REMEMBRANCE Sunday is always one of the most moving times of year, where we remember all of those who have fallen fighting for our country. This year feels all the more poignant as we approach the centenary of the end of the First World War.

This Sunday will mark one-hundred years since the guns fell silent on the Western Front after four long years of trench-warfare. Those brave soldiers who fought for us would probably struggle to recognise much of the world we know today, and it is difficult for us in 2018 to comprehend the immense sacrifices they made on the fields of Belgium and France. They died so that future generations could live in peace and enjoy the freedom that we so often take for granted today.

As usual, I will be attending the Royal British Legion’s Remembrance Parade in Kingswinford on Sunday. I am looking forward to spending time with veterans and members of the local community as we reflect together on those soldiers who served our country, as well as those who continue to keep us safe on a daily basis. It is always an honour to march with the Legion and lay a wreath to the fallen, and it is especially encouraging to see so many young people and community groups taking part. My wife, Laura, will be attending another Remembrance Sunday service at St Michael’s Church in Brierley Hill, where she will be laying a wreath on my behalf.

I was able to volunteer myself for poppy-selling duties again this year on the stand in Morrisons, Kingswinford. I raised a fair amount of money for the Royal British Legion over last Friday afternoon, whilst catching up with constituents. I am always deeply humbled seeing the immense effort and dedication of the Legion’s volunteers in the lead-up to Armistice Day.

To mark the centenary of the end of the Great War, I am putting together a commemorative booklet featuring creative writing pieces submitted by local schoolchildren in Dudley South, which has been kindly sponsored by the Richardson Brothers Foundation. I have received many outstanding entries and I will be organising a presentation for the winners in Parliament soon. Keep an eye open for the final booklet on display around Dudley South in the coming weeks.

I would like to end by simply saying ‘thank you’. Thank you to all those who have served, sacrificed and changed our world for the better. We must continue to ensure the values and freedoms for which our soldiers fought for remain deeply appreciated and protected, whilst continuing to be eternally grateful that most of us will never have to make the sacrifices made by those heroes who fell at Verdun, the Somme and Passchendaele in defence of our country and way of life.