Wilfred Owen

1893 - 1918

Wilfred Owen, one of the best poets in English of the first World War, was born in 1893 and killed in action on 4 November 1918, exactly one week before the Armistice. From a non-privileged background, he did well at school, though not well enough for a scholarship to London University, for which he passed the entrance exam. Enlisting in 1915, he suffered shell-shock and concussion, lying unconscious on the battlefield for several days. He was treated at Craiglockhart hospital near Edinburgh, where he and the poet Siegfried Sassoon met and became friends. Returning to France in July 1915, he won the Military Cross for gallantry shortly before he was killed. His mother is said to have received the telegram informing her of his death on the morning of Armistice Day itself.