Lest We Forget...

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In October 1917, whilst recovering from shell-shock, Wilfred Owen sent a letter to his mother which included a ‘gas poem’. This he revised and edited between January and July 1918 until it became the poem we now know as ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’.

Incredibly powerful, deeply moving, Owen’s work describes the harsh realities faced by those fighting in the trenches. My grandfather was amongst them.

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We were very fortunate and my grandfather returned home; many did not. Today marks the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War and there have been many tributes to those who have served their countries in many ways.

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Martin Impey and Hilary Robinson have combined their talents to create four amazing, beautiful books about Ben and Ray, friends who went to war together. These are the perfect way to introduce children to the life of soldiers in the trenches, the Christmas truce, the role of animals in war and the contribution of women who nursed soldiers on the battle lines. Their fifth collaboration- ‘A Song for Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan’ - is an incredible piece of work, celebrating the lives of those who worked at Heligan in Cornwall.

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In ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, Martin Impey has used his incredible artistic talents to interpret Owen’s words. This is not for a younger audience, but a heart-felt, gritty interpretation of the horrors experienced by soldiers.

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The book starts with a foreword contextualising the work before showing the revisions Owen made to ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ as he edited and developed his work to its finished form. Martin Impey has included some of these alterations as haunting shadows behind the finalised text, adding to the poem’s poignancy.

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Each page is a work of art. Martin’s talent and passion match that with which Wilfred Owen wrote each line and make a worthy tribute to those who fought and a stunning memorial for them. It emphasises the horrors of conflict, refuting ‘the Old Lie’.

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A powerful, significant work, perfect for using at KS3.

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen, illustrated by Martin Impey

Strauss House Publishing ISBN: 978-1527218253