Festival Calendar

The festival in commemoration of Wilfred Owen and of the armistice will run from September 15th to November 17th. Below you will find all events that will be held during this period. If you wish to navigate between months then please follow the link at the top of the calendar. For more information about a particular event please click on the event to view a detailed information page.

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Executed at Dawn – Lecture by Author David Johnson

November 6th @ 7:00 pm


Executed At DawnAn Evening lecture with author David Johnson accompanied by music and poetry

The controversial story of the men forced to shoot their fellow Tommies.

“A volley rings out—a nervous volley it is true, yet a volley. Before the fatal shots are fired I had called the battalion to attention. There is a pause, I wait. I see the medical officer examining the victim. He makes a sign, the subaltern strides forward, a single shot rings out. Life is now extinct . . . We march back to breakfast . . . This is war.”

Brigadier-General Crozier describes an execution he has ordered of a man who fell asleep on sentry duty. Much has been written about the 346 men who were executed in WW1 but there is usually only a passing reference to those who took part—the members of the firing squad, the officer in charge, the medical officer, and the padre. What are their stories? Through extensive research, David Johnson explores how they were selected and how they were treated before, during, and after the executions, and why there were so many procedural variations in the way that the executions were conducted.

Following David’s talk, poems will be read and performed, on the theme of ‘Shot at Dawn’ the name given to the campaign for a full pardon for those executed during WW1. Guest poets, include John and Liz Mills, Jan and Nigel Wilkins, Ian M Parr and Bernard Pearson & Ron Turner representing Oswestry Writers.
Poems will also be read in memory of A.R. (David) Lewis ex Welsh Guardsman who was a strong supporter of the Shot at Dawn Campaign – who David Johnson consulted on writing his book and included three of David’s own poems within its pages. In support of this lecture – music will be played by Nigel Wilkins on piano.

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November 6th
7:00 pm
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Bellan House School
Church Street
Oswestry, SY11 2ST
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