Definitions

Wilfred

Wilfred

[wil-frid]
Owen, Wilfred, 1893-1918, English poet, b. Oswestry, Shropshire. He served as a company commander in the Artist's Rifles during World War I and was killed in France on Nov. 4, 1918, one week before the armistice. Owen's poetic theme, the horror and pity of war, is set forth in strong verse that transfigured traditional meters and diction. Nine of these poems are the basis of the text of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem (1962). Although Owen had worked on poems while living in France between 1913 and 1918, he never published. While on sick leave from the front in a Scottish hospital, he met the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who encouraged him to publish in magazines. He did, but these efforts were cut short by his return to the front. Two years after his death Sassoon arranged for the publication of 24 poems (1920).

See his collected poems (1931, 1963, and 1973); collected letters, ed. by his brother, Harold, and J. Bell (1967); biography by A. Orrmont (1972); study by G. M. White (1969).

(born March 18, 1893, Oswetry, Shropshire, Eng.—died Nov. 4, 1918, France) British poet. Owen was already writing verse before he enlisted in the army in 1915, but the experience of trench warfare brought him to rapid maturity; the poignant poems he wrote after January 1917 are full of anger at the cruelty and waste of war and pity for its victims. A week before the armistice, he died in action at age 25. His single volume of poems, published posthumously, is noted for its experiments in assonance. Benjamin Britten's celebrated War Requiem (1962) is a setting of Owen's poems.

Learn more about Owen, Wilfred with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Feb. 28, 1865, Parkgate, Cheshire, Eng.—died Oct. 9, 1940, Charlotte, Vt., U.S.) English medical missionary. Having joined the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, he initiated missionary service to the fishermen of Labrador and became absorbed in improving conditions there. He raised funds through speaking tours and books. When the Mission withdrew its support, he founded the International Grenfell Association, which helped found 6 hospitals, 4 hospital ships, 7 nursing stations, 2 orphanages, 2 large schools, 14 industrial centres, and a cooperative lumber mill in Labrador.

Learn more about Grenfell, Sir Wilfred (Thomason) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 18, 1893, Oswetry, Shropshire, Eng.—died Nov. 4, 1918, France) British poet. Owen was already writing verse before he enlisted in the army in 1915, but the experience of trench warfare brought him to rapid maturity; the poignant poems he wrote after January 1917 are full of anger at the cruelty and waste of war and pity for its victims. A week before the armistice, he died in action at age 25. His single volume of poems, published posthumously, is noted for its experiments in assonance. Benjamin Britten's celebrated War Requiem (1962) is a setting of Owen's poems.

Learn more about Owen, Wilfred with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Feb. 28, 1865, Parkgate, Cheshire, Eng.—died Oct. 9, 1940, Charlotte, Vt., U.S.) English medical missionary. Having joined the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, he initiated missionary service to the fishermen of Labrador and became absorbed in improving conditions there. He raised funds through speaking tours and books. When the Mission withdrew its support, he founded the International Grenfell Association, which helped found 6 hospitals, 4 hospital ships, 7 nursing stations, 2 orphanages, 2 large schools, 14 industrial centres, and a cooperative lumber mill in Labrador.

Learn more about Grenfell, Sir Wilfred (Thomason) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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