Wilfred Owen was a Twentieth Century poet known for his work about the First World War
When and Where was he Born?
18th March 1893, Plas Wilmot, Oswestry, Shropshire, England.
Wilfred Owen was the son of a railway worker.
Birkenhead Institute. Shrewsbury Technical School. Pupil-Teacher at the Wyle Cop School. (Failed to win scholarship to) University of London.
Chronology/Biography of Wilfred Owen:
1897: Family moves to Birkenhead.
1906: Family moves to Shrewsbury.
1911: Becomes a lay-assistant to the Vicar of Dumsden, near Reading.
1913: September. Goes to Bordeaux in France to teach English at the Berlitz school.
1914: June. Wilfred Owen tutors a family at Bagneres de Biorre, in the Pyrennees. Meets the French poet Laurent Tailhade.
1915: Brief visit to England to see his family. May. Back in France. October. Goes back to England to enlist (despite his pacifist sympathies) in the 3/28th London Regiment, which later becomes the 2nd Artist’s Rifles Officer’s Training Corps.
1916: June. Commissioned into the Manchester Regiment. Reports to the 5th (Reserve Battalion) at Milford Camp, near Witley. Helps devise improvements to the standard gas mask with his friend 2nd Lieutenant Gregg (who was later to be killed in action). 7th July: Arrives at Talavera Barracks, Aldershot and is attached to the 25th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment under the Commander in Chief, Lieutenant Colonel John Ward M.P. Takes a musketry course at Mychett Camp Farnborough from which he qualifies as a First Class Shot. Returns to Witley. November. Goes to Southport and lodges in rooms at 168a Lord Street Goes to Fleetwood to take command of a firing range party. Lodges at 111 Bold Street, Fleetwood. December. Returns to Southport to take charge of a musketry party on the range at Crossend. Allowed Christmas embarkation leave. 29th December. Goes to Folkestone to join the 2nd Manchester’s.
1917: 1st January. Wilfred Owen goes to the infantry base depot at Etaples, France. 12th Jan. In the front line in charge of A Company at Serre. 4th February. Goes on a transport course at Abbeville. 1st March. Back in the line near Le Quesnoy en Santerre. 14th Mar. Suffers concussion during a fall. 17th March. Arrives at No.13 Casualty Clearing Station at Gailly. 4th April. Rejoins his battalion. Again is concussed due to a shell exploding nearby. 2nd May. Evacuated on orders of Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Luxmoore, with shell shock. 16th June. To Netley Hospital in Hampshire. 25th June. Arrives in Craiglockhart Hospital, Edinburgh. August. Meets poet Robert Graves. November. After a short Leave is posted back to 5th Battalion (Reserve) Manchester’s at Scarborough where he becomes the Mess secretary at the Clarence Gardens Hotel. (now Clifton Hotel).
1918: 31st January. Attends Robert Grave’s wedding. March. To Northern Command, Ripon where he takes lodgings in Borrage Lane. In June. Passed fit for service and rejoins the 5th Manchester’s in Scarborough. August Sees the poet Siegfried Sassoon wounded in hospital. Returns to France. September. Arrives as an Officer re-enforcement with the 2nd Manchester’s. 1st-3rd October. Takes part in the attack on the Beaurevoir Fonsomme Line at Joncourt. Is recommended for a Military Cross for bravery. 30th-31st. 2nd Manchester’s take over the line west of the Sambre-Oise canal, near Ors. Manages to write one last letter to his mother from the cellar of the Forester’s House at Pommereuil. 4th November. Killed in action whilst leading a raiding party on the banks of the Sambre-Oise canal.
1917: “The Sentry. “Dulce et Decorum Est. “The Hydra (Editor of the hospital magazine).
(1919): Seven poems are published in “Wheels”.
(1920): “Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen” (edited by Siegfried Sassoon).
(1931): Edmund Blunden edited edition of “Poems”.
When and Where did he Die?
4th November 1918, Killed in France whilst leading a raiding party on the banks of the Sambre-Oise canal.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
Communal Cemetery, Ors, France.
Places of Interest:
Imperial War Museum.
Museum of the Manchester’s Regiment, Ashton-under-Lyme.
The Wilfred Owen Association, Michael Granger, 192 York Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 3QH.