Sassoon, Owen and Graves
The history of Craiglockhart
The War's effect on ordinary people
links to related sites
Acknowledgements, credit and contact
Pat Barker's trilogy
Music, prose and trench art
The War Poets - Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was born on 18 March 1893. The son of a railway worker from Oswestry, he came from a relatively humble background. The young Owen showed a keen interest in poetry, and he began experimenting with the genre at the age of seventeen. Although a bright student, his parents could not afford to send him to University and on leaving school he went to France to teach English at the Berlitz School. While there he visited a military hospital in September 1915 and decided to return to England to enlist. Much has been written about Wilfred Owen, his poetry and his relationship with Siegfried Sassoon but little is known about the time he spent at Craiglockhart War Hospital.

Owen enlisted in 3/28th Battalion which later became the Artists' Rifles Regiment and in June 1916 he received his commission to the Manchester Regiment (5th Battalion) and spent the rest of that year training in England.

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In January of 1917 he was posted to France, and in March 1917, he and his men experienced a particularly terrible tour of duty on the Western Front, when they spent twelve days under intense bombardment from enemy fire on the Hindenberg Line. One large shell exploded only two yards from Owen's head and when he and his battalion were eventually relieved he was labelled as suffering from neurasthenia.

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