The Great War of 1914 – 1918 saw thirty-nine men enlist from the Cherry Gardens district, with thirteen of them paying the supreme sacrifice. The devastated community needed a place to commemorate and remember these men and a Soldiers Memorial Park was created in 1920 on land donated by Mr. Henry Jacobs. A Golden Cypress was planted for each of the fallen soldiers and the community now had a place to reflect and remember. The park opened in 1923 and a Cross of Remembrance was unveiled in April 1935.
With the centenary of the ending of the Great War in 2018, an increasing number of Australians continued to commemorate and reflect on the tragedy of war. The Flanders Poppy has long been a part of Remembrance and Anzac Day observances. During the First World War, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium.
Around December 2018, members of the current Cherry Gardens community discussed the idea of decorating the Cross of Remembrance with handmade poppies, to honour the past and to become part of the future.
This idea became reality when locals from Cherry Gardens, their friends and families worked together to design and create the more than 500 individual poppies needed. These poppies were then transformed into the display at the base of the cross. The Cherry Chatter committee provided funding for this project, and many long hours were spent in the creation of this tribute.
Purple poppies have been added to commemorate animals that also died and suffered during times of war.
It is planned these poppies will belong to the Cherry Gardens community and will be used for all future Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies, hopefully for the next hundred years and beyond.