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Poppy display blossoms in town tribute to the Fallen

Heroes Walk, Crawley Memorial Gardens SUS-140724-102116001

Heroes Walk, Crawley Memorial Gardens SUS-140724-102116001

A wildflower display in the Memorial Gardens that commemorates those who died in World War I has blossomed.

More than 200 people sowed the poppy and cornfield seeds for the tribute, called the Heroes Walk, in April.

Royal British Legion (RBL) and British Naval Association members visited the pathway, on Wednesday (July 23).

Michael Elliott, 68, Crawley and Ifield RBL branch secretary, said: “It’s very beautiful and it’s fantastic, I cannot think of a better way of saying how good it is.

“People came along and they breath and they look - it’s serving its purpose.”

The display commemorated the centenary since the start of World War I.

It is lined with photos from Queensway to County Mall depicting life in Crawley during the war.

Mr Elliott, who was also the Standard Bearer and in charge of distributing poppies for his RBL branch added: “It’s 100 years, it’s appropriate that we make people, especially the children, remember what people have given - the sacrifices that have been made.

“The First World War was the war to end all wars but still we keep on having wars sadly.

“There’s always going to be conflicts between nations for whatever reason, we are commemorating the people who sacrificed their lives.”

The pathway’s photos included images of people who were killed in the two world wars, whose names are on the garden’s Memorial Gates.

The poppy seeds are the variety that colonised the battlefields of Flanders, Belgium, after the war.

The Flanders poppies flower for six weeks.

A spokesman for Crawley Borough Council said an annual variety was added to make the display last longer and more intense.

Cllr Chris Oxlade, cabinet member for Community Engagement, said: “The Heroes Walk is a fitting tribute to mark the centenary of the start of World War I.

“It’s been great seeing so many people wandering through the Memorial Gardens who stop and read the text under the large photos, zig-zagging from one to the next.”

Mr Elliott joined the RBL when he moved to Crawley in 2003.

His father fought in and survived World War II as part of the Fleet Air Arm in the Royal Navy.

The council distributed 500 packets of poppy seeds to residents to sow at home.

The public were asked to send photos of their displays to the council on its Facebook and Twitter sites.

 

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