The War Poets

November 25, 2018

The War Poets

On November 11th 1985 a memorial stone was placed in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. The inscription read:

"My subject is War, and the pity of War.

The Poetry is in the pity."

Wilfred Owen.

The stone commemorates 16 war poets of the 1st World War, including Wilfred Owen. Out of the 16 poets only Robert Graves (age 90) attended the unveiling. He died a few weeks later. Our 16 Quote Cards feature poetry from a variety of war poets. some immortalized in Poets' Corner, others not. We have also included 2 quotes by contemporary women poets.


Our Gallery


Quote Card Activities

  • Research the poets

  • Trace friendships & chance meetings between the poets

  • Identify figurative language

  • Identify similar styles & themes

  • Develop a personal response 

  • Use as an inspiration for personal writing

1.The Dead Kings 

Francis Ledwidge

Francis was an Irish poet, labourer & miner. He wrote his poetry everywhere, even  on fences & gate posts. 
He was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele.

2. Requiem

Ivor Gurney



Ivor Gurney was an English poet & composer. He was born in Gloucester to working class parents. Ivor had suffered from bipolar disorder since his teens. In 1918 he was diagnosed with shell shock. A few years later Ivor was declared insane & spent the rest of his life in psychiatric hospitals. Ivor continued to write & compose for most of his life. He died in 1937.

3. Dulce Et Decorum Est

Wilfred Owen


Wilfred Own was born in Oswestry in 1893. He was diagnosed with shell shock after lying unconscious for two days among the remains of his fellow officer. While recuperating he met his mentor, the poet Siegfried Sassoon. Owen was killed in action a week before the signing of the Armistice. He is regarded by many as the greatest war poet.

 Anthem For Doomed youth

Wilfred Owen


4. Dreamers

Siegfried Sassoon


Siegfried Sassoon read history at Cambridge. Siegfried was an officer in the 1st Battalion in France, where he met Robert Graves. His men gave him the war time epithet, 'Mad Jack' because of his numerous acts of courage, bravery & gallantry. Once he spent 2 hours under rifle & bomb fire retrieving all his wounded & fallen men. In 1917 he made a public protest against the continuation of the war. Robert Graves intervened & managed to save Sassoon from a court martial. Siegfried was instead diagnosed with shell shock & taken to a military psychiatric hospital. It was here that Siegfried met Wilfred Owen.

 5. Armistice Day 1918

Robert Graves


Robert Graves was a British poet, historical novelist,classicist & celticist. He enlisted in 1914 & joined the royal Welch Fusiliers. Graves was badly wounded during the Battle of the Somme; he wasn't expected to survive. During his convalescence in Oxford he met Siegfried Sassoon.  Robert Graves died in 1985 a few weeks after the War Poets stone memorial was unveiled Westminster Abbey.

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  • Book your language or literature lessons

  • Ask any questions

  • Thank you for reading.



Have a good week.


Copyright November 2018


Creative Language & Literature Activites.

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