Paddock poppies for the fallen

Poppies and a lone soldier, created by Richard Simpson, will be returned to one of his roadside paddocks at Chatto Creek this Anzac Day. Photo: Supplied
Poppies and a lone soldier, created by Richard Simpson, will be returned to one of his roadside paddocks at Chatto Creek this Anzac Day. Photo: Supplied
Chatto Creek's close-knit community will rally together in memory of its fallen soldiers on Anzac Day.

The small rural area will host a service at 5pm tomorrow, commemorating six soldiers from Chatto Creek who died while serving in World War 1.

A memorial service has been hosted at the town's Chatto Creek Tavern in recent years, an event which was the work of the wider community, publican Lesley Middlemass said.

While it was a short service, it got the ''dignity it deserves'', she said, complete with a serving of artillery port, and crosses placed in memory of the men.

The ode is also read and Last Post played, followed by a selection of food brought by everyone attending.

Chatto Creek residents Julie and Richard Simpson also add a creative touch to the event.

Richard Simpson will decorate one of his roadside paddocks at Chatto Creek with large poppy ornaments for Anzac Day. Photo: Richard Simpson
Richard Simpson will decorate one of his roadside paddocks at Chatto Creek with large poppy ornaments for Anzac Day. Photo: Richard Simpson
Mrs Simpson provides a wreath for the occasion while Mr Simpson has supplied poppies made from corrugated iron.

Mr Simpson has created the large ornaments, plus a silhouette of a ''lone soldier'', which he often puts in one of his roadside paddocks.

He saw the idea in a newspaper article.

''I thought, that's a good idea. I should do the same and make my own.''

He said the process was one of trial and error.

''The first one I did, I didn't really like, so I had another go,'' Mr Simpson said.

He has a shed ''full of them'' - about 23, which he last displayed for Armistice Day last year.

''I usually start a few days before ... about Easter time I start putting them out, but always in view of the road.''

alexia.johnston@alliedpress.co.nz

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