Wilfred Owen

1893 - 1918

Wilfred Owen (Wilfred Edward Salter Owen) is widely regarded as the finest war poet of the 20th Century. He saw action in the trenches himself as a soldier and was awarded the Military Cross. His remarkably vivid poetry tells of the horrors of war and trench warfare.

Born in Plas Wilmot, Oswestry, Shropshire on 18th March 1893 he was the eldest of four children. His family moved to Monkmoor in Shrewsbury.

Educated at Birkenhead Institute and Shrewsbury Technical College, Wilfred Owen's passion for poetry was influenced by Shelley and Keats and, laterly his contemporary Segfried Sassoon. All of his Great War poems were composed in just 15 months.

After volunteering in 1915, he was then sent to France in 1916 where he served in the Manchester Regiment as a second lieutenant. His experiences serving in the war were documented in his poems. He died aged 25 on 4th November 1918, a week before the end of the Great War.

Wilfred Owen's poetry was virtually unknown at the time of his death with only five of his poems having been published whilst he was still alive. Following the publication of his poetry collection in the 1960's, he became a household name.

He was tragically killed in action at the Sambre-Oise Canal a week before Armistice Day.

He is now referred to as The Greatest World War One Poet and a National poet of war.

The Wilfred Owen memorial is in the grounds of the Abbey in Shrewsbury.

The town green in Oswestry has also officially been named the Wilfred Owen Green. It is believed to be the largest known memorial to Wilfred Owen in the world.

The Wilfred Owen Green has wildflower meadows, play equipment and a labyrinth.

For more information, please visit the Wilfred Owen Association website