The Wilfred Owen Memorial at Ors

 

The Wilfred Owen Memorial at Ors

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This is a photograph of the Memorial to Wilfred Owen which stands by the road bridge near the lock in the village of Ors.

The Memorial was presented by the Western Front Association and unveiled by the Chairman of the Wilfred Owen Association in 1991 in a ceremony organised by the Mayor and inhabitants of Ors.

The quotation is from the sonnet "With an Identity Disc" completed by Owen at Craiglockhart in the autumn of 1917.

A soldier was required to carry two identity discs, each giving his regimental number, rank, name, unit and religion. The discs were worn on a cord around the soldier’s neck and upon his death one identity disc was taken by the unit for record purposes whilst the second one remained on the body to assist in future identification. With the effluxion of time the disc could well be lost and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission would then have to find other means to identify the body if at all possible. Sometimes this could be done by means of an inscription on a tin box or a piece of equipment lying with the body; a method which proved successful some time ago when a body of a Sergeant in the Royal Army Medical Corps killed in 1917 was found near Gouzeaucourt. In 1914 after the retreat from Mons, a laundry mark on an officer’s underclothing was sufficient to identify his body. However, in many cases this procedure proved impossible to follow and the soldier was buried in a grave marked by a headstone "Known unto God".

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