Finished with War: A Soldier’s Declaration

In July of 1917, when on leave recovering from an injury on the battlefield, the poet Siegfried Sassoon sent the following open letter to his commanding officer and refused to return to the trenches. The reaction was widespread, as copies of the controversial letter — titled “Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration” — reached local newspapers, was read out in parliament and published in the Times newspaper. Sassoon didn’t return to the war and only escaped a court-martial because he was declared unfit for service due to shell-shock.

siegfried sassoonLt. Siegfried Sassoon.
3rd Batt: Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
July, 1917.
I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that the war upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation has now become a war of agression and conquest. I believe that the purposes for which I and my fellow soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them and that had this been done the objects which actuated us would now be attainable by negotiation.
I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops and I can no longer be a party to prolonging these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust. I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed.

On behalf of those who are suffering now, I make this protest against the deception which is being practised upon them; also I believe it may help to destroy the callous complacency with which the majority of those at home regard the continuance of agonies which they do not share and which they have not enough imagination to realise.

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4 Responses to “Finished with War: A Soldier’s Declaration”

  1. Anonymous says:

    And the lads from izon want to conscript our kids and send them off to be culled again.

    How dare they, and how dare they execute courageous but traumatised men with shellshock when they themselves have never fought a war in which they put themselves at personal risk.. prefering to wage war by deception instead.

    No more wars for zion, no matter who they set up as the patsy or imagined enemy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i love the coment before this one, we have many car bumper stickers in my area saying
    “no more wars for israel”
    and yes Cynthia Mckinney would get my vote

  3. Anonymous says:

    That letter sent to parlIament in July 1917 could have been written at any time since then and even yesterday, such is it’s topical relevance and poignant accuracy in it’s theme & it must have shaken them to the core. One can only imagine the collective panic of the politicians when contemplating a possible “stand-down” by the British Army, much like the Christmas truce of 1914 when opposing troops crossed no-mans land to shake hands, sing Christmas carols and exchange supplies in a spirit of kinship which is the true innate nature of the common man, until ordered and threatened if they did not resume hostilities. .Shame that truce was predictably suppressed by the establishment as the continuation of hostilities resulted in subsequent grotesque suffering and millions of deaths. When the lunatics run the asylum, and psychopaths reign supreme in our government can we really expect anything else? The announcement by cameron that he will use 55 million pounds sterling to “commemorate” the outbreak or the event of WW1 per-se is disgusting in the extreme and merely highlights yet again the utter contempt not only for the fallen, but for their families and every human being having a basic respect for life & liberty and the rights of the individual. Who gave permission for this utter waste of tax-payers money? Let him and the rest of the establishment scum use their own money! How great would be an announcement that 55 million pounds will be used to provide medical services and support for all returning forces and veterans per-se.? No-one should allow themselves to be fooled by this charade by cameron to generate a sick jingoistic “patriotism” which undoubtedly will smear Germans once again and at the same time the real criminal traitor cameron is ensuring our sovereign nation is further buried under the illegal and totalitarian eu. This is his actual objective so forget the fabled and much touted “in-out referendum” ’cause that will be “fixed” from the start to ensure we are in for the duration.

    The time for uprisings/general strikes/revolution is HERE and NOW! If you don’t believe this just consider the NO vote on the Syria attack. That was not the result of a change of humanity or back pedaling of the government. It was a direct consequence of voters telling their MP’s very clearly we don’t want war with Syria. The government thus had NO CHOICE! That was People power personified and we need to realise what a colossal and potentially explosive moment that was and press ahead with all other issues relative to our sovereignty, safety, security, education, public ownership V’s sell-offs, agriculture, healthcare, public services and the police, secret services, politicians/government and the military, and let’s not forget the biggest elephant in the room….the very bloody and traitorous royal family regime!!

    As common people we do need a New World Order, but we must have one of our own making by ensuring the principles of the Magna Carta of 1215 and the Bill of Rights of 1689 are observed and adhered to.

    david, of the clan turnbull

  4. Anonymous says:

    These mist covered mountains
    Are a home now for me
    But my home is the lowlands
    And always will be
    Some day you’ll return to
    Your valleys and your farms
    And you’ll no longer burn
    To be brothers in arm

    Through these fields of destruction
    Baptism of fire
    I’ve witnessed your suffering
    As the battles raged higher
    And though they did hurt me so bad
    In the fear and alarm
    You did not desert me
    My brothers in arms

    There’s so many different worlds
    So many different suns
    And we have just one world
    But we live in different ones

    Now the sun’s gone to hell
    And the moon’s riding high
    Let me bid you farewell
    Every man has to die
    But it’s written in the starlight
    And every line on your palm
    We’re fools to make war
    On our brothers in arms


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