On Wednesday 4th July the new brochure listing events in Shropshire to remember the centenary of Wilfred Owen’s death and the end of World War I was launched at Tanners Wine Cellars in Shrewsbury. The brochure has been published by Shrewsbury Heritage on behalf of Shropshire Remembers, the county’s First World War partnership.

The 32-page brochure lists events over 100 days from early August to the centenary of Armistice day on 11th November when Shropshire will be joining the national remembrance of this historic day. A host of organisations is putting on special events to remember Wilfred Owen and World War I to pay tribute to him and the thousands of soldiers who gave their lives during the conflict. The brochure will be distributed free around Shropshire through libraries, theatres, visitor information centres and other outlets. There is an online version here.

Over the last three years Shropshire communities have been working in partnership to deliver an extensive and ambitious programme of heritage and arts activities to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council, England.

This programme will conclude in a large-scale commemoration this year of the 100th anniversary of Wilfred Owen’s death.  With a focus on Shrewsbury and Oswestry, Shropshire’s Wilfred Owen 100 will remember him with poetry readings, a First World War Film Festival, music, talks, new artworks, themed guided walks, open art competition and much more. Events will reflect the emotion, exhibitions, installations and projects from the 2014 – 2018 commemorative period and celebrate one of Shropshire’s most renowned sons.

Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 at Plas Wilmot near Oswestry and lived in Birkenhead and Shrewsbury, where his mother received news of his death as the bells were ringing out on Armistice Day. He served as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Manchester Regiment, winning the Military Cross for bravery in action. His poetry is now widely regarded as among the best to be inspired by the horrors of the Great War. Today two volumes of his hand-written verse are to be found in the vaults of the British Library alongside the greatest writers in the English language such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Lennon & McCartney.

The brochure will help visitors and local residents to follow in Wilfred Owen’s footsteps by participating in the self-guided walks around Oswestry and Shrewsbury, which can be downloaded free of charge here:- Oswestry Owen Trail and Shrewsbury Tracks To The Trenches

There are also some permanent attractions to visit with First World War links such as the trenches at Park Hall near Oswestry, the Shropshire Regimental Museum at Shrewsbury Castle and the RAF Museum at Cosford. An exhibition of the Life and Times of Wilfred Owen will be on show in the shut at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery from the 4th August throughout the 100 days of events.