Each November Britain falls silent to remember the fallen who bravely gave their lives in service of our country. This year however, 2018, Remembrance Sunday will have an extra poignancy as it comes exactly one hundred years to the day since the Armistice to end the First World War at 11am on 11th November 1918.
I will have the honour to be laying wreaths at some of the ceremonies taking place various locations throughout the constituency, on the day of Sunday 11th November including at the War Memorials in Hazel Grove, Marple, Compstall, Mellor, High Lane, Romiley and Bredbury. In ceremonies where I am not able to be present, councillor colleagues from Stockport Council will do so on my behalf.
Last Sunday I also attended a wreath laying ceremony in Hazel Grove to honour the memory of local war hero, Wilfred Wood VC. Wilfred Wood was born in Hazel Grove on 2nd February 1897 and was a private from the 10th Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers, and was awarded the Victoria Cross on 28th October 1918 for his bravery and initiative at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in Italy which took place between 24 October to 3rd November 1918, just two weeks before the end of the War. His selfless actions whilst under fire caused hundreds of enemy soldiers to surrender and was seen as a decisive victory that contributed to the end of the War.
He returned home to Hazel Grove working for London and North Western Railway (LNWR) for 46 years, and was married to Bessie for 57 years. Wilfred Wood lived until January 1982 and his ashes were scatted in Stockport’s Garden of Remembrance.
Remembrance Day is always an event I pay great care and attention too, not just as someone with an interest in history, but as a proud British citizen. It is an opportunity for the whole country to show our collective gratitude for those who gave their lives, or suffered injuries protecting our way of life. And that sacrifice is not confined to the past but still continues today, with veterans of modern conflicts including Korean War, Falklands War, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, The Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.
This centenary is a particular opportunity to reflect on the bravery and work of all our Armed Forces, and the contribution that have made to keep our country safe over the last 100 years. We should also give thanks to the contributions of our armed forces to peacekeeping and humanitarian work, both at home and abroad, including flood defences and disaster relief efforts.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.