Events to mark First World War - but no candlelit vigil

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A commemorative event taking place across the UK to mark the start of the First World War 100 years ago this year is not being actively promoted in the Isle of Man.

The event called Lights Out 14-18, will see residents mark the milestone by turning their lights out at home and lighting a candle for an hour on August 4 (the actual day war was declared in 1914) between 10 and 11pm.

Commemorative candles are being sold by Marks and Spencer both in the UK and in the Isle of Man with a donation from the proceeds going to the British Legion.

The event is expected to be observed around the UK but Hilary Cleverly, secretary of British Legion, Douglas branch, said she was not aware of anything being officially promoted in the Isle of Man, though there are separate commemorative events happening.

‘The branches have not had any notification but it’s a nice idea,’ she said.

‘If anyone wants to do it of course they are very welcome to go ahead. I believe our Douglas branch of Marks and Spencer is selling the candles. It would be a nice thing to see people do it, and we are aware it’s being done in the UK.’

Other events to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the war are taking place in the island. A church service is being held at St George’s church in Douglas on Sunday August 3.

A service planned on Douglas Head on August 4 is not now able to go ahead, however a celebration at the Legion club in Douglas is planned. This should include wartime-themed entertainment including a Vera Lynn impersonator.

Entry will be available on the door but it will be on a first come, first served basis.

In Castletown Square at 6pm, there will be an official service on August 4 by the war memorial. The Last Post is to be sounded at dusk. Castletown Town Hall is the location for a World War One exhibition which will be opened at 6.30pm. The exhibition includes a varietyy of historical memorabilia including a life-size representation of a First World War trench.

Manx National Heritage has an exibition on at the Manx Museum in Douglas which runs until January next year marking the anniversary. The free exhibition, called This Terrible Ordeal, charts the impact of the war on the people of the Isle of Man and is open Monday to Saturday. A number of people are featured in the exhibition telling their stories in their own words, and they represent a wide spectrum of experience, from military to medical personnel and prisoners of war.

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