The idea for this Oswestry based project incorporating the sculpture came about when friends Chris Woods from “Lights Out Trefonen” and local artist Tim Turner got together to put forward a proposal to Oswestry Town Council regarding the two centenaries. Chris Woods has managed several projects linked to World War One in the West Midlands and told us.
“ I am delighted and proud that the Town Council have agreed to support this project. Tim and I thought it was very important to ensure such a unique opportunity regarding a double centenary linked to our town didn’t pass us by. Owen is regarded by many as the greatest poet of the First World War and his works are now an established part of learning and education for young and old alike. This projects links with national initiatives and as a result is endorsed by the Imperial War Museum and the Wilfred Owen Association. I feel it will be a wonderful attribute for the town and will bring in many visitors. We are also delighted to be supported in our efforts by the Wilfred Owen Association whose president is Peter Owen, the nephew of Wilfred, and who we have liaised with for some time”
Meg Crane, Chairperson of the Wilfred Owen Association has sent the following endorsement for the project
“The Wilfred Owen Association are delighted to learn of this project, which will commemorate Wilfred in the town of his birth, and would like to express their support for this statue and for the Centenary Festival week at Oswestry.”
The sculptor is a local man, Tim Turner a former pupil at Oswestry School before going on to study at the Royal College of Art. His recent work includes a bronze bust of King Orllie Anthoine 1st which was unveiled last August in Tourtoirac, France. Tim said,
“I was naturally delighted when the Town Council approved my design for the Wilfred Owen tribute and I was deeply moved by Chris’s passion for this project, knowing his family connections to the Battle of the Somme. I think the sculpture will be a great credit to the town as well as attracting visitors. There could be no greater honour for a local artist, than to create such a memorial for the beautiful town of Oswestry”
The sculpture will be cast by the Castle Fine Arts Foundry based in Llanrhaeadr who are renowned for their casting of sculptures all over the world.
Town Mayor, Councillor Paul Milner commented
“ This exciting project recognises the opportunity to provide a legacy for the town and to commemorate Wilfred Owen, arguably our most recognised famous son. It also reflects for generations past and present the impact that the war had on our local community. Looking into the future it provides the opportunity for a significant tourism feature. For these reasons the council has agreed to underwrite the project up to a value of £40,000.”
The life size sculpture will be sited in the frontage of Cae Glas Park looking through the Memorial Gates that have also recently been restored by the town council.
“Lights Out Trefonen” are putting together a weeklong Festival of activities from 4 – 11 November 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1 and the death of Wilfred Owen. This will involve schools, local organisations and include musical recitals, drama productions, poetry, a light show, an artist’s trail, the lighting of commemorative beacons (taking place nationally) and the unveiling of the Wilfred Owen sculpture. Further details will be released shortly.