Wilfred Owen perished 100 years ago today, just days before the Armistice was signed on 11 November.
Anthem for Doomed Youth
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
And the connection with Formby?
During the war, Wilfred Owen met Seigfried Sassoon and they became friends and Owens was greatly influenced by him.
Eventually, Sassoon, while visiting Formby, threw his Military Cross Medal into the sea, presumably in a mixture of despair, rage and protest against the horrors of the so-called Great War.