Morpugo says :- This collection is vital to our understanding of war both then and now. The poets of the first world war – Sassoon, and others like Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas – evoke the pain and suffering of war in a way that I, when I discovered them aged 14 or 15, found riveting. I was a war baby. Born in 1943, I grew up with the suffering of the second world war all around me. I played in bomb sites, and my mother cried often, mourning the death of the uncle I never knew – Uncle Peter, who was in the RAF and was shot down in 1940, aged 21, and whose photograph was always on the mantelpiece. But it was only when I read Sassoon, and the others, that I realised how extraordinarily brave these soldiers, and these poets, were. They faced down the most difficult thing for any of us to face down: our own mortality.
It's worth reading Morpugo's full piece.