Michael Parish Memorial Plaque WWl

Michael Parish Commemorative Plaque, Kirk Michael

Period: 1922-04-17

NGR Easting: 231746

NGR Northing: 490820

Description: Inscription reads as follows: "To the / glory of God / in / memory of the / men from the / Parish of Michael / 1914 who fell in the Great War 1918."

14 names listed;
First World War.

Also "1939 and in the Second World War 1945."

7 names listed;
Second World War.

Plaque of Sicilian marble, in a hendecagon (eleven sided) shape. Affixed to an interior west facing wall of St Michael's Church. The plaque is bordered all round by an interlaced Celtic pattern, inside which the names of the fallen men have been inscribed. At a later date, three plaques have been affixed to the wall underneath the original plaque, to commemorate those who fell in the Seond World War.

The memorial was unveiled on Easter Monday 17 April 1922 by the Lieutenant Governor Major General Sir William Fry KCVO CB. It was dedicated by the Lord Bishop, the Rev. James Denton Thompson and was sponsored by public subcription. The memorial to commemorate those who gave their lives in the Second World War was unveiled on Sunday 23rd May 1948 at 6.30pm.

The memorial was designed by Mr Archibald Knox and sculpted by Thomas H. Royston of 12 Peel Road, Douglas.

Information provided by the Isle of Man Government Preservation of War Memorials Committee.
Image courtesy of Chris Blyth, Isle of Man Photographic Society.

Courtesy of Manx National Heritage via the link at imuseum.im.

This information is from "Michael in the Great War" book: and AKF is very grateful to Mike Clague (the author) for allowing us to use it on our website.
A meeting was held on 21 May 1919, convened by the Captain of the Parish, to consider the question of a War Memorial for the parish. A committee was formed, its members being:
Mr. John C. Caine, C.P. (Chairman)
Mr. W. F. Crowe, chairman of the Parish Commissioners
Mr. F. A. Comaish, chairman of the Village Commissioners
Mr. J. D. L. Kelly, Kerroocoar
Mr. John R. Quayle, secretary.
Mr. Ed. H. Corkill, chairman of the School Board, was co-opted after the meeting.
When the meeting closed, the committee met and agreed to make an urgent appeal for all parishioners to send in their subscriptions or state the amount they were prepared to subscribe to the fund. They considered that it was “the duty of the parishioners to voluntarily come forward and provide the necessary funds to erect a suitable memorial to the brave men who have made the supreme sacrifice...” They decided that “any memorial worthy of the object will cost anything up to £100” and had confidence in appealing for that sum.
One week later, on 31 May 1919, a correspondent to the Isle of Man Times said that there was “considerable dissatisfaction” with the proposed War Memorial plans and that £100 was an “absurdly high sum to spend for purely ornamental or sentimental purposes.” It was considered that “surely quite a good cross, beautiful, and substantial, which would fittingly serve the desired purpose, could be obtained for £20 to £30.” It was also felt wrong for the committee to invite subscriptions before the form of memorial, the cost or site had been agreed upon.
Two years later, in March 1921, a public meeting was held to receive the report of a committee appointed to inquire into the cost of purchasing a field. The concept for a War Memorial in the village was now the purchase for £900 of an 8 acre field near to the Railway Station, to be used for recreation by ex-soldiers and others. The parishioners were later canvassed for their views, and three weeks later a second meeting was held. The result was that only £240 had been promised, and the proposed scheme was abandoned. It was reported that a similar lack of funding had been experienced in Andreas.
Despite all the problems, it was eventually decided to instal a memorial tablet on the north wall the Parish Church. The beautiful memorial was unveiled by the Lieutenant Governor and dedicated by the Lord Bishop on Easter Monday in 1922 and the occasion was described in great detail in The Manx Quarterly, #29 - 1923: (courtesy www.manxnotebook.com):

“The war memorial ceremony at Michael, which took place on Easter Monday, was perhaps the most impressive of its kind which has yet occurred in the Island. The form of service selected was elaborate, and was gone through with great effectiveness and beauty, a choir of 80 voices having rehearsed for many weeks, under the direction of Mr J. D. L. Kelly. This choir, which was drawn from the Parish Church, the Wesleyan Methodist Chapels at Michael and Barregarrow, and the Primitive Methodist Chapel, also rendered Spohr’s celebrated quartette and chorus, “ Blest are the Departed,” Miss Sarah Kelly, L.R.A.M., presiding at the organ. The ceremony of unveiling was performed by the Lieut.-Governor (who was accompanied by Lady Fry and Mr J. L. Goldie-Taubman, M.L.C.), and that of dedication by the Lord Bishop, who was attended by the Rev. C. V. Stockwood, of St. Olave’s, Ramsey, in the capacity of crozier-bearer.

Prayers were said by the Vicar (Rev. H. T. Devall, D.D.), and the lessons were read by the Rev. Edgar C. Palmer (Wesleyan), and the Rev. Richd. Bolton (Primitive Methodist). Eloquent addresses were given by the Governor and the Bishop, and the ceremony was brought to a close by the sounding of the ‘Last Post” and the “Reveille,” by Messrs. W. Bridson and J. Quirk, members of the Douglas Town Band.

The local ex-service men, numbering about forty, attended, and in their names a wreath was placed on the memorial by Lieut. Mark Quayle, who was for some time a prisoner in Germany.”

The carved oak shelf beneath the memorial was made by the firm of Kelly Bros., in the village.