You are here:Home > News > Council News > Council to mark centenary of iconic War Memorial

Council to mark centenary of iconic War Memorial

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 16:12

Family members of those who lost their lives during the two World Wars are being invited to pay their respects to loved ones next week.


Douglas City Council is inviting both them, and members of the public generally, to attend a short service at the cenotaph marking the 100th anniversary of the iconic War Memorial on Douglas Promenade.


The structure commemorates the citizens of Douglas who lost their lives in both World Wars with an inscription carved into the stonework around the plinth which reads: ‘Douglas commemorates the loyalty, courage and self sacrifice of those who fell in the Great Wars 1914 - 1918, 1939 – 1945.’


It was constructed by local stonecutter, TS Quayle, a century ago at a cost of £3,400 (valued today at £250,000), money raised by public subscription.


The names listed on the roll of honour amounted to 700 before names of fallen World War II men and women were later incorporated into the 50-feet tall statue which was designed by Ewart Crellin and takes the form of a 40ft-high column topped by a 10ft-high statue of an infantry soldier.


Made mostly of Foxdale granite, the inscription panels and floor paving of the memorial are of Westmoreland slate.


On Wednesday, 29 May, a short service will be held at the War Memorial from 3.30pm before a wreath is laid by Madam Mayor, Speaker of the House of Keys Juan Watterson (Chair of the War Memorial Committee) and veteran organisations. Anyone is welcome to lay a wreath on the day.


Mayor, Natalie Byron-Teare, will welcome members of the public before prayers led by the Mayor’s Chaplain, the Reverend Monsignor John Devine.


As well as a two minutes silence, which will be preceded by the playing of the Last Post and, subsequently, the Reveille, a poem, especially written by the current Manx Bard, Boakesey Closs, will be read out to conclude the service.


Councillor Byron-Teare said: ‘Douglas War Memorial has proudly stood on the Promenade for the last 100 years as a way of remembering all those who lost their lives in conflict.


‘The huge loss of life experienced during both world wars must have had a lasting effect on many families and communities across the Island so the centenary of its unveiling is an important day to reaffirm it as a place of remembrance for future generations.’


Council Leader Claire Wells believes the memorial acts as the symbol of sacrifice for those who left the comfort of their homes to fight for something greater.


‘Douglas War Memorial was unveiled and dedicated at a ceremony on Thursday May 29th 1924, at the same time of 3.30pm since when it has become a special place for our whole community, dedicated to the men of Douglas who fought for our freedoms in the First and Second World Wars,’ she added.


‘It truly is a testament to the endurance and resilience of the human spirit and is where we collectively turn to for Remembrance and we must continue to preserve the memory of those of our own who have died in conflict.’