Shropshire remembers Wilfred Owen, August-November 2018

Date of Event: 01 August 2018
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Wide-ranging commemorations will honour the life and work of one of Britain's most acclaimed First World War poets in the county of his birth.

Wilfred Owen100, running from August to Armistice Day in November, will be the culmination of Shropshire’s heritage and art activities marking the WW1 Centenary.

With works such as Anthem for Doomed Youth and Dulce et Decorum Est, Wilfred Owen left a legacy of poetry notable for its expression of the ‘pity of war’. But most of his work had to await posthumous publication.

The soldier-poet was killed just a week before the Armistice, on 4 November 1918, at the start of the last major British offensive on the River Sambre in Northern France. He was 25.

Wilfred Owen100 events will focus on Oswestry and Shrewsbury, featuring poetry readings, a film festival, an art competition, talks and guided walks in a programme commemorating all those who fell in World War 1.

A 32-page brochure, launched on July 4, is being distributed free through Shropshire libraries, visitor centres, theatres and other outlets. Details are also available online. See Wilfred Owen100.

Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 at Plas Wilmot, near Oswestry, and lived in Birkenhead and Shrewsbury, where his mother received news of his death as the bells were ringing out on Armistice Day.

He enlisted in the British army in 1915, serving on the Western Front with the Manchester Regiment. While recovering from shell shock in 1917, he met his fellow war poet, Siegfried Sassoon, at Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh. Sassoon would have a significant influence on his work, later ensuring that it was brought to public attention.

Owen returned to active service in France as the Allied 'Hundred Days' offensives started to push back the Germans in August 1918.  He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions during the storming of the Hindenburg Line in October.

Wilfred Owen was killed while leading a raid across the Sambre-Oise Canal. He's buried at Ors Communal Cemetery, in a grave cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 

Most of Owen's poems were published after the Great War, by Siegfried Sassoon, and another leading war poet, Edmund Blunden.

Events in France on 4 November 2018 will also commemorate the centenary of Wilfred Owen's death. See Le Cateau Tourisme.

Source: Shropshire Remembers

Images courtesy of Shropshire Remembers

Posted by: CN Editorial Team


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