Hundreds of people gathered at war memorials in towns and villages across the Island to mark Remembrance Sunday. In the afternoon, a National Service of Remembrance was held in St John's church. In attendance, was the Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney and Lady Gozney, along with Chief Minister Howard Quayle and other dignitaries. After the service, everyone made the short walk down to the war memorial. The memorial was surrounded by the crowds who came to watch the ceremony. At the back of the memorial were flag bearers from the services and behind them stood 3 Clysdale horses.
BHS IOM Secretary, Jessica Clague brought Tuula her own Clysdale down and she stood proudly behind the memorial, alongside two Douglas Bay Horse Tramway boys William & Torrin.
On behalf of the BHS IOM, Chair Angie Goody laid the wreath that had been made in the shape of a heavy horse collar that was covered in purple knitted poppies made by the local WI ladies. The Purple poppies symbolised the animals that lost their lives and served in the war alongside the soldiers.
Over 100 horses from the Isle of Man were sent to war never to return. In total eight million horses, donkeys and mules died in World War I, three-quarters of them from the extreme conditions they worked in.
It was the first time horses had been present at the ceremony and it was certainly appreciated by many. Several onlookers commented how poignant it was to have the horses there and for them to also be remembered. At the end of the ceremony, the horses were brought up alongside the war memorial were we stood and reflected.
Special Thanks to the Royal British Legion who allowed us to have the horses there, and to Jessica for organising the horses.