Events to mark Great War centenary

Jean Faragher and Bill Kelly with the giant poppy made by members from Trinity Church

Jean Faragher and Bill Kelly with the giant poppy made by members from Trinity Church

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The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War will be marked with services across the island today (Sunday).

Of the 7,109 Manxmen who fought, some 1,165 were killed and 987 were wounded.

At Trinity Church in Douglas a giant poppy has been made out of pom poms, raising over £300 for the Royal British Legion (RBL). The poppy will be on show at a service of ‘respect, peace and tolerance’ on Sunday at 10.30am.

Onchan War Memorial will be re-dedicated on Sunday as an act of remembrance.

At midday a parade led by Onchan Silver Band will travel from St Peter’s Church to the village war memorial, where the service will get under way.

Winners of a schools’ poetry contest will be unveiled as the top entries have been inscribed on marble slabs.

A number of commemorations are being held on Monday to mark Britain entering WW1 at 11pm on August 4, 1914. Many are taking part in RBL’s Lights Out initiative, taking inspiration from the remark by wartime Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey on the eve of Britain entering the war: ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.’

The Castletown branch of the RBL will hold an open air service and last post at dusk.

It will be followed by the opening of a First World War exhibition featuring a life-size model of a trench in the Civic Centre.

The island’s branch of the Royal Artillery Association will hold a service from 7.15pm and play the last post at the memorial on Douglas Head.

A wreath will be laid by Haydyn Waddington , great, great, great grandson of Sapper John Samuel Kay, who served in the war.

Douglas Council will turn off its decorative lighting in the town and the street lighting at Douglas Head at 10pm.

A short commemorative service led by the Venerable Andrew Brown, Archdeacon of Man, will be held at the viewing platform on Douglas Head.

Residents should join councillors on the viewing platform at 9.50pm to watch the decorative lights go out and see two large-scale images of poppies projected.

Peel Cathedral will hold a one-hour vigil service at 10pm, which will end in darkness.

During the day youngsters from each parish will lay a wreath at their war memorial, followed by a few minutes of silence. At 7pm there will be a service of commemoration at the national memorial on the St John’s fair field.

Youngsters will pass the national tribute from hand to hand before placing it on the steps of the memorial. Then a candle-lit vigil will be held at 10.15pm before all lights are turned out at 11pm.

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