+Missing= 7.7 Million
Siegfried Sassoon 1886-1967
Siegfried Sassoon was an eminent English poet, writer, and soldier.
Siegfried was born and grew up in the neo-gothic mansion named "Weirleigh" in Kent.
Siegfried was the second of three sons, the others being Michael and Hamo.
World War One Facts and Information
World War 1 began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918.
In total, 30 countries were involved in the conflict.
Soldiers fought largely in trenches during the war, and thousands suffered from stress, known as shell-shock.
Around 11 percent of the population of France was killed or wounded during the war. About 116,000 Americans were killed, even though the US was only in the war for about 7 months.