“Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”, by Bill Quine

Many may wonder why I would choose such words in connection with a Remembrance service; but then, they would not have been privileged to be at the Peel War Memorial in the Cathedral grounds on Tuesday 11th November.

No politicians or commissioners paraded, no medals were worn, but one hundred and twenty of  Peel’s finest inhabitants stood in complete silence to honour their dead.

One of their number read the poem, “In Flanders’ Fields”, whilst another dipped and raised our national flag at the appropriate time. When a trumpeter played the last post, heads were bowed and such silence reigned that all one could hear was the incessant falling of rain, reminding us of conditions in Flanders fields one hundred years ago.

Once reveille was sounded, both flag and heads were raised and the assembled company filed forward to plant poppy crosses inscribed with the names of the city’s dead until they formed an eight foot by six foot cross, laying row on row  – our men, “Remembered and not forgotten.”

The small band of observers was invited to lay a cross as a personal tribute; it was fortuitous that it was raining as it disguised the tears running from many an eye!

Who were ‘Peel’s Finest’? – The children of Peel Clothworkers’ School – our city’s hope for the future – a true credit to our community.

Many thanks were received by Peel Heritage Trust for conceiving this memorial event and to Mrs Jackson (Headmistress) and all the Clothworkers’ staff for organising the logistics, to Arthur Christian (trumpeter), the Royal British Legion for providing the Manx crosses and the Dean and Chapter for making the grounds available. The Dean closed with a prayer for all children who have been and are still being killed and damaged by war.

The children left in an impressive silence.