RECENT EVENTS (2019-2020)
AGM and conference 2019
The 2019 Annual General Meeting took place on Saturday 7th September, at St Anne's College, Oxford.
We began with a buffet lunch provided by St Anne's College, prior to the business of the AGM. Afterwards we enjoyed two excellent talks:
In "When the boys came marching home", Margaret Stearn (right) talked about the reception of First World War veterans when they returned from active service in 1919 and their response - which sometimes resulted in conflict.
Meg Crane's talk was titled "The cold dead light of tomorrow" and dealt with Siegfried Sassoon's reaction to the end of the war and how it is demonstrated in his poetry of the period.
Flower Show Match...
Since 2006, the 'Flower Show Cricket Match' has been an annual fixture between George Sherston's X1 and Matfield Cricket Club, and is played on the village green in Siegfried Sassoon's native village of of Matfield, Kent. There is some poetic licence involved, since the original match depicted in Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man was based on one that took place in the neighbouring village of Brenchley.
In a break with tradition, the 2018 match was played at Brenchley Memorial Fields, which had not seen a cricket match for many years. This coincided with the erection of a plaque on Brenchley Memorial Hall, which was unveiled by Mrs Enid Wells, a former resident of Siegfried's birthplace, Weirleigh.
This year's match took place on Sunday, 7th July, at Matfield Green. Before the match, a minute's silence was held in memory of our late President, Dennis Silk. The new start time of 11am enabled us to finish before 5pm (unfortunately, the completion of the match was assisted by Matfield CC's success in bowling out Sherston's XI before they had even approached the target score).
After the match, Sherston's captain Jeremy Lawson handed over the SSF plate to the Matfield captain, Peter Danby. The photo on the right shows Peter with SSF Vice Chair Chris Major, preparing to hand over the Lorna Sassoon Man of the Match Award, sponsored by the SSF. The latter was won by Greg Dann. The Bob Miller Spirit of the Game Award went to Ronny Lynn (lower right).
Spring meeting - Annual joint meeting with the Wilfred Owen Association
The 2019 meeting was at a new venue - the Poetry Cafe in Betterton Street, London, and was held on 27th April. Our thanks to Peter Parker and Robert Fanshawe for their inspiring contributions.
Those who attended will know that the room proved to be a little small for our purposes. We are aiming to put together a small committee to plan and organise future events. If you are a member of either society and would like to help out, please contact the Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Update: No joint meeting was held in 2020 or 2021 because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Henry Vaughan Memorial Service
On Sunday, 28th April, 2019, Deb Fisher and Phil Carradice represented the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship at this annual service in St Bride's Church, Llansantffraed (near Brecon), the place visited by Sassoon in 1923 which was the inspiration for his sonnet, "At the Grave of Henry Vaughan". As many of you will be aware, we now have an informal agreement with the local organisers that the SSF will participate in the annual wreath-laying ceremony that follows the service. For the past three years, our wreath has been kindly made by Anne Penton, and this year it was the turn of Phil Carradice to lay it on the grave.
Update: The memorial service was not held in 2020 or 2021 because of COVID-19 restrictions.