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WWI memorial garden gets underway




The Diss memorial garden taking shape. Picture by Chris Morris
The Diss memorial garden taking shape. Picture by Chris Morris

Hundreds of children have been helping to create a memorial garden in Diss as part of the town’s World War One centenary commemorations.

Pupils from Diss Primary, Diss Infants and Roydon Primary schools have been busy painting wooden poppies for the garden, which is now taking shape at the end of Mere Street.

This weekend, the country will unite to remember the fallen.

Pictured from left: Holly Davey, Aidan Quinnan, Jim Bidwell of the Diss Royal British Legion, James Hurst and Sam Pooley.Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Pictured from left: Holly Davey, Aidan Quinnan, Jim Bidwell of the Diss Royal British Legion, James Hurst and Sam Pooley.Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

Around 600 poppies are being planted in a temporary garden bed, close to Morrisons roundabout, alongside a replica First World War memorial cross.

Many of the poppies are inscribed by the children with messages to either family members, or anyone who was killed in the First World War, or any conflict.

Around 700,000 British soldiers lost their lives in the Great War, which ended in 1918.

At some point, the haunting Tommy silhouette, bought by Diss Waveney Rotary Club as part of the national There But Not There commemorations, will feature in the display.

“I’m delighted that the memorial garden is going ahead and couldn’t have done it without the support of many people, including the district and town council,” said Andy Rackham, who is behind the scheme, and handmade the soldier silhouettes.

Soldiers outside the museum in Diss town centre
Soldiers outside the museum in Diss town centre

“All along, I have wanted to concentrate on an educational side to the commemorations and the children have been busy painting the poppies and inscribing them, some with messages to relatives they lost in the war all those years ago.”

Mr Rackham was inspired to create the garden after carrying out construction work on a memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

More about the story of how the garden came to be, in the current edition of Diss Express, out now.



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