AN INTRODUCTION TO THE COMMITTEE
In their own words...
Phil Carne hails from the Welsh borders. After reading Modern Languages
at Cambridge, he followed an international business career with American corporations, spending over 30 years in Spain, Brazil,
Colombia, Australia, USA and Belgium. He returned to the UK 5 years ago, and is now retired. He has been married to Chris,
a former schoolteacher, for 43 years, and they have 2 sons and 2 granddaughters. They live mainly in London, but also have
a country apartment near Bath. Phil was introduced to the poetry of Sassoon and other First World War poets by his English
teacher in grammar school. That war, and its literature, have been an abiding interest throughout his life, and since returning
to the UK he has also joined the Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas societies. Phil's main interests are music, theatre, history,
and (like Sassoon and Dennis Silk !) cricket.
"I was born in Keighley in West Yorkshire but apart from three years
at university in Wales (St David's College, Lampeter a long time ago!), I've lived all the time near Manchester. I work as
a librarian in a team at Hopwood Hall College, a further education college. My chief interests are art , theatre, literature
and creative writing. I've taken part in two presentations on Wilfred Owen in Shrewsbury and Manchester. Curiously, I was
never particularly interested in the war poets at college. In the 1980s I was in a book shop in Manchester and saw Sassoon's
Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man/Infantry Officer on the shelf . I felt drawn to it like a magnet to it and ended up reading
much of what he wrote. It led me on to Wilfred Owen and an interest in World War One and its literature. Odd, isn't it?"
Graham Lampard is a journalist who works for a couple of trade magazines
covering the pharmaceutical and leather industries! "My interest in Siegfried Sassoon began with a visit to the First World
War battlefields where, as a teenager, being the same age as John MacCrae, I was asked to read his poem 'In Flanders Fields'
on our tour. I was then given Sassoon's book Memoirs of an Infantry Officer as a birthday present, which began my interest
in him. I've read war poetry ever since, but only revisited Sassoon after reading Pat Barker's trilogy, and completing my
A' level English Literature where he was required reading for an element of the course."
"I retired from the Fire Service after over thirty years service, and am
currently studying for an MA in Literature with the Open University. On reading Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and thinking
my grandfather might have experienced some of that, I read around WW1, which led me onto SS. It also set me off on family
history research, to which I freely admit to being obsessed. My grandfather's past is a bit of a mystery, but I am unravelling
it slowly. I am not so interested in WW1 poetry, as I am in the men, women and their times."
"After spending my formative years avoiding anything academic I joined the RAF, after a short period proving
that I would not become an accountant. After many happy years, and a few not so happy, I left the RAF to pursue a career
in transport management, which I did for several years until ill health forced a change of career. I now spend my
time advising people on the Disability Discrimination Act. My interest in Siegfried Sassoon started because of an interest
I had in T E Lawrence. When I came across Siegfried I soon became fascinated with him as a person, as well as a poet and prose
writer, and he continues to fascinate me. "