BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
Press Office
Search the BBC and Web
Search BBC Press Office

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Press Releases

General Sir Richard Dannatt interviewed as part of Radio 3's Wilfred Owen week

General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, recites Wilfred Owen's The Chances as part of BBC Radio 3's Wilfred Owen week.


He will also discuss his personal responses to Owen's work in the concluding programme of the season, Between The Ears: The Soldier's Poet, broadcast on Saturday 18 November 2006.


General Dannatt says: "Wilfred Owen's poems and letters... are a very important expression of what many soldiers feel: that what they're doing they understand, their mates with them understand, but the population, the families, those back home, don't understand.


"I don't think soldiers want necessarily to be praised or feted when they get home, but I think they do want people at home to understand what they've been through."


In the week following Remembrance Day, Radio 3 celebrates the life and writings of Wilfred Owen (12-19 November).


This is the first time the station has featured special programming around a single literary artist.


Radio 3's Between the Ears invited current serving soldiers - including General Sir Richard Dannatt; a woman corporal; one who joined as a boy soldier; and a major who, like Owen himself, was awarded the Military Cross - to read Owen's poems and speak of their impact on people who have served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq.


Some contributors will also bring some of their poems exploring their own responses to conflict.


The complete war poems have been recorded for Radio 3 by actor Ben Whishaw and will be featured across the schedule throughout the week.


Wilfred Owen (1893-1918), widely considered to be the greatest war poet in the English language, was killed in action on 4 November 1918 aged 25.


Seven days later, the war officially ended and it was on Armistice Day that his mother received news of his death by telegram.


At the time of his death, only five of his poems had been published.


Owen wrote in the preface to War Poems: "Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War."


His works depict his experiences as a solider and the reality of the trenches and gas warfare.


Notes to Editors


General Sir Richard Dannatt was commissioned into The Green Howards in 1971.


He has served with the 1st Battalion in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Germany and commanded the Battalion in the Airmobile role from 1989 to 1991.


From 1994 to 1996 he commanded 4th Armoured Brigade in Germany and Bosnia. He took command of 3rd (United Kingdom) Division in January 1999, and also served in Kosovo that year as Commander British Forces. In 2000 he returned to Bosnia as the Deputy Commander Operations of the Stabilisation Force (SFOR).


From 2001 to 2002 he was the Assistant Chief of the General Staff in the Ministry of Defence before taking command of Nato's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).


In March 2005 he took over as Commander-in-Chief Land Command and became Chief of the General Staff in August 2006.


Radio 3 Publicity




Category: Radio 3
Date: 09.11.2006
Printable version

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy