Wilfred Owen's Grave at Ors

 

Wilfred Owen is buried in Ors Communal Cemetery.

 

Wilfred Owen's Grave at Ors Cemetery

(Owen's grave is third from the left)

 

Wilfred Owen's Gravestone

Owen's grave

 Cemetery at Ors

  Cemetary at Ors

(The Ors Communal Cemetery)

At the end of the war as the War Graves Commission began to replace the wooden crosses over the soldiers’ graves with more permanent stone memorials, next of kin were given the opportunity to select an appropriate epitaph for inscribing at the foot of the headstone.

The epitaph on Wilfred’s grave is particularly interesting. It was selected by Susan Owen- Wilfred’s mother-and comes from his own poem "The End" :-

Shall Life renew these bodies? Of a truth

All death will he annul

At first sight this seems to be a clear statement of Christian belief in the after-life and very suitable since it was written by the dead man himself. However, as the complete poem shows, his actual meaning is the exact opposite of this apparent expression of faith.

The second line in full is:

All death will he annul, all tears assuage?

This is a question not a statement, and the poem’s concluding lines show a clear and defiant denial of war and of an after-life.

 

The epitaph on Wilfred’s grave

(For further detail see "On the Trail of The Poets of the Great War- Wilfred Owen" by McPhail & Guest.)

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