Albany soil to grow memorial poppies

A bag of soil was collected from Mt Clarence in Albany yesterday morning for a special project to create a memorial garden at the Australian War Memorial.

City of Albany Deputy Mayor Greg Stocks and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sharpe accompanied veterans from Albany RSL, representatives of the Royal Australian Navy and students to collect soil from the mount.

Albany was the first site in Western Australia where soil has been collected for the project, after it was chosen as one of three sites of significance to contribute to the memorial garden.

Mt Clarence was considered a site of significance for its vista of King George Sound where more than 40,000 troops departed Australia for World War I, and being the site where Padre White hosted the first Anzac Day Dawn Service.

Soil from Albany, Port of Fremantle and Blackboy Hill will be combined with soil from Flanders in Belgium to form the Flanders Field Memorial Garden in Canberra where poppies will be grown year round in honour of fallen servicemen and women.

Cr Stocks said Albany played a special part in World War I and it was an honour for the city to contribute to a project of such significance.