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Wilfred Owen - where our name comes from

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was born 18 March 1893 in Oswestry, Shropshire.  Wilfred spent his youth between Shrewsbury and Birkenhead.  He was a pupil at the Wakeman School in Shrewsbury and for a period of time lived on the Monkmoor Road.  It was this close proximity that lead to the school being called The Wilfred Owen School.


Wilfred became a teacher in Dunsden Green, Oxfordshire and then in Bordeaux, France and in 1913 went for two years to work as a language tutor. He began writing poetry as a teenager.


In 1915 he returned to England to enlist in the army and was commissioned into the Manchester Regiment. After spending the remainder of the year training in England, he left for the western front early in January 1917. After experiencing heavy fighting, he was diagnosed with shellshock. He was evacuated to England and arrived at Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh in June. 


When Owen was considered to be well enough to return to fighting, his friends were very worried about him. He spent an afternoon with Siegfried Sassoon, who had been sent home after being seriously wounded; Sassoon tried to persuade Owen not to go back, but Owen had little choice. He returned to France in July 1918.


On 1 October 1918 he led his men in an attack near the village of Joncourt, and his bravery was recognised by his being awarded the Military Cross. However, shortly afterwards, while trying to cross the Sambre canal, Ors with his men, he was killed. He died on the 4th November, 1914 at the age of 25, only a week before the end of the war.  His mother received notification of his death in Shrewsbury on the 11th November, 2018.  The day World War One ended.


Further details about the life of Wilfred Owen can be found in the chronology at the Wilfred Owen Association web site 


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