IN a poignant ceremony, simple wooden crosses were placed in a rose bed at a commemorative garden created at Oakdale, Poole.

In front of veterans, Chelsea Pensioners and local cadets, the tranquil commemorative garden in the grounds of Oakdale Library, was formally opened by Poole mayor, Cllr Peter Adams.

He and the mayoress, his wife Brenda, planted a cross each to honour a range of local people who died serving their country, while poppies in pots were planted by local youngsters Morgan Hope-Grant and Scarlet Dixon.

Centrepiece of the garden was a red, white and blue mosaic poppy set in a heart, with the words ‘Lest We Forget’ in black, created by library volunteer Ray Alderton and Jan Ayrton, president of Creekmoor With Oakdale WI.

The aim of the garden is to remember all conflicts and provide a reflective area in the corner of the library grounds in Dorchester Road.

“It was a labour of love and determination,” said Ray, who thanked the six or seven WI volunteers who did the work and donors who raised nearly £700 to make it possible.

Cllr Adams said they had “created something that is vital and vibrant out of something that was absolutely derelict”.

Plants came from the Chestnut Nursery and the garden will be maintained by the WI, along with the Reading and Rhymetime Garden they also created.

He and veteran Ted Young, 92, laid a wreath on the poppy, along with Dee Hoy, who runs the Twigs Garden Club and organised a fete which ran alongside the opening of the garden.

“It doesn’t define a particular conflict,” said Dee.

“People can come to the garden and reflect in peace and quiet.”

The WWI theme included period dress, classic cars and military vehicles, and a special Great War recipe book was on sale, with proceeds donated to the Chelsea Hospital and RBL.


Those commemorated with crosses were RM Light Infantryman Turle Barber Wilson who died aged 27 in October 1918 and Private Frederick Ernest Roberts, who died in November 1918.

William John Matthews died aged 14 in December 1942 after being injured when passing by Poole Foundry as it was bombed. And Reserve PC Walter Charles Billett died aged 61, in July 1940 on his way to work.

Edward Shears, father of firefighter James Shears, planted a cross in memory of his son who died in April 2010 aged 35, and others who have lost their lives saving others.