In the late evening many, moons ago, the phone rang and a voice asked whether, by any chance, I was related to Wilfred Owen. That voice, which I was to enjoy hearing many times, belonged to Robert Hutchison. He told me that he was in throes of establishing the Wilfred Owen Association. Two Shrewsbury residents, Margaret and Cynthia Ingrouille, a mother and daughter, who felt that Wilfred should be better known in the town, had posted a letter through Robert’s letter box, asking for his support. Robert was a local councillor and was never one to waste an opportunity, or to fail to support a cause in which he believed, contacted them. So, the Wilfred Owen Association launched. For Elizabeth and me, as well as for many others, it was the start of an amazing journey with him.
Robert founded the Wilfred Owen Association. He raised the considerable funds for the Wilfred Owen memorial, “Symmetry”, in the Abbey grounds. He took a very active part in arranging other events, which have been instrumental in promoting the work and life of Wilfred. Robert's natural charm and gentle persuasive powers were hard to resist. He had a marvellous sense of humour, making him an enchanting person to spend time with. He had boundless energy and a wide breadth of knowledge.
He was connected with, and helped to found, many organisations, one of which is the very successful Winchester Poetry Festival, a biennial festival, the third of which takes place in 2018. Our hearts go out to his wife and daughter, Lizzie and Sarah. Robert will linger warmly in our memories and in the memories of the many friends he made during his time with the Wilfred Owen Association. A life well lived.