Route départementale D959 59360
On the 31 Oct 1918 Wilfred wrote his last letter home.
"My Dearest Mother, I am writing this in a smoky cellar…… It’s a great life… There
is no danger down here.……Of this I am certain: you could not be visited by a band of friends half so fine as those who surround me here…... (To Sassoon) Dearest Friend, Some poems to tempt you to a letter…. And I’ll give you my mother’s address……. I know you would try to see her – if I fail to see her again."
La Maison Forestière at Or is where Wilfred Owen spent his last few days before he was killed attempting to cross the Sambre-Oise canal on 4 November 1918. He lies in the British Commonwealth section of the communal cemetery at Ors.
Our two day tour was a unique opportunity for all those wishing to reflect on war and learn more about Wilfred Owen; to make the trip to the Commonwealth War Graves and take part in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menim Gate.
Wilfred Owen Memorial - La Maison Forestière, ORS (France)
Special Two Day Commemorative Tour - 30 & 31 October
The Wilfred Owen Memorial - La Maison Forestière
The Mayor of Ors, Jacky Duminy, local councillors and residents together with the Wilfred Owen Association France brought about the transformation of the Foresters House to the memorial it is today. Artconnexion, an organisation devoted to the production of contemporary art, and mediator for the New Patrons initiative of the Foundation de France commissioned Turner Prize nominee Simon Patterson to design a fitting work of art. The artist’s design has been realised by the French architect Jean-Christophe Denise and the result is this stunning white sculptured memorial to Owen and his poetry, which opened to the public on October 1st 2011.
The house is simultaneously a sculpture, a visual work and a sound piece: its roof is remade to represent an open book while the internal space is filled with animated projections of texts by Wilfred Owen on the walls, read by Sir Kenneth Branagh. A circular ramp leads down to the cellar where Wilfred Owen wrote his last; preserved exactly as it was.
It’s a powerful place. Unlike other museums centred around war, there are no artefacts, no tanks, no bombs, no arms. Just one room and a poetry reading.