What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Wilfred Owen
A copy of Wilfred Owen’s discharge letter is among many treasures in the Memory Box. It’s not exactly poetry but that letter brought the poet from a medical centre in Wales to Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh where he met Siegfried Sassoon in 1917. With such tangible stuff is history told – and retold through the extraordinary work of Disability History Scotland.
So we are very pleased to be joining DHS for this year’s annual conference on Saturday 6 December when the Memory Box will be opened during an afternoon and evening of music, film, debate and feasting. And we hope you will be there too: DHS events are not to be missed. And this one is FREE. Book here and now!
This special event in Edinburgh City Chambers – hosted by Leith Open Space member, Councillor Nick Gardner – marks the launch of the imaginative and challenging project which won DHS a Heritage Lottery Fund award of £60,000 last year. The funding is for “projects presenting new perspectives of the First World War and bringing to light previously untold stories.”
One Last Push: the final battle of WW1 is a unique animation film which tells the story of the disability movement from WWI to the present day, using WWI and disability artefacts and narration by local people. Or, as City of Literature describe it on their events page, “Memory Box is about storytelling… bringing together memories as well as memorabilia gathered from local communities.”
Both the film (made by Muckle Hen Productions) and the Memory Box (locally crafted) provide evidence of changing attitudes to disability, which began with the brutal shock of casualties and injuries sustained during WW1. Among written words in the Memory Box you will find books such as Cripple George, or The Education of Mentally Handicapped Children, whose titles speak volumes about changing attitudes to disability.
But there is still some distance to go so you can expect stimulating conversations among the friendly crowd at the City Chambers. And we are delighted to be playing a part in contributing to the feast as members of World Kitchen in Leith (look for the menu to be posed soon on our Facebook pages). All brought together by the one and only comedian-historian Susan Morrison.
Wilfred Owen’s handwritten original Anthem for Doomed Youth, with notes by Siegfried Sasson, is not in the Memory Box. But come and see what is!