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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Members travel to Ors, France for annual Owen commemorations

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A group of members of the Dunsden Owen Association is preparing to travel to Ors in France to take part in the village's annual commemorations of the life of Wilfred Owen. Owen is buried in the village's graveyard, after he died on November 4, 1914, as he was leading a charge across the Sambre-Oise Canal

The English visitors will be laying a wreath at Owen's grave on behalf of Dunsden as well as visiting the Maison Forestière where Owen and his men spent their last night. This unpretentious building has been turned into a remarkable monument to Owen.

Plans are continuing to be made for Dunsden's own Owen commemorations in 2014, with links being made with Reading university where students are preparing to design a logo and new website as well as interactive trail app.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Dunsden Owen Association officially launched

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The Dunsden Owen Association was officially launched at a busy meeting at Dunsden Village Hall in Oxfordshire this week. New members were told of an exciting programme of events planned for 2014 to commemorate the time the war poet spent in Dunsden, Oxfordshire. The events include the UK premiere of a play by Xavier Hanotte 'One Night in Ors', a concert of music which will include a new setting of Owen's poem 'Deep under turfy grass', an exhibition and fun day and a ceremony to mark plans for twinning with the community of Ors in France.

Funding is also being sought for an interactive smartphone application which will guide visitors around sites connected with Owen in the locality. It is hoped this will be backed up by an interpretation board and trail leaflet.

A bid has also been launched for a blue plaque to be installed on the former village school, where Owen taught.

Wilfred Owen worked as assistant to the parish priest Herbert Wigan between September 1911 and February 1913. Whilst in the parish he gave voice to his compassion for the condition of the poor locally, which was in extreme contrast to the luxury enjoyed by the Revd Wigan.

Owen experienced a profound crisis of faith which caused him to abandon hopes of becoming a priest, leaving for France to become a teacher of English. The origins of his mature poetic style can be detected in verse written at Dunsden.

Membership of the Association is free to anyone interested in Owen's time in Dunsden. Please sign up for the email newsletter available from this site.