This week Stourbridge is gearing up for Remembrance Sunday and there have been local events to mark the occasion and pay respect to those who have served and lost their lives in defence of our country and for freedom.

I went to a 1940s themed event at the weekend in aid of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal at the pop-up cafe in the Wollescote Park Sensory Garden.

Pop-up Tommies have gone up across the constituency and thanks to councillors James Clinton and Jason Thorne who have organised this tribute.

Amblecote councillors Paul Bradley, Kamran Razzaq, Pete Lee, have also been busy.

The trio created a sea of poppies ahead of Remembrance Sunday in Amblecote by the junction of Kirkstone Way and Vicarage Road. More than 2000 plastic poppies were used for the stunning display - it is quite something.

There will also be the annual military parade in Stourbridge on Saturday before the services on Sunday across the constituency.

I will be in Mary Stevens Park at the town’s war memorial for the service and parade where I will lay a wreath on behalf of the town. In the morning, I will also attend the service in Christchurch Lye.

I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the events and to local people who have given so generously to this year’s appeal.

The Finest Generation of World War Two is sadly now starting to leave us as many of these veterans who fought fascism are now in their late 90s and even 100s. But many other wars and conflicts have happened since from Korea, Suez, Northern Ireland, the Falklands and the Balkans in the last century to Iraq and Afghanistan in this one. Lives have been lost and damaged too and we must do all we can to support those who face the challenges of war in their lives today.

Stourbridge also has a military presence. 63 Military Intelligence is based at the Army Reserve Centre in Swinford Road and I have visited it in the past. Most of its officers and soldiers have completed operational deployments, including the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The conflict in Ukraine and now in Israel and Gaza shows how the world must still tackle aggression. I know that there will be protests about Gaza on Remembrance Sunday. I do not agree this day is an appropriate time to do so when we, as a nation, mourn our war dead but the very freedoms we cherish and have fought for must allow protest to take place.

I only ask these demonstrations are peaceful and respect the far more numerous Remembrance services up and down the country.