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Remembered Today:

Cemetery Register Entries


bobpike
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In Ors Comm Cem as is well-known, there are two VC's, in itself a rare event in such a small cemetery, but there is also. of course, Wilfred Owen. Surprisingly, no mention is made on Wilfred's register entry of the fact that he is a poet. This seems strange as I have come across a number of entries where literary, artistic or musical talents etc., are mentioned. Were these entries created by the family, or the work of the (IWGC) CWGC? Does anyone know why Owen has no mention of his poetic skill?

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Bob

The entries in the registers were provided by the n-o-k on the Final Verification Forms sent to all relatives of casualties.

Therefore, no mention means that it was not added by the n-o-k for whatever reason.

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Terry,

thank-you, I guessed as much. Intriguing that Owen's mother, so proud of him & his poetry, did not see fit to mention it, grief I suppose.

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I think the answer is that Wilfred Owen was not a published poet at that time or indeed until after the Armistice. Although he had lifelong ambitions to poetry and had ben writing since youth it was only as he approached 20 his work and thoughts matured. Most of his famous war poetry was in fact written during his stay at Craiglockhart in 1917 - 1918 which gave an unparalled opportunity for him to write and refine his work. Shocking to think but for that all his wonderful poetry may have been lost had he been KIA rather than invalided back with " neurasthenia".

His mother was, most likely unaware of his work.

There is an excellent and well known book In Rememberance published just after the war which gives a few notes on their lives and works of all known published poets who fell in the Great War. Wilfred Owen is the one outstanding absentee from that so we may conclude this is because he had not formally published any work.

SG

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SG

I think it is dependent on when these cemetery entries were compiled, (1921?)perhaps Terry can tell us.

Certainly Owen's poems were very well known to his mother, indeed according to Hibberd, '...five of Wilfred's poems reached print in his lifetime -'Song of Songs,' in The Hydra & The Bookman, 'The Next war,' in The Hydra & 'Miners,' 'Futility,' & 'Hospital Barge,' in 'The Nation.'

Also, '....his mother wrote to Osbert Sitwell and as a result seven poems appeared in the 1919 volume of the anthology.' (Wheels).

Poems by Wilfred Owen published by Chatto & Windus in 1920 with an introduction by Sassoon.

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  • Admin

There again, I have also seen originally compiled regsiters and the computer print outs where it appears that the CWGC have added information about the individual which doesn't appear to have been supplied by the N O K.

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Guest Pete Wood

You're right, Michelle.

On my last visit to Maidenhead, I was asked if I would like to add information about one of my relatives. I didn't, but the option was given.

I hope your trip went well.

:)

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Bob

The entries in the registers were provided by the n-o-k on the Final Verification Forms sent to all relatives of casualties.

Therefore, no mention means that it was not added by the n-o-k for whatever reason.

True Terry, but CWGC have added info to the datebase themselves.

Eg. Major Valentine Fleming is noted in the database, but not original register that he was the "father of Ian Fleming the creator of "James Bond, Secret Agent 007".

See:

http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/casualty_...casualty=337500

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Paul

You are correct but I didn't want to muddy the waters as this has happened on only a small number of occasions. They form a negligable percentage of the overall total and the original query was about a register entry with NO additional information.

CWGC has added the odd note to a few entries over recent years (since computerisation) where there has been some significant historical or biographical connection. Such examples include the first man killed on the Western Front etc - plus the example you cite. I think on occasions the impetus for these additions was the number of times they had to answer the same question from enquirers!

This also explains a few anachronisms such as modern place names appearing which did not exist at the time.

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but CWGC have added info to the datebase themselves.

Two others which fall into this category are:

1

and

2

Terry - do you have a comprehensive list of the entries that have been modified?

Andy.

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True Terry, but CWGC have added info to the datebase themselves.

Eg. Major Valentine Fleming is noted in the database, but not original register that he was the "father of Ian Fleming the creator of "James Bond, Secret Agent 007".

See:

http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/casualty_...casualty=337500

This was also the case with Lt. W.E.G. Niven of the Berkshire Yeomanry. Although he was killed in 1915 he is described as being "Father of David Niven, the actor."

David Niven would have been about five when his father was killed.

See here:

http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/casualty_...casualty=602423

post-19-1105721845.jpg

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Of course, one of the soldiers whose CWGC entries has been amended, is Wilfred Owen. Strange, but the online entry for Owen has an amendment about his status as a poet which looks as if it could have been part of the register entry for many years - at least before the electronic version came into being:

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Owen, of "Mahim", Monkmoor Rd., Shrewsbury. Native of Oswestry. Enlisted in The Artists' Rifles in October 1915. Commissioned into the Manchester Regiment in June 1916. Was a poet of repute, although during his lifetime, only a few of his poems appeared in print. The 'Atheneum' of December 1919, nominated Owen's work "Strange Meeting" as the finest of the war.

Tom

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Thanks for clearing that up Terry, it was the reference to "The Atheneum" of 1919 which made me wonder whether that might have been a "modern" reference at the time it was added. I'm sure that given the massive growth in Owen's influence between then and now, they could have found a more up-to-date indication of Owen's status.

Tom

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It was undoubtedly the fortuitous meetimg of Owen and Sassoon at Craiglockhart that ensured Owens poetry, brilliant though it is, to be brought to the attention of the world after his death. Owen came from a solid middle class background but had been disappointed not to be able to go onto further education. Sassoon, as with Graves came from a very public school and literary background and particularly had entree into the highest literary cirles, indeed had already introduced Owen to Ross I think it was. But at the time,despite a rather limited circulation as already correctly stated his work was not well known. That is why he is the glaring omission from A St John Adcocks In Remberance even 5 years later on its publication in 1923. So even at that date he is unlikely to have been as well known as we might imagine.

On snippets of information on CWGC entries a friend pointed out to me an entry for a well known chemist, although I have forgotten his name, who had a chemical principal of some sort named after him. he died as a volunteer private. One cant but think that his talents could have been put to better use in the cause. I wonder how much more expertise was wasted in the initial rush to join up?

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