Amid the sea of flowers that will grace Remembrance Day commemorations this weekend, over 50 metal poppies will stand tall at the Inglewood Cemetery.
The poppies were the size of a bread and butter plate and marked the final resting place of 52 Inglewood soldiers who served overseas during World War One.
They would be officially unveiled in conjunction with the Inglewood RSL’s Remembrance Day commemorations at the cemetery on 11 November at 11 am.
The poppies were already making their mark, having been placed on the graves about a month ago, according to Inglewood Historical Society member Howard Rochester.
“People going into the cemetery are commenting on them. Now word is getting around and everyone is happy (with them),” he said.
“They were made in Inglewood by Rodwell Wire Works, which did a wonderful job. The poppies will keep the red paint on them for maybe thirty years. And even when they rust in about 40 or 50 years they will still look impressive.”
The poppies were made after the Inglewood Historical Society identified the final resting places of each locally buried Great War veteran.
“Their military records show the horrors they went through. None came home unscathed, most died before their time,” Mr Rochester said.
Some carried weeping wounds the rest of their lives, some had missing limbs, others had coughs that would not go away and all were left a little deaf, he said.
“(Some) spent decades in the men’s ward at the Inglewood Hospital screaming at ghosts. The war for all these fellows never went away
“If you weren’t there, you could never understand. Several of the returned men buried in the cemetery died by suicide.”
Mr Rochester said five people who served in Gallipolli or France were buried without gravestones.
“The government made it hard to obtain funding if no doctors certificate could be produced to say (they) died of war wounds.”
Mr Rochester hoped in the future to see a push for more recognition of those men.
The 52 men buried in Inglewood were only a portion of those locals who served overseas during World War One.
Most who survived World War One never settled back in Inglewood. Some stayed in Europe and the rest scattered around Australia.
Of over 320 local men who served overseas, at least 44 died on active service.
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