The Isle of Man based War Memorial Preservation Society has asked the Manx government to set up a board of custodians to care for the Island’s war memorials.
David Cannan, the Member of the House of Keys who is tabling the motion, commented that although local authorities look after some war memorials others have been erected without any provision for maintenance.
This situation also holds true for the rest of the British Isles. Whilst many memorials are beautifully maintained by parish councils, Royal British Legion branches, businesses and other organisations, often no one person or body is legally responsible for their upkeep.
When most memorials were erected, after the First World War, this problem was rarely considered and resources tended to be directed into fund-raising and construction rather than any provision for long term upkeep.
The 1923 War Memorials (Local Authorities’ Powers) Act permits local authorities to use public money for the maintenance of memorials, but places them under no obligation to do so.
If successful, the Isle of Man could be the first place in the British Isles to establish an official body to care for all war memorials.