Parish of St Matthew the Apostle,
Douglas, Isle of Man

The Archibald Knox War Memorial

War Memorial

A brief description

The memorial pays tribute to the ninety-three men of the parish who were killed during the Great War, and it can be seen from Ridgeway Street, in a free-standing wall next to St. Matthew's Church. It was originally designed by noted Manx artist, Archibald Knox, and built by local stonemason, Thomas Quayle. The central, limestone crucifix was the work of Exeter-based sculptor, Harry Emms. The lettering on the plaques is in the Art Nouveau style, for which Archibald Knox was well-known. Originally, the names of the fallen were listed on two sandstone panels, but these weathered over the years and were replaced with granite in the mid-1990s. Beneath the names on the right hand plaque is an English translation of an excerpt from the Latin hymn, Dies Irae, which reads: Lord all pitying Jesu blest / Grant them Thine eternal rest.

Archibald Knox

Archibald Knox was born in Tromode, in the parish of Braddan, in 1864, and trained at the Douglas School of Art. He was one of the most celebrated designers of his day, and his style-which bridges Celtic Revival, Art Nouveau, Modernism and the Arts and Crafts Movement-gained popularity through his collaboration with the famous London department store, Liberty & Co. During the First World War, Knox was employed as chief censor at the Alien's Internment Camp at Knockaloe, near Peel. Following the armistice, his designs began to feature increasingly on gravestones and war memorials, such as this one at St. Matthew's. Archibald Knox died in February 1933, and is buried at Braddan new churchyard.

A brief history

The congregation of St. Matthew's Church funded the original memorial, which was unveiled on 28th July, 1921, by the Lieutenant Governor, Major General Sir William Fry, and dedicated by the Reverend H. S. Taggart. The memorial was renovated in 1994, funded in part by the Douglas Development Partnership, as part of the Douglas 2000 initiative. The refurbishment-which remained faithful to the original conception-was designed by Ashley Pettit, and the work was completed by David Gregg of Gregg Memorials.

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