Looking ahead to commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice

NMA Armed Forces Memorial

The National Memorial Arboretum Armed Forces Memorial

With names on war memorials in all of our towns and villages, many with relatives living today, Staffordshire continues its long history of involvement, reconciliation and a national focus for remembrance.

This Sunday we will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, when the nation will unite to remember the guns falling silent following the end of the First World War.

I’ve blogged about Staffordshire’s many connections with the Great War many times before and the role the county played both in training troops and how the home front contributed to winning the war.

Alongside the WWI training camps on Cannock Chase where over 500,000 men were trained and our many countywide war memorials and gardens, we are also incredibly proud to be the home of the National Memorial Arboretum.

Since the first trees were planted 21 years ago, the site which now provides a focal point for the nation’s commemorations has now become a world-class centre of remembrance.  It really is an inspirational and moving place to visit and both the candlelight vigil and Remembrance service over the Armistice weekend will be a fitting way to remember those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice giving up their lives for our freedom.

On Sunday I will be attending my local village service at the War Memorial in St Michael’s Lychgate, Rocester, which I have done so now for the last 37 years.  As like every year, the names of the 25 villagers who lost their lives during the two World Wars, inscribed on the church’s lychgate, are read out followed by a two minute silence.

A whole country falling silent together in respect of others is truly a powerful concept, and I hope people are able to take some time to attend a local service over the weekend to remember those who gave up so much.


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