Bugle 'Looted' By WWI Poet Wilfred Owen To Sound On Centenary Of His Death

Wilfred Owen, an English poet and soldier, was killed just seven days before peace was declared.

A bugle taken by Wilfred Owen from a dead German soldier during the First World War is to be played at the poet's graveside to mark the centenary of his death.

The sounding of the musical instrument in Ors, northern France, will be played at a commemorative ceremony on Sunday.

It will be the first time it's ever been played in public.

Wilfred Owen was killed on 4 November 1918, during the battle to cross the Sambre-Oise canal at Ors, just seven days before peace was declared.

He wrote about the bugle in a letter home to his brother a year before his death, said Fiona MacDonald, of the Wilfred Owen Association.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

"We know from a letter that he wrote to his brother, Colin, in May 1917 that he had got this bugle.

"He said 'I've got some loot'. And he was going to give it to Colin but he said that he had grown too fond of it to part with it."

Wilfred Owen Credit Topham Picturepoint and PA
A ceremony will be held in France to mark 100 years since the war poets death (Picture: Topham Picturepoint/ PA).

The bugle has since been kept by his family.

Ms MacDonald said she hoped Sunday's commemoration would once again draw attention to the central message in Owen's renowned poetry about the brutal reality of war.

She said: "We are hoping that Owen's work will continue way past these centenary commemorations. The Wilfred Owen Association works to promote his work and really, his ethos.

"I don't think we can any longer pretend that war doesn't have a huge cost, with shell shock, now post-traumatic stress disorder, the bereavement of families."

Events are planned around the world on 11 November to mark Armistice Day - 100 years after the end of the First World War.