[From Manx Quarterly, #22 1920]
Whatever else might be said, the parishioners of Santon have acted according to the dictates of their consciences. They have erected a monument by way of perpetuating the memory of six men of whom they are justly proud-six of that brave and glorious multitude, .which averted a catastrophe " too terrible for thought, too horrible for words." The six men are :-
Sidney Callister Cretney, Ballachrink;
Herbert Faragher, Port Grenaugh;
James Frederick Faragher, Port Grenaugh;
William J. Gawne, Ballacorris;
George Jaffrey Margerison, Crogga;
William Taylor, Ballavar.
Sunday of last week was the day chosen for the unveiling ceremony, and from every standpoint it harmonised with the function, which was in many respects a pleasant one, yet in others sombre. The sun shone in all its golden brilliance; the grass, the foliage, the trees were like a vast sea of green; while the birds, particularly the thrush, assured the general enchantment by their rapidly whistled notes of melody. It was one of those days when an avoidance of the thought of what might have been was impossible. Visions of that destruction from which our fair shores had been saved arose with persistent regularity, until one was overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratitude. But the sacrifice; the fearful cost it entailed ! Surely they will never be forgotten. Those sacrifices, made freely and generously, will ever remain vivid and in spiring - an impetus to each individual effort for the betterment of the common weal. Santon, at least., intends that they shall. " Is it nothing to you, all ye that - pass by," they ask. How many who will read those words on the monument can fail to continue their pilgrimage without a sacred thought, a realisation, without a resolve to contribute a quota towards the dawn of brotherhood? All are essentially sentimentalists. What then would appeal more than that message from those just beyond the veil-those who sacrificed their all? Nothing ! The memorial thus justifies its existence.
The unveiling ceremony was performed with all due etiquette. The service which preceded it was held in a field close by, and opened with a hymn. The Rev. R. Jones, Vicar of the Parish, followed with prayer, after which Mr G. F. Clucas, S.H.K., read the lesson-Rev. vii., verse 9 to the end.
Those present then moved off and assembled around the memorial.
The unveiling of the memorial was performed by Mr Robert Moore, of Ballachurry (in the absence through illness of Mr F. M. Greene, Captain of the Parish), after which the Bishop, following a short address, dedicated it in the following words :-
" To the glory of God, and to the memory of those whose names are inscribed thereon. I dedicate in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and in grateful and loving memory of those men of this parish who lost their lives in the great war."
Then followed a pause for reverent thought, thanksgiving and prayer.
Short addresses were given by Rev. W. J. Hannarn (Superintendent of Castletown Wesleyan Circuit) and by Rev. F. W. Henshall (Superintendent of Primitive Methodist Circuit, Douglas). The service concluded with hymns and the benediction. Ere the assemblage moved away, the "Last Post" was sounded by Sergt. Wood, who stood at the foot of the monument.
Apart from a short description of the memorial, little more remains to be said. Standing about ten and a half feet high, it has the appearance of an obelisk. It is of rectangular form, and diminishes towards the top; but instead of ending with the usual low pyramid, it is surmounted by a Celtic cross. At the base it is 91/2 feet square, and is surrounded by a curbed enclosure. Made of red sandstone, the structure majestically stands at the junction of the Douglas-Castletown road and the road which leads to Port Grenaugh. It bears the following inscription :-
" In grateful and loving memory of the men of this parish who
lost their lives in the great war, 1914-1918,
this memorial is erected by their fellow-parishioners.
In armour clad, with flag unfurled,
The heights of death they trod;
Translated from the warfare of the world,
Into the peace of God.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by ?"
The site was given by Mr J. T. Martin, Ballavale. During the unveiling ceremony, special reference was made to Mr G. F. Clucas, Speaker of the House of Keys, who laboured unceasingly towards the commemoration of six of Santon's heroes.