Local family donates First World War grave marker to Manx Museum

– Posted on Wednesday 19th August 2015

Manx National Heritage is delighted to announce that through the support of a local family, one of the Island’s most important artefacts from the First World War is to remain on public display.

An artefact which created considerable attention when it was first displayed in 2014 is now to become a key exhibit at the Manx Museum, thanks to the generosity of a local family. The simple wooden cross was erected in 1917 to mark the battlefield grave of a Manx soldier, Private Thomas Corlett, who was killed in action near the Belgian city of Ypres.

For many years it remained with his family in Ballaugh, until it was loaned to the Manx Museum as part of a First World War exhibition. Now the cross is being donated by Michael Christian, great nephew of Thomas Corlett, and his wider family on the Isle of Man.

Curator Matthew Richardson commented:

This donation will help us to tell the story of Manx people’s experience of the First World War. When we displayed the cross last year, there was tremendous interest in it because it has huge impact. It represents not just one man, Thomas Corlett, but all of the Manx people who lost their lives in that conflict.”

Matthew continued:

“We are most grateful to Mr Christian and the other members of Thomas Corlett’s family, who have agreed to donate this extremely rare artefact to us. It is tremendously emotive, and I can’t think of a better object to represent the human cost of war”.

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