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Photographs of the Isle of Man commissioned or acquired by Clement Wallace Airne, many taken by Matthew Hannah, predominantly in the 1940s

Date(s): 1928-1950

Creator(s): various

Scope & Content: The images in this deposit may have been commissioned for a proposed pictorial book which was never published. Airne wrote 'The Story of the Isle of Man', published in two volumes in 1949 and 1964 both of which contain a few images taken by Matthew Hannah.

Content includes domestic, public, industrial, farm and other buildings, castles, churches, keeils, bridges, landscapes and coastline including coastal erosion, Ronaldsway airport, Rushen Abbey, archaeological sites and archaeological excavations, military installations, copies of antiquarian documents, artefacts and older photographs.

Examples of premises captured include Mount Murray farmyard and chapel, the cottage at Cranstal, Bride now lost to coastal erosion, the Creggans farm, Balladoole House south elevation, Nunnery estate, Braddan, Castletown Brewery, Sulby and Glen Auldyn woollen mills &c.

Military sites include RAF Station Cranstal and the radar station at Dalby.

Administration / Biographical History: Clement Wallace Airne was born on 29 March 1889 in Derbyshire. He came to Ramsey at an early age after the death of his parents and was placed in the charge of Mr and Mrs John Kneen who brought him up and by whose name he was generally known. He was educated at Albert Road School. Ramsey, Hugh Oldham's School, Middleton, Lancashire, served as a pupil teacher at Albert Road School 1905-1907 then studied at King's College, Chester, 1908-1910, obtaining his teacher's certificate and the Archbishop's Certificate in Divinity (First Class) in 1910. After teaching at a primary school in Congleton Airne went up to St Catherine's College, Cambridge 1912-1914, obtaining his History BA Hons and receiving his MA in 1928.

In December 1914 Airne was commissioned with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, transferring to the Machine Gun Corps when it formed. He relinquished his commission due to ill health from an accident on military duty. From 1917 until his retirement in 1946 he taught at Manchester Central High School for Boys. On 14 February 1917 Airne married Miss Ella Maude Jewison, daughter of Harry Briercliffe of Lewaigue Cottage, Ramsey. The couple retired to Southport, then relocated to the Isle of Man in 1963. They had a son, C.C.W ('Pat') Airne, born in the Isle of Man, who became an Anglican clergyman and a daughter Eileen.

Airne wrote 'The Story of the Isle of Man', published in two volumes in 1949 and 1964 both of which contain a few images taken by Matthew Hannah. He also penned many other books, several in a series published by Sankey, Hudson & Co, Manchester (including 'Britain's Stories, told in Pictures', 'Castles of Britain told in Pictures', 'Cathedrals of Britain told in Pictures').

He died on 5 March 1967 aged 77 at his home 'Sunbury', Seamount Road, Ramsey (obituary The Courier, 10 March 1967, page 5). Airne was buried on 8 March 1967 in Kirk Maughold churchyard.

Matthew Hannah may have been the 12-year-old boy born in Douglas, 1899 as listed on the 1911 census or the 18 year old farmer born in Douglas, 1893.

Language: eng

Extent: 1799 prints; also negatives and other resources (8 boxes)

Physical description: prints and negatives

Item name: photographs

Collection: Photographic Archive

Level: FONDS

ID number: PG/13540

Record class: Private


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