An initiative to make the works of Birkenhead First World War poet Wilfred Owen available at the touch of a button has been successfully launched.

The Department of Culture Media and Sport and the YMCA contacted the town’s Wilfred Owen Story requesting audio files of Owen’s poems for inclusion in this month’s World Poetry Day.

They have persuaded people from across the country – as well as high=profile figures such as Kate Adie and Mary Beard – to make recordings of WWI poetry.

Individuals were invited to choose poems they admired and make a recording on software that can be downloaded to a smart phone.

It is then uploaded to the official DCMS website.

The Wilfred Owen Story in Argyle Street, Birkenhead, contributed specially-recorded readings of Owen poems by Christopher Timothy, Mark Reed (son of Oliver), and Graeme Clark of pop group Wet Wet Wet.

Dean Johnson, curator, said: “Owen and the other war poets have long been the preserve of the school classroom, and sometimes this can put young people off from appreciating them.

“Young people today interact with everything via their mobile phones, and having access to the poems of The Great War at the touch of a button is a fantastic way of them reaching a new generation.”

Owen, who spent seberal years of his childhood in Birkenhead, is regarded as one of the greatest voices of the war.

He was killed in November 1918 – shortly before the end of the conflict – during a battle to cross the Sambre Oise canal at Ors in Northern France.