Who did Siegfried Sassoon befriend while in a military hospital in Scotland?

Expert Answers
robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Siegfried Sassoon famously befriended another World War i poet - Wilfred Owen. It was in Craiglockhart Military Hospital in Scotland, during August 1917.

Sassoon was there because he had written "Finished with the war" (linked below) and - rather than court-martial him, the military tribunal decided to send him to hospital and treat him for shell-shock (rather as if opposing the war was itself a sign of mental instability!). Owen was in fact suffering from shell-shock.

Dr. William H. Rivers treated Sassoon, and also forms the fictional protagonist of Pat Barker's novel "Regeneration" which imagines this meeting between the poets and their treatment from Rivers.

Both of the men eventually went back to the Front - Owen was killed just before the end of the war in 1918; Sassoon was wounded but survived and lived for many years, writing many works of literature.

droxonian | Student

Craiglockart Hospital in Edinburgh, UK, was home to not one, but two of the most famous English poets of the First World War during 1917: Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen. Siegfried Sassoon was sent here after his friend and fellow poet, Robert Graves, made the case to the British Army that Sassoon was suffering from shell shock and should be sent home to recuperate. Sassoon had in fact thrown his Military Cross into the Mersey and declared himself opposed to the war -- had it not been for Graves's intervention, he would have been court martialled. 

At Craiglockhart, Sassoon met and mentored poet Wilfred Owen. Sassoon was already a published poet at this time, but Owen was still an amateur. Sassoon's scribblings and suggestions can be seen on drafts of some of Owen's most famous poems, such as Dulce et Decorum Est. Owen really did have shell shock.

Owen and Sassoon were both sent back to the Front, where they continued to write to each other until Owen's death in 1918. Sassoon wrote a foreword to Owen's poems when they were published posthumously.