Ripon walk commemorates war poet Wilfred Owen's death

A walk through Ripon from the steps of Ripon Cathedral on the 100th anniversary of the death of World War One poet Wilfred Owen has been broadcast by the BBC.

Wilfred Owen whose poems include Dulce et Decorum est, Futility, Anthem for Doomed Youth and the Young and Strange Meeting, came to Ripon, and lived in the city for a number of months recovering from shell shock.

The poet could have stayed on home duty indefinitely after regaining his fitness but chose to return to the front line much against the advice of his friend and fellow war poet, Siegfried Sassoon, who said he would “stab him in the leg” if he went back. 

Back in France, he led units of the 2nd Manchester Regiment in storming enemy lines at Joncourt and on November 4, 1918, he was killed leading a unit over the Sambre-Oise Canal. The telegram announcing his death was given to his mother as the church bells were ringing to mark the end of the war a week later on Armistice Day.

The walk, led by the Rev Caitlin Carmichael-Davies curate of Ripon Cathedral, visited locations connected with Owen. It was featured on BBC Tees and BBC Radio York.

Sites visited include a cottage in Borrage Lane where Owen lived and wrote a number of poems. The Rev Carmichael-Davies laid a wreath on the cottage's gate and Owen's poem Arms and the Boy was read out.

The walk was followed by a special service where a bust of Owen was presented to the cathedral.

The collection includes his war poems Dulce et Decorum Est.

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