Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, attended the service of remembrance in Leominster on Sunday.

Mr Wiggin laid a wreath afterwards at the Leominster War Memorial following the Remembrance Sunday Service which also marked the centennial of the end of the First World War.

Commenting after the service Bill Wiggin MP said:

It is very important to lay a wreath to represent the people of North Herefordshire who remember those people from our communities, including in Leominster, who made the ultimate sacrifice in War. Ours was an impressive and very well organised ceremony and it was heartening to see so many members of the public who willingly gave their time pay tribute to our former servicemen and servicewomen whose gift of freedom is so precious to us all.

Indeed what struck me when watching other services on TV later that day was the huge numbers of people who turned out across the country to show their support. Not only to remember the First World War and the lives’ it cost but also for our troops serving today. At a time when there is the endless legal persecution of our soldiers who served in Northern Ireland – this was a wonderful and welcome show of unity.

One hundred years ago the First World War ended. My own Grandfather, after whom I was named, Colonel Bill Wiggin DSO served throughout the War, never once returning home despite being severely wounded twice in Palestine. He led the famous charge at Huj and later served at Gallipoli. He and all those like him, ought to be remembered for what they did, particularly those who lost their lives.

My late father and I visited the site of the Charge in Israel and yet the most powerful and emotional moment hit me at the war graves, so carefully tended, nearby. The names of the men from Herefordshire who died were certainly the relatives of the people I seek to help in my surgery and through my postbag today. Only time has moved on.

It seems strange to us today to even imagine what is must have been like: for example there was little penicillin for wounds so infection was a serious killer. The industrial scale of the slaughter of fine young men on both sides especially on the Western Front and the widespread use of horses and other animals, which today we can only envisage through films.

There are many more differences but the thought that hit me hardest as I stood at the War memorial was that in just twenty years we will be remembering the start of the Second World War in 2039!

It is essential to learn from the lessons of history and we are fortunate that at least once a year we have the opportunity to come together and think about those who gave their lives so that we can live ours freely.

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