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Isle of Man represented at Civil Defence anniversary event 23 May 2008

IoM Civil Defence members at national eventMEMBERS of the Isle of Man Civil Defence Unit played a prominent role at a recent national event in Staffordshire. This year marked the 40th anniversary of the stand down of the many thousands of volunteers from the Civil Defence Corps and Auxiliary Fire Service.

In recognition of the service members provided to their communities between 1949 and 1968, the Civil Defence Association erected a memorial at the National Arboretum. The bronze plaque was unveiled by HRH The Duke of Gloucester in the presence of Civil Defence representatives from across the British Isles. The occasion was also marked by a fly-past by a Lancaster Bomber, Hurricane and Spitfire from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Ten members of the Isle of Man Civil Defence Unit, which falls under the umbrella of the Department of Home Affairs Emergency Planning Office, played their part in a busy programme of activities. Deputy Commandant Ann Birtles, was accompanied on the trip by Norman McBride, Stewart Kermeen, Phil Styles, Jackie Pate, Godfrey Egee, Steve Quinney, Judith Bartram, Joyce Kermeen and Nigel Smith.

In addition to attending official functions and marching in the parades, Isle of Man members laid a wreath and unveiled a plaque in memory of Assistant Civil Defence Officer William Russell ‘Sonny’ Moore. Sonny, a full-time employee of the Civil Defence Commission, died in the Winter Hill Disaster in 1958 while on his way to acquire vehicles for use by IoM Civil Defence.

A proud moment occurred when the new Isle of Man Civil Defence standard was blessed during the commemorative church service and presented to standard bearer Steve Quinney by the Duke of Gloucester. Stewart Kermeen delivered a speech at the official dinner and there was also a display of photographs to highlight the work of Civil Defence volunteers in the Island.Civil Defence laying wreath at Sonny Moore Memorial

Deputy Commandant Ann Birtles said:

‘We were all very proud to represent the Isle of Man at such a high-profile public event. We were introduced to the Duke of Gloucester over lunch and he took great interest in our work and the uniforms we wear. The dedication of our new standard was a special occasion and the Battle of Britain fly-past brought a lump to the throat, as did the unveiling of the plaque to William Moore.’

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