Recruitment for WWI in the Cooktown region drew men from the tin mining industries around Rossville and Shiptons Flat to the south.
After the war, the population of the town was small and early ANZAC commemorations were low key. In 1934 the citizens of Cooktown revived ANZAC Day marking the 16th anniversary of the stand at Villiers Brettoneux. A temporary cenotaph was established at the Cook Memorial. This became the location for future Anzac ceremonies for many years.
The Cook Memorial, a tall sandstone column, is located to the north of ANZAC Park, was unveiled in 1888 when Australia was celebrating its centenary.
The Cooktown RSL later built a memorial to both WWI and WWII soldiers in a park in the main street, renamed ANZAC Memorial Park. The memorials comprise two granite boulders with metal plaques, the largest of which commemorates all who served in WWI. The smaller listing for WWII service reflects the dwindling of the town in the mid-twentieth century. The second boulder is a general war memorial.