Long-lost copies of magazine edited by shell-shocked Owen are finally found

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Forgotten copies of a magazine edited by First World War poet Wilfred Owen while he recovered from shell shock in hospital have been discovered after 100 years.

The Hydra included works by Owen and his literary mentor, Siegfried Sassoon.

The recovered edition, created by patients at the Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh, contains general notices, criticisms about hospital conditions, and most notably, poetry about life during the war. The original magazines were lost over time, which led to an appeal by war memorabilia experts from Napier University’s Craiglockhart Campus.

University staff were stunned when relatives of another former patient, who took over as Hydra editor when Owen returned to the front, announced they had three copies and donated them to Napier.

The magazines will now go on display at the War Poets Collection exhibition later this year.

Librarian Catherine Walker said: “We already have photocopies of Wilfred Owen’s editorials on display, including the September 1 issue from 1917, where he comments: ‘Many of us who came to the Hydro slightly ill are getting dangerously well’, as, of course, the men would be sent back to the front when they recovered. It is a real pleasure to be able to house original copies in the collection.”