Two ceramic poppies from the 2014 Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red installation at the Tower of London marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War have been donated to Ramsey Town Commissioners.
Former Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Richard Radcliffe and his wife Helen donated one poppy, the other was gifted by the family of George E Perry who perished on HMS Ramsey on August 8, 1915.
The installation, by ceramicist Paul Cummins, consisted of 888,246 poppies each one representing a British Isles or colonial servicemen killed in the First World War.
Mr and Mrs Radcliffe donated their poppy in memory of three of their relatives. John Radcliffe of Ramsey, a private in the Coldstream Guards, killed in action aged 21 on January 25, 1915 at Cuinchy and John Edward Corlett, of Ramsey, a private in the 11th Battalion Border Regiment who died on July 10, 1917, aged 20, were great-uncles to Mr Radcliffe. Claude H Richmond, a private with the 51st Battalion Australian Infantry, who died on April 4, 1917 at Pozieres aged 28, was great-great-uncle to Mrs Radcliffe.
Mr Radcliffe said: ‘Helen and I chose to donate the poppy so that the horror of war is never forgotten.’
Installed in the foyer of Ramsey town hall the poppies flank the Armed Forces Community Covenant, signed on November 8, 2015 between the then chairman of Ramsey Town Commissioners Richard Radcliffe and Royal British Legion Isle of Man county chairman Ray Ferguson on behalf of the armed forces community. The occasion made Ramsey the first local authority in the Island to sign the Covenant, signatories to which pledge to support, recognise and honour the Island’s serving and veteran armed forces community.
Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Andy Cowie said: ‘I am delighted to be supporting the previous board’s commitment to the Island’s armed forces through the means of the Community Covenant. I am also extremely grateful to Richard and Helen Radcliffe and to the Perry family for their generous donation of these poppies. They are deeply evocative works of art which remind us all of the sacrifice made by so many and we are proud to display them in the town hall.’
Mr Ferguson said: ‘Of the more than 800,000 fallen represented by the poppies at the Tower of London some 1200 were Manx servicemen, so it is fitting that the Isle of Man should be honouring them in this way, thanks to the generosity of the Radcliffe and Perry families.’
Mr Cowie added: ‘This short ceremony could not be more apposite, coming just days before the Commission’s Remembrance Sunday service, to which we will be honoured to be welcoming His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Richard Gozney.’
Photo - Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Andy Cowie with Royal British Legion Isle of Man county chairman Ray Ferguson, left, and Richard and Helen Radcliffe, pictured alongside one of the two poppies from the Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red installation. Photo Andrew Barton.