Wil­fred Owen’s bu­gle will sing 100 years af­ter death of poet

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Steve Bird

A BU­GLE Wil­fred Owen took from the bat­tle­field was played in pub­lic for the first time to­day to mark 100 years since the poet’s death.

The in­stru­ment was used at a 6am cer­e­mony at his grave­side in north­ern France, where he was killed in ac­tion, aged just 25. The poet died dur­ing the cross­ing of the Sam­bre-Oise Canal a week be­fore the sign­ing of the Armistice in Novem­ber 1918.

Ac­cord­ing to the Wil­fred Owen Roy­al­ties Trust, he had writ­ten to his brother, Colin, say­ing that the mil­i­tary bu­gle was “loot from a packet which I ri­fled on the Field”: “I was think­ing of you when I was un­buck­ling the bu­gle from the equip­ment and be­ing then in a par­tic­u­larly noble frame of mind, meant to present it to you some day. But now I have got too fond of the thing to part with it!”

It was played at spe­cial cer­e­mony at­tended by Eliz­a­beth Owen, the widow of his nephew Peter, and trustees of the Wil­fred Owen As­so­ci­a­tion.

A ser­vice, lec­tures and an evening con­cert or­gan­ised by the French Wil­fred Owen As­so­ci­a­tion fea­tur­ing mu­si­cians from Bel­gium and Scot­land will also be held through­out to­day.

Owen is re­garded as one of the great­est poets of the First World War. The poetry of Siegfried Sas­soon in­spired him to write his own verses cap­tur­ing the hor­rors of the trenches and gas war­fare. Bu­gle calls fea­ture in some of his po­ems, in­clud­ing An­them for Doomed Youth and Bu­gles Sang.

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