The Diary of a Dead officer by Graeme West

TheDiary of a Dead officer by Graeme West


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TheDiary of a Dead officer by Graeme West

Thediary of a dead officer is rated ad the posthumous paper that waswritten by Graeme west and published in 1917. The author of the diaryused it to present the “scathing” picture of the army officersand how they spent their life this is presented through the Graeme’spoems that are written in section five of the diary. Consequently,the diary mainly focuses on protesting against the power and futilityof the war. The author, Graeme, was born on 1891 and emerged to be astrong and effacing young man and gained a lot of passion on writingand literature consequently, he emerged a strong scholar in Oxford.However, in 1914, war broke out but left him untouched but he wasforced to engage in successive training in England during the shortleaves. He used this time to show his patriotism however, the warand the fighting taking place cause a profound effect on Graeme West. The diary indicate that Graeme, at first, hated distrusted androutine duties but the war forced him to develop interested to jointhe Army life here, Graeme started questioning the core part of himlife and beliefs this include his religion, reason for war, and hispatriotism (Barthas, 2014). The diary present an author who appearsto be disillusioned and still motivated to write two poems that werevery powerful and talked much about the war. For example, in hispoem, Graeme wrote poems such as “Night patrol” and ”God Ihate you” poems that stood out to be liked by many because theysailed in the same direction as Wilfred Owen’s poems. Consequently,because of his commitment and dedication on war poems, Graeme wasmade the second lieutenant in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire lightinfantry in 1916. His passion did not stop at this point rather, hewrote a poem that threatened to desert the army. However, because offear of contradiction Graeme did not post the letter this createdcommotion between him and the government authority the threatenedarmy started hurting him and on third of April, 1917, Graeme was shotdead using a sniper’s bullet (Willans &amp Booth, 2012). Thewriting presented by the author is completely sincere and frank andthe diary gives a voice of officers who are suffering and strugglingwith the realities of losing generations of soldiers and generations.Consequently, this paper is a review of what Graeme wrote in hisdiary about the dead officer, the suffering he went through as anofficer. Additionally, the paper will give a summary about the diaryand examine both positive and negative aspects that are noteworthynoting as a student (Jünger, 2009).

of the diary of a dead officer

Thediary of the dead officer by Graeme is an individual account of whatwas happening to the British army officer during the First World War.Graeme West, who is the author of the book, joined the British armywhen he was barely twenty four years old he enlisted in the Britisharmy as a private candidate. Additionally, in the first few chaptersof the book, we get to know the personal life of Graeme West forexample, we get to know that Graeme was denied the chance of trainingas an officer earlier on because he suffered from poor eye sight. Onthe other hand, in chapter four of the book, we get to know thatGraeme West travelled to France and participated in the fight whilefighting form the trenches but went back to Britain to pursue officertraining this occurred in Scotland. After training as an officer hewent back to France and started working in the trenches only to bekilled using a snipers bullet in 1917.

Onthe other hand, the book presents several selections of Graeme’spoems who was a graduate from the Oxford University and had majoredin literature. However, most of the poems presented by Graeme seemsto be depressing and are filled with gloom because they show thesuffering of the British officers. Additionally, we get to know thatthe British officers were living in the trenches something that couldhave affected their moods. Moreover, the diary does not show anyaspect of the author’s persona transition from either a patriot toa pacific or verse versa. However, the diary presents a new look ofthe first word war. This is because, in the last chapters of thebook, the author presents a number of views that can be linked to thelife a soldier who was working and serving in the Vietnam (Willans &ampBooth, 2012). Additionally, we see the British officers trying tomake noise of the minorities and make their voices heard but in vain.Then again, the book introduces a few choices of Graeme`s lyrics whowas an alum from the Oxford University and had majored in writing. Inany case, the vast majority of the sonnets exhibited by Graeme is byall accounts discouraging and are loaded with misery on the groundsthat they demonstrate the affliction of the British officers (Bloch,1980). Towards, the ends of the book, our thoughts are changed fully.This is because, as the book unveiled, we through that everyindividual working as an officer perceived the first world war as animportant and thus necessary fought with a lot of passion andcommitment (Jünger, 2009). This was not the case rather, it was amatter of death or survival most of the officers, Graeme include,felt that they were being treated as unblemished patriots. However,the author represents a team of officers who represented theircountry without any fear or favor and they were not afraid of death.For example, Graeme welcomed his death (Whitehead &amp Romeiser,2006).

Onthe same hand, after Graeme was accepted to take officer trainingcourse, he went through a three month session which was full ofbullying and more things were done to him and his fellow officer tomake them turn against the war. For this reason, Graeme lost hisreligious faith which is evidenced in hid poem “the end of thesecond year.” Consequently, Graeme felt that he had lost much bylosing his religious faith this was more momentous than losing abattle as an officer. The diary tells us that he visited his friendJoad and during the process he meet other pacifists who encourage himto write a new ‘battalion’ poem which showed his refusal to goback to the army this is the letter that he did not post. When hewent back to France, he was given the rank of the acting captainbefore he was killed in 1917. After Graeme was acknowledged to takeofficer instructional class, he experienced a three month sessionwhich was brimming with tormenting and more things were done to himand his kindred officer to make them betray the war (Willans &ampBooth, 2012). Therefore, Graeme lost his religious confidence whichis confirm in shrouded ballad &quotthe second`s end year.&quotConsequently, Graeme felt that he had lost much by losing hisreligious confidence this was a larger number of pivotal than losinga fight as an officer (Jünger, 2009).

NoteworthyAspects in the diary of a dead office

Firstly,as a history student, after reading through the diary, I haverealized that growing disillusionment that existed on the Britishofficers, Graeme being one of them. Moreover, one aspect in the diarythat I have come to like is the fact that Graeme joined the army outof his personal sense of patriotism and interest on the duties. However, one of the negative aspect in th diary that is worth notingis that the principle of patriotism have changed due to theallegations given by the author about the sufferings he went throughas an officer thus, referring to himself as “a dead officer.”This is because the author went a notch high to explain theprinciples that changed and the sense of disenchantment that heexperienced as a reality during the period he served as an armyaccording to the author, an army’s life is not the best especiallybecause they could spend their life in trenches. Additionally, theway the First World War was been conducted in France raised an alarmabout the armies life (Whitehead &amp Romeiser, 2006).

Asa result, the diary create an noteworthy fact that Graeme gave arealistic account of his personal life to save his life and that ofthe other officers who stayed in humiliation and faced the patheticconditions in the trenches. Moreover, as a history student, I amconvinced that Graeme’s poems are real and directly address issuesto do with First World War. A good example, of the poems that waswritten by Graeme in his diary includes “the night patrol”, “Youyoung cheerful men” that shows his personal position as an officer.As a result, I see the work presented in the dairy as culturally andhistorically important to the history students because it can beaccessed to show the charts that are presented by Graeme. Moreover,the disillusionment presented by Graeme is a sense of reality andunveils how the First World War tolled. For example, it is throughthe diary that I have learned that the West fought for having acommission immediately the war started in 1914. Duringthis era, together with his fellow officers, he used his writing workto influence and persuade them to leave army through his writingespecially through the writing with the Bertrand Russell and thepacifist arguments of his friend Joad to the point where he decidedhe would write to his Commanding Officer resigning his commission andrefusing to take any further part in the war.&nbspLastly, anothernegative aspect that is worth noting is the issues of fear that ispresent in Graeme he couldn’t bring himself to deliver the letterand reported for duty as instructed.&nbsp


Willans,L., &amp Booth, G. (2012). Thelost memoirs of a Canadian soldier: World War 1 diary entries andletters.S.l: Gail Booth.

Jünger,E. (2009). Stormof steel.Place of publication not identified: BN Pub.

Whitehead,D., &amp Romeiser, J. B. (2006). Combatreporter: Don Whitehead`s World War II diary and memoirs.New York: Fordham University Press.

Barthas,L. (2014). Poilu:The World War I notebooks of Louis Barthas, barrelmaker, 1914-1918.

Bloch,M. (1980). Memoirsof war, 1914-15.Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press. Bloch, M. (1980). Memoirsof war, 1914-15.Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.