Siegfried Sassoon's short poem "The Hero" (full text here) is about a young soldier who has died in the First World War, and describes the news of his death being given to his grieving mother.
When I studied this poem for an English literature GCSE, I remember disliking the character of the "Brother Officer", thinking him an arrogant, patronising man who had more contempt than sympathy for the dead man and his mother. So I was surprised to read commentary from an examiner which was much more positive about him and painted him as a sympathetic figure.
How is the Brother Officer being portrayed in this poem?
Especially since the poem is written from his point of view, this question should be answerable by close reading - perhaps the choice of words used to describe him or his thoughts can be analysed to deduce his attitudes. Answers which draw on extratextual information, such as Sassoon's attitude towards the army, would also be welcome.