Services To Mark 100th Anniversary Of WW1 Battles

Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves were responsible for some of the most famous First World War poems and now a plaque has been unveiled 100 years on from their only meeting.

The Great War poets met at Baberton Golf Club in Edinburgh on 13 October 1917.

Mark McKenzie has been speaking to Neil McLennan, the chair of Wilfred Owen’s Edinburgh Committee about the latest event in a very busy centenary year.

"One of his most famous war poems "Duce et Decorum Est" was first drafted a couples of days before the meeting and was then redrafted two days after this meeting so there is no doubt that the discussions would have circled round about that." 

(PIC: Jane Barlow)

Neil McLennan (centre) with violinist Thoren Ferguson (right) and Violin maker Steve Burnett who crafted three violins from the branch of a sycamore tree in the grounds of the former shell-shock treatment hospital at Craiglockhart in honour of Owen, Graves and Sassoon.

All three violins were played as the Lord Provost of Edinburgh Frank Ross unveiled the plaque to commemorate the famous meeting.

plaque to mark meeting place of Owen, Sassoon, Graves

The meeting is just one of a series of events being marked by the Wilfred Owen's Edinburgh Committee.

Earlier this year they recreated his arrival at Waverely Station, his walk along Princes Street.

Read the poem in full below...

"Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.  

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.  

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est  

Pro patria mori."  

Poem by Wilfred Owen

Find out more about Owen's Edinburgh here.

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