Wilfred Owen

Knowledge Identifier: +Wilfred_Owen


Wilfred Owen

English poet and soldier add

Category: Literature

Born in 1893.

Countries: United Kingdom (89%), France (11%)

Main connections: Siegfried Sassoon, Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff, Robert Graves

Linked to: Napier University, University of London, University of Reading, University of Texas at Austin




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Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 add something


At that time, his parents, Thomas and Harriet Susan Owen, lived in a comfortable house owned by his grandfather but, on his death in 1897, the family was forced to move to lodgings in the back streets of Birkenhead add something


He was educated at the Birkenhead Institute and at Shrewsbury Technical School , and discovered his vocation in 1903 or 1904 during a holiday spent in Cheshire add something


In 1911, he passed the matriculation exam for the University of London, but not with the first-class honours needed for a scholarship, which in his family's circumstances was the only way he could have afforded to attend add something


From 1913, he worked as a private tutor teaching English and French at the Berlitz School of Languages in Bordeaux, and later with a family add something


On 21 October 1915, he enlisted in the Artists' Rifles Officers' Training Corps add something


On 4 June 1916 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment add something


His poetry itself underwent significant changes in 1917 add something


On the evening of 3 November 1917, they parted, Owen having been discharged from Craiglockhart add something

Wilfred Owen died in 1918 add something


He spent a contented and fruitful winter in Scarborough, and in March 1918 was posted to the Northern Command Depot at Ripon add something


Historians have debated whether Owen had an affair with Scott-Moncrieff in May 1918; Scott-Moncrieff had dedicated various works to a "Mr W.O.", but Owen never responded add something


In July 1918, Owen returned to active service in France, although he might have stayed on home-duty indefinitely add something


Sassoon and Owen kept in touch through correspondance, and after Sassoon was shot in the head in July 1918 and sent back to England to recover, they met in August and spent what Sassoon described as "the whole of a hot cloudless afternoon together add something


At the very end of August 1918, Owen returned to the front line - perhaps imitating the example of his admired friend Sassoon add something


On 1 October 1918 Owen led units of the Second Manchesters to storm a number of enemy strong points near the village of Joncourt add something


The news of his death, on 4 November 1918, arrived at his parents' house in Shrewsbury on Armistice Day add something


Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff - In January 1918 at the wedding of Robert Graves, Scott Moncrieff met the war poet Wilfred Owen in whose work he took a keen interest


For his courage and leadership in the Joncourt action, he was awarded the Military Cross, an award he had always sought in order to justify himself as a war poet, but the award was not gazetted until 15 February 1919 add something


Thousands of poems were published during the war, but very few of them had the benefit of such strong patronage, and it is as a result of Sassoon's influence, as well as support from Edith Sitwell and the preparation of a new and fuller edition of the poems in 1931 by Edmund Blunden that ensured his popularity, coupled with a revival of interest in his poetry in the 1960s which plucked him out of a relatively exclusive readership into the public eye add something


The "Requiem" was commissioned for the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral, and first performed there on 30 May 1962 add something


In 1975 Mrs. Harold Owen, Wilfred's sister-in-law, donated all of the manuscripts, photographs and letters which her late husband had owned to the University of Oxford's English Faculty Library add something


Also in 1982, singer Virginia Astley set the poem "Futility" to music she had composed add something


In 1982, a song titled "Anthem for Doomed Youth" which was loosely based on the poem was recorded by the 10,000 Maniacs in Fredonia, New York add something


On 11 November 1985, Owen was one of the 16 Great War poets commemorated on a slate stone unveiled in Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner add something


A screen adaptation was made by Derek Jarman in 1988, with the 1963 recording as the soundtrack add something


Pat Barker's 1991 historical novel "Regeneration" describes the meeting and relationship between Sassoon and Owen, acknowledging that, from Sassoon's perspective, the meeting had a profoundly significant effect on Owen add something


In the 1997 film he was played by Stuart Bunce add something


Accessed 5 December 2008 Birkenhead and Shrewsbury add something


In 2010, local Wirral musician Dean Johnson created the musical "Bullets and Daffodils", based on music set to Owen's poetry add something


The forester's house in Ors where Owen spent his last night, Maison forestière de l'Ermitage, has been transformed by Turner Prize nominee Simon Patterson into an art installation and permanent memorial to Owen and his poetry, which opened to the public on 1 October 2011 add something


Craiglockhart War Hospital - In November 2015, actor Jason Isaacs unveiled a tribute to Owen at the former Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh where Owen was treated for shell shock during WWI. add something


A film named "The Burying Party" was released in August 2018, which depicts Owen's final year from Craiglockhart Hospital to the Battle of the Sambre add something


Owen Sheers was awarded the prize in September 2018 add something