Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK has announced that a National Service of Commemoration will be held in the Island to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One.
The service will take place during the afternoon of Sunday 3 August at St George’s Church in Douglas.
It will be attended by invited guests, including representatives from organisations with a specific interest in World War One events, as well as being open to members of the public.
The Chief Minister said: ‘It will be an honour for me to lead this national service of commemoration on behalf of the Government and people of the Isle of Man. The Great War had a dramatic impact on the Island, not just in the considerable number of lives of Manxmen lost, but also in the profound economic, social and political upheaval experienced over those four years and beyond.’
He added: ‘It is important to remember those men and women who sacrificed so much to help shape the future of our nation.’
Official records show that 8,261 men enlisted in the armed forces, which was 82.3% of the Isle of Man’s male population of military age. Of these, 1,165 gave their lives and 987 were wounded.
Tourism stopped, ships and crews were commandeered for service and Island life was disrupted by men volunteering to fight and women moving away to work in munitions factories. The Isle of Man was also the location for internment camps for 25,000 enemy aliens.
The national service of commemoration, which will start at 3pm on 3 August, will be a focal point of community efforts to mark the 100th anniversaries of key events during the period from 2014 to 2018.
The Government website https://www.gov.im/commemoration features a section dedicated to the Island’s WWI commemorations, including an events calendar so that organisations can plan their activities and avoid any potential clashes.
This central support is in addition to WWI projects being planned by Government Departments, Boards and Offices, including Education and Children, Infrastructure, Health, Social Care, Manx National Heritage and the Post Office.