Wilfred Owen changed poetry with his urgent, real desire to tell us how war really was. How many of us remember the poems of his we might have learnt at school? 'Bent double, like old beggars under sacks...' He died at the age of 25, killed in France exactly one week before the FIrst World War was declared to be over.
- We would like to dedicate a stained glass window to him, in the church where he spent crucial months of his life, learning so much about himself - his commitment to justice and fairness, and to poetry. From the many letters he wrote to his mother back home in Shropshire, we read of a young man who broke down in confusion, before finding his path as a leader, a communicator, and a great poet. The first soundings of his distinctive voice can be found in the poems he wrote at Dunsden.
- The Glaziers' Company in London has selected our brief as the subject of their next Stevens Competition; we will have designed for us a stained glass reflection of Wilfred Owen's time in Dunsden, for a window overlooking the grassy, snowdrop-filled churchyard where his parents and sister are both buried. Owen himself is buried in Ors, France, close to where he was killed.
- We have already developed a trail around Dunsden, where visitors can learn about his life here, the school he helped out at, the vicarage where he lived, and the houses of the poor he visited. With the addition of this radiant window, we will be creating a place of focus and remembrance for this remarkable young poet. We have also established strong friendship links with Ors, adding a rich cross-nation dimension to our project.
- We are fundraising for this project in as many creative ways as we can, difficult in Covid times. We are lucky to have the expertise of the Glaziers' Company gifted to us; they will advise us on all technical and structural aspects. The money raised will be used for producing and installing the window. We of the DOA are giving our time on a voluntary basis.
If you can help support this project in a big or a small way, we will be very grateful. Do come and visit our peaceful village when the window, which will be the centrepiece of our trail, becomes - we trust - a reality, and enjoy tracing the footsteps of Wilfred as a young man. Thank you.
Do visit our website: www.owenindunsden.org