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Oswestry School plants a tree to commemorate Wilfred Owen’s birthday

Wilfred Owen, arguably the most important Anti-war poet, born in Oswestry on 18 March 1893, had his recent birthday anniversary marked by a number of European schools and their pupils.

This humble tribute to the WW1 poet, to his powerful Anti-war poems and his name Wilfred (Saxon for Desiring Peace), took the form of planting a flowering Cherry Tree in a number of schools, as the beginning of a Peace/Friendship Union.

Each tree planted is to be known as the ”Wilfred Owen Poet-Tree, Desiring Peace” and stand for Peace, Respect, Equality, Friendship and Wildlife/Environmental Protection.

James Law read Owen’s poem Written In A Wood from September 1910 during the planting with Oswestry among schools from Edinburgh, County Armagh, Ors in France and Hannover in Germany who also planted a flowering cherry tree on the anniversary.

Full ninety autumn hath this ancient beech

Helped with its myriad leafy tongues to swell

The dirges of the deep-toned western gale,

And ninety times hath all its power of speech

Been stricken dumb, at sound of winter’s yell,

Since Adonais, no more strong and hale,

Might have rejoiced to linger here and teach

His thoughts in sonnets to the listening dell;

Or glide in fancy through those leafy grots

And bird-pavilions hung with arras green,

To hear the sonnets of its minstrel choir.

Ah, ninety times again, when autumn rots

Shall birds and leaves be mute and all unseen,

Yet shall I see fair Keats, and hear his lyre.