Walk in Ripon to mark 100 years since death of great war poet Wilfred Owen

People are being encouraged to take part in a walk in Ripon to mark the centenary of the death of one of the greatest war poets, Wilfred Owen.
People are being encouraged to take part in a walk in Ripon to mark the centenary of the death of one of the greatest war poets, Wilfred Owen.

People are being encouraged to take part in a walk in Ripon to mark the centenary of the death of one of the greatest war poets, Wilfred Owen.

He died aged 25 near Ors, leading a unit over the Sambre-Oise canal in northern France.

A few months earlier, he had lived in Ripon in a massive army camp at Hellwath while recovering from shellshock.

To mark the centenary of his death on Sunday, the Rev Caitlin Carmichael-Davies, curate at Ripon Cathedral, will lead a walk from the cathedral to Hellwath and back again, stopping at locations with an Owen connection, for prayers and readings from his letters and poems, several written in Ripon.

The walk will start at 8.40am and go via the rustic bridge off Mallorie Park Drive then up the fairy steps to Hellwath. The walk will resume at 9am, leaving Hellwath and stopping outside the cottage in Borrage Lane where Owen was given the use of a bedroom to write his poetry.

A wreath of poppies will be laid at the cottage, now owned by Loretta Williams, a member of the cathedral community, and his poem Arms and the Boy will be read.

The walk will continue along Borrage Lane to Bondgate Bridge by the River Skell which Owen described as ‘a happy little stream.’ Here Professor Joyce Hill, a member of the cathedral chapter, will read one of his greatest poems, Strange Meeting.

Back at the cathedral in time for the 10.30am Eucharist, the walkers will be met by the Very Rev John Dobson, Dean of Ripon, who will lead prayers and at the end of the service receive the gift of a bust of Owen, one of five created by the sculptor Anthony Padgett, and donated to the cathedral.