It is now 103 years since the end of the First World War.
Today we remember those whose sacrifices both in that War and since have enabled us to enjoy the freedoms we have today.
We will never forget them.
I am reminded of this in the personal sacrifices of members of my Wife’s family in 1917.
We have visited Ypres twice in recent years following the final days of my Wife’s great Uncles who were killed at Passchendaele in 1917. Visiting there was a remarkable and very moving experience.
David Andrews ,from Larne in Northern Ireland, was reported as “missing in action” at Passchendaele in the Ypres area on 17th August 1917. His body was never recovered. David was serving as a Lance Corporal with the 14th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he was killed.
Tragically his brother, Frank, was also killed on the very same day, also at Ypres, but serving in the 9th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Two brothers killed on the same day.
They and many hundreds of thousands also killed in the Ypres area, are commemorated on the magnificent Tyne Cot War Grave Memorial at Ypres. Their Battalions had only engaged that day. Their other brother Harry also served in the First World War and was gassed, but he returned home eventually. Alas many of their friends never did.
We will always remember the great sacrifices made by so many over 100 years ago and since, in too many conflicts.Their sacrifice gives us all the freedoms we enjoy today.