World War I• WWI began with the assassination of the Arch-Duke of Austria by a Bosnian Serb in Sarajevo.• Alliances: Austria + Germany Serbia + Russia + France + Britain• Germany wished to attack France: marched through Belgium
Alliances• Britain became involved because of the alliance with France.• German advance came to a halt. Armies dug themselves in: trench warfare.
Allies • UK, France and Russia • Germany, Austria- Hungary, Italy
Trenches• Living conditions were horrible.• Soldiers stayed in them for weeks, months on end.• The trenches filled with water: feet rotted away, rats thrived.• First ‘modern’ war: tanks, planes, chemical warfare
TrenchesClick pic to learn about life in trenches
Modern warfare• Tanks• Planes and other airships• Mustardgas
Poetry• To try and make sense of what they saw, some men turned to poetry.• Rupert Brooke• Siegfried Sassoon• Wilfred Owen
Rupert Brooke• Poet before he went to war.• Not in the trenches.• Died of food poisoning on board a ship.• Patriotic poetry: “there is some corner of a foreign field That is forever England” from ‘The Soldier’
Siegfried Sassoon • He too, had been a poet before the war started. • Very heroic conduct at the start of the war. • Military Cross, ‘Mad Jack’.
Does it matter – Siegfried SassoonDoes it matter?-losing your legs?For people will always be kind,And you need not show that you mindWhen others come in after huntingTo gobble their muffins and eggs.Does it matter?-losing you sight?There’s such splendid work for the blind;And people will always be kind,As you sit on the terrace rememberingAnd turning your face to the light.Do they matter-those dreams in the pit?You can drink and forget and be glad,And people wont say that you’re mad;For they know that youve fought for your country,And no one will worry a bit.
Wilfred Owen • Voluntarily enlisted • Shellshocked after three days in bomb crater • Hospital Edinburgh • Met Sassoon • Killed 1 week before the end of the war.
Anthem for Doomed YouthWhat passing-bells for those who die as cattle? AOnly the monstrous anger of the guns. BOnly the stuttering rifles rapid rattle ACan patter out their hasty orisons. BNo mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; CNor any voice of mourning save the choirs, DThe shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; CAnd bugles calling for them from sad shires. DWhat candles may be held to speed them all? ENot in the hands of boys, but in their eyes FShall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. FThe pallor of girls brows shall be their pall; ETheir flowers the tenderness of patient minds, GAnd each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. G
Anthem for Doomed Youth• Anthem = a song of praise (National Anthem)• The quatrains list sounds of war as well as sounds of religious services• But those who died in the war will not get a traditional service
Anthem for doomed youth• The sestet describes the kind of burial service they will get.• No candles, no flowers but they will be grieved for by family and friends.• And at the end: inevitable death
Owen Quote “This book is not about heroes. English poetry is notyet fit to speak of them. Nor is it about deeds, or lands,nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty,dominion, or power, except War.Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, andthe pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.”