Planning to mark war?



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Organisations planning events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War are being encouraged to promote their activities via a central calendar.

The government has established a working group to help community organisations and public authorities mark significant milestones taking place over the next four years.

Chaired by Edmund Southworth, director of Manx National Heritage, the group brings together government officers and representatives from the Royal British Legion, Municipal Association and Chamber of Commerce.

It will not directly organise activities or allocate funding, and will instead provide central co-ordination for First World War commemorations being held in the island. Work will also focus on helping to raise awareness of the Isle of Man’s contribution to the Great War and encouraging community participation in events.

The government website provides an overview of WWI’s momentous impact on the Isle of Man, not just in the considerable number of lives lost, but also in the profound economic, social and political upheaval experienced at the time.

This site also features a local events calendar, so that Island organisations can publicise their activities and avoid any potential clashes.

This central support is in addition to First World War projects being planned by government departments, boards and offices, including the major exhibition ‘This Terrible Ordeal’, which opened at the Manx Museum earlier this month.

Mr Southworth said: ‘Many nations will mark the anniversaries of key events during the period from 2014 to 2018, reflecting on the experiences of ordinary men and women and how the war has shaped the last 100 years. We want to gain an overview of how the Isle of Man as a whole is planning to commemorate the First World War, so that we can help to co-ordinate and publicise activities via the Government website and act as a central point of contact for information.’

Any individuals or organisations planning to stage an event between 2014 and 2018 are asked to complete the online form and return it to Ann Craine, Secretary to the First World War commemoration steering group, on email at or phone 685211.

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