Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was working as a private English tutor in Bordeaux, when the “Great War” broke out in 1914.
At first in no hurry to sign up, he even considered joining the French Army before returning home to England, to enlist in the Artists Rifles Training Corps, in October 1915.
Originally formed in 1859, the Artists Rifles was a British special forces regiment, raised in London and comprised of painters, musicians, actors and architects, and symbolized by the heads of the Roman gods Mars and Minerva.
It must have felt a natural place. Wilfred Owen was a poet, a talent first discovered about ten years earlier, at age ten or eleven.
Owen was commissioned Second Lieutenant after six-months training, and posted with the Manchester Regiment of line infantry. An application to the Royal Flying Corps was rejected in 1916 and he was shipped to France, joining the 2nd Manchester…
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