WIRRAL is set to become the home of the country’s first permanent tribute to WWI poet Wilfred Owen.

The exhibition, which opens on March 18 in Birkenhead, will commemorate the work of the late poet.

Owen was tragically killed a week before Armistice Day and opening of the special gallery will celebrate the anniversary of his birthday.

The project, which has been organised by local songwriter Dean Johnson, will give Wilfred Owen fans the chance to view his work and find other landmarks associated with his life.

Dean, who attended the same school as Owen – the Birkenhead Institute – said: “His profile should be so much higher here. In a couple of years it will be the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One; there will be huge media interest, and the Wirral needs to capitalise on this exposure in a cultural way.

"The BBC have been in touch already regarding the exhibition and are looking for assistance in making a documentary on Owen’s time here.”

The opening of the gallery will be sponsored by The Birkenhead YMCA, who are keen to display artwork by their residents: people who have turned adversity into creativity and changed their lives around.

Dean added: “The ethos of The Wilfred Owen Story is for individuals within the community to find their own voice and use it to the same cathartic effect, in the same way as Owen used his.

The involvement of the YMCA fits perfectly with this, and our first guest artist is George Gardner, whose work is simply outstanding; a true original. George has known terrible setbacks in his life but he has found an outlet in his art to come to terms with these and move forward.”

The Wilfred Owen Story opens on March 18 at 34 Argyle Street, Birkenhead at 3pm.