THIS weekend Swindon will join other towns and cities across the country in falling silent to remember those who have fought in conflicts to preserve the freedom that we enjoy today.

There will be a number of opportunities for people to pay their respects over the coming days, whether it is at the official opening of the Royal British Legion’s Field of Remembrance at Lydiard Park’s Walled Garden tomorrow or at the two minute’s silence at The Cenotaph in the town centre on Saturday.

And, of course, on Remembrance Sunday itself, at the many services being held across the town, we will honour those who gave their lives and those who survived, Here at the council we will be paying our own special tribute to the fallen with the unveiling of a special plaque in the main reception area of Civic Offices this afternoon.

Swindon’s First World War memorial was bought, along with The Cenotaph, by public conscription not long after 1918 as a permanent reminder of more than 900 people from the town, who died during the Great War.

The memorial, which is a huge wooden plaque, was placed in the old town hall in Regent Circus but, unfortunately, over time, suffered water damage and has been out of public view for a number of years. Until now.

Three years ago, my cabinet colleague Coun Garry Perkins asked our museums and heritage team to secure external funding to bring the memorial back to its former glory.

And I’m pleased that we are able to once again display this great tribute at this particularly poignant time.

Coun Perkins took up the baton to have the memorial restored after an initial request from the late former mayor Rex Barnett.

I know Rex would have been immensely proud to see the memorial back on show especially as it also bears the name of his own father who lost his life during the war.

We also wanted to put the solid oak plaque back on public display within the centenary of the Great War and I am delighted we have been able to do so.

The restoration of the memorial is the latest project to honour our fallen, with Swindon Libraries’ Local Studies team having trawled through local records to compile a Roll Of Honour for those from Swindon who lost their lives during the Second World War.

When you pause to reflect this weekend, I would ask you to spare a few moments to think about our local heroes. They may be no longer be with us but they will never be forgotten.