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13 November 2014

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You are in: Shropshire > History > 20th Century > Wilfred Owen 90 years on (1918 - 2008)

Wilfred Owen (courtesy of Dominic Hibberd)

Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen 90 years on (1918 - 2008)

A series of events are taking place in and around Shrewsbury throughout November, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the death of Shropshire poet Wilfred Owen and the signing of the 1918 Armistice.

The Wilfred Owen Association (WOA) has organised a programme of events, from 3 - 21 November 2008, to mark 90 years since the death of the Shropshire war poet Wilfred Owen and the end of World War I.

Among the events taking place through out the county, the WOA challenged Shropshire's schoolchildren to write a poem in the spirit of Wilfred Owen, based on the theme of War and the Pity of War. A panel of poets selected six winners, aged 9-14.

Wilfred Owen memorial at Shrewsbury Abbey

Wilfred Owen memorial

Wilfred Owen was killed in action just days before the end of World War I. In fact, the bells of Shrewsbury Abbey were ringing to celebrate the end of the war, when Owen's parents received the telegram telling them that their had been killed on 4 November.

90 Years On events feature some big names, including Kate Adie, Richard Holmes and Robert Hardy. The programme features talks, discussions, readings, theatre performances, concerts and a highly-acclaimed exhibition.

"His poetry brings home the horrors of war and what Wilfred called 'the pity of war', in other words, the waste."

Co-ordinator, Caroline Thewles

Event co-ordinator Caroline Thewles is expecting thousands of people to come, including the Mayor of Ors in France. "The Wilfred Owen Association has a wide membership which includes people from America, Japan and France."

She added: "We did it for the 80th anniversary and we're repeating it with added lustre."

One of the commemoration highlights, is the Morning Heroes Oratorio, by Sir Arthur Bliss, on 8 November, at the Abbey Church. Actor and Vice President of the Wilfred Owen Association Robert Hardy is the orator. In October, Hardy will also be reading some of Owen's poems at a Songs of Praise recording for the BBC, at St Chad's Church in Shrewsbury.

Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen

On 6 November, BBC correspondent Kate Adie, will be in conversation with the military historian Richard Holmes at Shrewsbury High School.

The commemoration events also include, a guided walk up Haughmond Hill in the footsteps of Wilfred Owen, and a children's poetry award, presented by Owen's biographer, Professor Stallworthy.

Throughout the month, an exhibition, entitled Remembered, will be on display at the Gateway Education and Arts Centre in Shrewsbury. The exhibition has been lent to the Wilfred Owen Association by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Event co-ordinator, Caroline Thewles believes Wilfred's poetry is so well-loved because it is accessible: "It is written in very simple and moving language and I think it brings it home, to young and old alike, the horrors of war or, what Wilfred in his own words called, the pity of war, in other words, the waste."

For further information and tickets contact: Pengwern Books on 01743 232236 or Caroline Thewles on 01743 353424

last updated: 06/11/2008 at 13:02
created: 18/09/2008

You are in: Shropshire > History > 20th Century > Wilfred Owen 90 years on (1918 - 2008)

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