A permanent exhibition for camp centenary

Patrick's Old Schoolrooms

Patrick's Old Schoolrooms

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Planners have approved a bid for a permanent exhibition centre on Knockaloe internment camp at Patrick Old Schoolrooms.

The aim is for the exhibition to be ready in time for the centenary of the camp opening in September.

Patrick Community Centre Committee applied for the work, which also includes building an extension to house a function room.

In the bid it said: ‘Despite being of huge significance in the island’s 20th century history, there is currently no proper display about this period other than a small amount of information at the Manx Museum, and information and a display of items made by internees as a small part of the Peel Leece Museum.

‘Schoolchildren in the island remain unaware that it even existed as there is no easy or visual way of teaching about it.’

The committee says the Schoolrooms makes an ideal location as it is near to the entrance to Knockaloe Moar Farm - where the camp held 24,000 enemy aliens of the British Government during the First World War.

The exhibition will cover the internees, guards and workers including internee Josef Pilates, who developed Pilates, and Archibald Knox, who worked as a parcel censor.

It will also focus on life in the camp and the impact it had on Manx residents.

And there will be a central database for those searching for details of their relatives.

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