Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Sir Daniel Day Lewis helps launch war poetry collection in Edinburgh


Stars including Sir Daniel Day-Lewis and Nathaniel Parker have helped relaunch a special collection of books and other items celebrating the work of war poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.

Five high profile faces from the arts and creative world have lent their voices to Edinburgh Napier’s relaunched War Poets Collection:

  • Oscar-winning actor Sir Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Olivier-winning stage and screen actor Nathaniel Parker
  • poet, broadcaster and comedian Ian McMillan
  • journalist and broadcaster Allan Little
  • award-winning author Dr Pat Barker

Housed within the University’s Craiglockhart campus, the revamped space has been unveiled to mark 100 years since the Craiglockhart Hydropathic was first used as a military hospital to treat shell shocked officers during the First World War. A newly created bronze sculpture of Wilfred Owen, the first of its kind, has also been installed in the enhanced Collection.

Sir Daniel Day Lewis has recited seven of Wilfred Owen’s most famous works specifically for the Collection, recording versions of The Send-Off, Sonnet, Dulce et Decorum Est, Anthem for Doomed Youth, Greater Love, Soldier’s Dream and Futility. 

His association with Wilfred Owen’s work stems back to his father, Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, who edited Owen’s poetry in the 1960s. Sir Daniel’s mother, Jill Balcon, was a vice-president of the Wilfred Owen Association.

The works of Owen’s friend and mentor Siegfried Sassoon have been captured by actor Nathaniel Parker. Nathaniel played Wilfred Owen in Derek Jarman’s War Requiem, a 1989 film adaptation of Benjamin Britten’s film of the same name.

A selection of Robert Graves’ poetry has been recited by the journalist and broadcaster, Allan Little with Yorkshireman Ian McMillan adding his own unique interpretation to a selection of anonymous poetry from The Hydra; journal of Craiglockhart War Hospital

Dr Pat Barker, author of the novel, Regeneration, set in Craiglockhart War Hospital, has recorded a further six poems by officers who were treated there, including The Somme Valley 1917 by Canadian poet Frank Prewett.

The playlist of recorded poetry, which can be listened to through two handsets within the space, will conclude with a haunting version of The Lads of Quintinshill 1915 composed and played by musician Thoren Ferguson. Thoren plays the Wilfred Owen violin which is made from a branch of a sycamore tree from the grounds of Craiglockhart campus itself.

For more infomation on the project, visit the website.

Back to "Scotland and World War One" Category

03/11/2016 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Scottish theologian George Gillespie was born - On this day in history

Church leader George Gillespie was born on 21 January 1613 in Kirkcaldy.

Inventor and engineer James Watt was born - On this day in history

James Watt, inventor of the condensor, which helped make the Industrial Revolution possible, was born on 19 ...

Sir John Pringle died - On this day in Scottish history

Sir John Pringle, President of the Royal Society and physician to King George III, died on 18 January 1782. ...

The Duddingston Curling Society was founded - On this day in history

On 17 January 1795, the Duddingston Curling Society became the first formally organised curling club in the ...

Other Articles

Restored Mary Queen of Scots statue to take pride of place in Linlithgow in time for Month of MQS

A much-loved statue of Mary Queen of Scots has been restored and will be on display at Linlithgow Museum, as ...

Caithness novelist Neil Gunn died - On this day in history

Scottish novelist Neil M Gunn, author of The Silver Darlings, died on 15 January 1973. ...

Greyfriars Bobby died - On this day in history

Greyfriars Bobby, the faithful terrier said to have kept vigil at his master's grave for fourteen years, died ...

New two-year academic research project will explore how the legend of Mary Queen of Scots has impacted society and culture

More than forty international academics and curators are to join a project led by the University of Glasgow, ...