On Sunday, the nation will fall silent in quiet reflection as we remember those who have fought and died in the service of our country in all wars.

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we pause to think of all of the men & women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the endeavour of guaranteeing our freedom & security.

This year’s commemorations are of special significance.

Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice at Compiègne in France, the agreement which ended all military operations and hostilities in all theatres and fronts of World War I.

Three quarters of a million armed forces personnel from the United Kingdom were killed in the four years in which war raged across Europe and Africa.

A further four million from the allied forces lost their lives.

Many thought The Great War would last a matter of months and that everybody would be home by Christmas 1914.

Sadly we know this wasn’t to be.

The sons of Swindon who fell at the Somme, at Passchendaele, and in Ypres were largely volunteers who wanted to do their bit for King and Country. Many of those from our town who served a century ago came from the GWR works, and joined up together to serve alongside their friends & colleagues.

They stoked the hell-fire furnaces of our naval ships.

They dug-in and advanced from the warren of trenches which still scar the landscape.

Those who did not die returned suffering the effects of the bloody battles they faced; wounds & amputations, shell-shock and trauma.

Though a century has passed, the importance of honouring their lives has not diminished.

In this hundredth year we have reaffirmed our commitment to educate younger generations about the sacrifices their ancestors made and to ensure they understand the horrors of war.

Across Swindon, across our county and in Parishes up and down the land, events have taken place to mark the centenary and encourage younger generations to continue to tell the stories of those who sacrificed their today for our


Locally, we have proudly displayed a number of ‘There but Not There’ soldiers.

This is part of a national project launched by the 2018 Armistice charity Remembered, whose aim is to install the silhouette figures in local areas to honour those who left communities but never came back.

They aim to educate future generations on why people made the ultimate sacrifice as well as raise funds to help heal those suffering from the hidden wounds of war.

In Parliament, a joint concert was organised with the UK Parliament and the German Parliament Bundestag choirs.

The two choirs first sang together in Westminster Hall in 2014 at the start of the First World War centenary commemorations and the concerts continue to demonstrate the strong friendship between our nations.

Something which is so important in ensuring that we never repeat the horrors that were witnessed 100 years ago.

In the words of Laurence Binyon; they shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.