To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War Douglas Borough Council has installed a 16.5 x 14m poppy memorial on Douglas Head to symbolise the scale of the sacrifice of those who gave their lives in the 1914-1918 global conflict.
A ceremony of dedication was held on Monday November 5 presided over by His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Jonathan Joughin JP and with readings by the Mayor’s chaplain, Monsignor John Devine OBE.
In a short speech ahead of unveiling a memorial plaque His Worship said: ‘This memorial will stand here permanently as a reminder of the horror that was the First World War, to honour those whose lives were irrevocably changed by it, and to remember those of Douglas whose lives were given in the service of their country during that conflict.’
Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP said: ‘All of us are, in some way, connected to the First World War, a conflict of such magnitude that it has defined world history ever since. It is important that we keep alive the memory of those who served and those who died; that we honour those courageous men and women who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today and from which generations that follow will also benefit.
‘Installing this poppy memorial on Douglas Head is the Council’s tribute to the fallen; but it is also to recognise and offer thanks to all those serving in the Armed Forces today for protecting the values we hold dear.’
Funding for the project was met by a £10,000 grant from the Manx Lottery Trust with the Council providing a further £5000.
Manx Lottery Trust chairman Sarah Kelly said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to support the creation of this very visible poppy on Douglas Head, which is not only for remembrance but also a special usable community space.’
In support of the centenary of the Armistice the Council’s Parks Service has installed seven bespoke benches featuring a poppy design on the seat backs; one is located at the poppy memorial on Douglas Head, two are in front of the Douglas War Memorial, two are outside Douglas Town Hall and two have been placed in Marine Garden Number One where a round carpet bedding display incorporates a wreath of 100 ceramic poppies and three ‘There But Not There’ Perspex life-size Tommy silhouettes, the ‘Silent Soldier’ figure recognised as the defining symbol of centenary commemorations for the end of the 1914-1918 war.