Wilfred Owen bugle
History

Wilfred Owen Bugle Played In Scotland For The First Time

A bugle 'liberated' from a dead German soldier by WWI poet Wilfred Owen was in Edinburgh for events marking the centenary of his death.

Wilfred Owen bugle

A bugle 'liberated' from a dead German soldier by renowned WWI poet Wilfred Owen has been in Edinburgh for events marking the centenary of his death.

Owen was killed in Ors, Northern France, on November 4 1918, just seven days before the Armistice.

The bugle was taken to France by members of the Wilfred Owen Association and played by his graveside on the 100th anniversary of his death.

Among the party that made the trip was Wilfred Owen Association trustee Fiona MacDonald, who is also founder and CEO on Scottish veterans charity Bravehound.

She said: "I asked (his family) 'could we possibly take it and play it on the centenary of his death. Play it at his grave.' They very kindly gave us permission to do that.

"It's such a tangible link to Wilfred Owen as a man and as a soldier, as so many soldiers would have taken 'souvenirs'."

Listen to Forces Radio BFBS Scotland's Jim Gellatly speaking to Fiona MacDonald and Captain Alexander Bakovljev about the Wilfred Owen bugle:

After the visit to France, Fiona brought to bugle to Edinburgh, a city with important links to the poet.

Owen came to Craiglockhart War Hospital in 1917 where he was treated for shell-shock.

It was in Edinburgh that he met fellow-poet Siegfried Sassoon who was a big influence on his work.

Owen also wrote two of his most famous poems Dulce et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth at Craiglockhart.

Wilfred Owen

The poet's story, including his time in Scotland, is also featured in the new movie The Burying Party.

It had its Scottish premiere at Redford Barracks, at an event hosted by the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry. The bugle was played in Scotland for the first time at the event.

E (East Lothian & Borders) Squadron Second in Command Captain Alexander Bakovljev said:

"We stumbled across this by pure chance from our civilian jobs. On the centenary of his death, certainly something we wanted to support."

Bravehound Veterans at The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh with Wilfred Owen bugle
Bravehound Veterans at The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh with Wilfred Owen bugle

Fiona also took the bugle with a group of Bravehound veterans to The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, where there is a silhouette of a First World War soldier in the field of poppies.

The silhouette previously featured in Bravehound's Big Salute-funded garden at Gardening Scotland 2018.

The bugle is set to return to Edinburgh in 2019. Fiona revealed:

"It's going back to the (Owen) family briefly, but it will be back in Scotland because there is going to be an exhibition at the Scottish Parliament for the First World War sometime in the spring."

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