Sunday 11th November 2018 marked 100 years to the day of the Armistice which ended World War I. The Armistice, signed between the Allied Powers and Germany came into force at 11.00am on 11th November 1918. The Centenary of this Armistice was marked across the world and I attended, as I have done every year since I became the Northampton North MP in 2010, and laid a wreath of poppies in honour of all those who gave their lives not only during WW1 but in all wars since.
Without the heroism of our fallen service men and women we would not have the freedoms that we do today. I was proud to have the honour of laying a wreath at the Northampton War Memorial at All Saints’ Church. On Remembrance Sunday I attended the church service and with the Mayor of Northampton watched the parade pass the Guildhall led by representatives from The Royal British Legion, the Army Reserves, the Sea Cadets, the Northampton Pipe Band and other organisations.
Following this, I attended the traditional annual Curry Lunch at the Army Reserves Training Centre in Clare Street to speak to and thank many veterans and currently serving military personnel for their service.
On the Sunday evening I then attended special commemorations: “Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute & WW1 Beacon of Light” at The Plaza in Northampton town centre and then I went to the “Heroes for Peace” concert at The Royal and Derngate Theatre which were both very moving and fitting tributes to our brave service personnel.
As well as attending ceremonies in Northampton, I was also honoured to be invited to attend The Royal British Legion’s annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on the Saturday evening (10th November). In the presence of The Queen and the whole Royal Family, The Royal British Legion led the nation in giving thanks to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world. Sir Tom Jones, Sir Bryn Terfel, Danny Jones and the Kingdom Choir performed alongside the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Band of HM Royal Marines in playing timeless classics such as I Vow to Thee My Country and Jerusalem.
We should never forget the bravery of our armed forces past and present and I will always do what I can to honour their memories.