The sacrifices of former King William’s College staff and pupils are to be commemorated next month - exactly 100 years after the end of World War One.
The Chapel of St Thomas, King William’s College will hold a Remembrance Requiem – an act of remembrance in poetry, letters and music by candlelight on Sunday, 11th November.
A total of 139 College students and staff lost their lives during the Great War and, in addition to being remembered in Chapel, 139 pairs of boots will be placed around the school, each representing a life lost.
It’s the brainchild of staff members David Dawson and Alison Schreiber who said: “We have been thinking a lot about the 139 individuals from the College community who gave their lives.
"To help remember them and their stories, we are placing the pairs of boots throughout the College so that as we walk around we can take a moment to remember those who went before us.
"Each pair of boots will have a poppy and an accompanying tag with information about the person whose boots they represent.
"They will then be put in line leading to Chapel for our Remembrance Service.
"The sacrifices made by the brave men who fought in the Great War should never be forgotten, which is why we felt it important and are honoured to commemorate the centenary of the end of the war."
Alison, who has organised the school’s WWI Centenary commemorations for the past four years, also enlisted the help of Head of Art Stephen Kelly and some of his students, who have painted a stone in memory of every OKW (former King William’s College) soldier killed in the war.
The 139 stones, each bearing a photograph, with a painted poppy and a name, will be laid around the foot of the College War Memorial by pupils during the traditional Friday Remembrance Service.
Official records show that 8,261 Manx men were enlisted in the armed forces during World War One, which was 82 per cent of the Isle of Man’s male population of military age.
Of these, 1,165 were killed and 987 wounded.
More than 250 officers and men from the Isle of Man gained high honours during the Great War, with practically all the main battlefronts represented.
Alison added: "More boots are still needed to reach the target of 139 pairs.
"If anyone has some they would be happy to lend, they would be gratefully received at King William's College reception.
"Any condition is fine, old or new."
Boots should be named so they can be returned or labelled for donation to charity.