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New exhibition commemorates those involved in conflict

by TH

New exhibition commemorates those involved in conflict

Men, women and children from the Isle of Man are being commemorated as part of a new exhibition at the Manx Museum.

Mann at War has been opened to coincide with the anniversary of the Armistice – it looks at conflict from the 1700s to the present day.

Individual stories of those involved in the Napoleonic Wars, First and Second World Wars, Cold War, Gulf War and Afghanistan will be told.

Designed by a local architect, and constructed by local builders and crafts people, the new gallery is the latest improvement to the Manx Museum complex.

The gallery replaces an area of the museum which was previously dedicated to social history and was last redisplayed in the early 1990s.

The gallery was opened by military historian Professor Eric Grove who says:“Conflict has always influenced the history of the Isle of Man, with the Manx nation playing a vital role in shaping world events through war and strife.

“Through objects and stories this new gallery explores the experiences of those who have been affected by international conflict over the last 250 years from the ages of sail and empire, through the two world wars and into modern times.”

Malcolm Kelly, Deputy Chairman of the Manx Museum and National Trust, says: “The new gallery is one of the most important projects to be undertaken at the Manx Museum in recent timesand has been many years in the making.

“More than 200 items have been painstakingly researched, selected and cleaned by our dedicated team at the Manx Museum and we are incredibly proud of the results.

“Through research in preparation for this gallery we have learned that Captain Quilliam’s naval uniform is not only of local importance but is of international significance.

“Bloodstains and battle damage revealed during conservation treatment offer support to the long-held assertion that this is in fact the uniform that Quilliam wore aboard HMS Victory at Trafalgar in 1805.

“It is now looking increasingly likely that we have in the Manx Museum one of only a handful of such uniforms.

“Likewise study of Caesar Bacon’s uniform has revealed that it is the oldest Napoleonic light cavalry uniform known to exist in the British Isles.

“Again, there is mounting evidence to support the belief that it was actually worn on the battlefield at Waterloo. 

“Further research in preparation for the gallery has also brought to light his Waterloo medal, still with his family after 200 years, and I am delighted to tell you that it is now on display with his uniform, one of only two such combinations in the British Isles.”

The development of the new gallery was funded by the Isle of Man Government’s Capital Programme and the Friends of Manx National Heritage.

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