Tributes have been paid to Royal British Legion stalwart Ian Cannell, who has died.

Mr Cannell, who served as the island’s branch president and UK national chairman, was recognised for his dedication to the Legion in 2004 when he was appointed CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

He was known as the voice of Tynwald Day having provided the commentary from the public address system at St John’s for 50 years.

Mr Cannell was also heavily involved with the Manx Grand Prix. He drove course cars for the TT and MGP for many years and commentated for Manx Radio on the races.

He also commentated on the round-island powerboat races from the battlements of Peel Castle in the 1960s and numerous royal visits.

A Peel man through and through having lived there throughout his life, he served as town clerk on Peel Commissioners from 1985 to 1999.

The flag at the town hall is flying at half mast as a mark of respect.

Brigadier Norman Butler, chairman of the island’s Armed Forces Day committee, said: ’I have known and respected Ian Cannell since we first worked together in 1985.

’He was a man of considerable intelligence and a dedicated professional with exceptional powers of expression.

’He made an outstanding contribution to the Royal British Legion on the island and was the UK national chairman for five important years. He was the voice of the island every Tynwald Day - and what a voice!’

Brigadier Butler worked with Mr Cannell from 2007 to organise Manx National Armed Forces Day.

’He was a tower of strength to me through challenging periods and I cannot speak too highly of his competence and loyalty. I shall miss him deeply as an adviser and even more so as a great friend.’

Major Charles Wilson, vice-chairman of the Royal British Legion Isle of Man, said Mr Cannell ’gave a lifetime of service to the Royal British Legion’, travelling world-wide working tirelessly as an ambassador for the charity.

’The Legion mourns the loss of a faithful comrade,’ he said.

Speaking on behalf of Peel Commissioners, chairman Ian Davison described Mr Cannell as ’an excellent and much-loved clerk. Both myself and my fellow commissioners of Peel would like to send their deepest sympathy to Mr Cannell’s family and friends at this very sad time and all our thoughts are with them.’

Mr Cannell leaves a long-time companion, Mollie Quirk.