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Wilfred's shattered war dreams
BLISSFULLY unaware of the horrors of war this little soldier boy dreams of glory and victory over the enemy.
But for five-year-old Wilfred Owen the reality of warfare manifested itself in the hell of World War One trenches and drove him to express his horror, through poetry, at the bloodbath that ensued.
Showman Dean Johnson, who runs The Wilfred Owen Story in Birkenhead, observed: "Knowing as we now do what the future held for Wilfred and millions of his generation, makes this very rare picture of him devastatingly poignant.
"Only a few short years later Owen would question the old lie of joining up to fight. But here at five-years-old in the back garden of Elm Grove, Tranmere, he is totally unaware of the truth of war."
Dean is staging a new musical drama entitled Vilomah (Bullets and Daffodils Part 2) at Liverpool’s Lantern Theatre on March 6 and 7.
It explores Wilfred's childhood and his close bond with his mother, whose grief after losing him in the last week of World War 1 spurred her to have his poems published.
Born in Oswestry in 1893 Wilfred Owen was brought up in Birkenhead. He is recognised as one of the greatest voices in the First World War.
He had always been determined to be a poet and had experimented with verse from an early age.
Among his 62 poems are 1914, Dulce et decorum est and Anthem for Doomed Youth.
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