This Sunday marks 100 years since the end of World War 1 and my family like thousands of others will take time to remember those who sacrificed their lives or their health that we might live in freedom. Since then many thousands of others made the same sacrifice for us in World War 2 and subsequent conflicts. In cities, towns and villages we shall come together here in U.K., and in other countries to honour them all. I want to tell you about a really special initiative here in Thame (Oxfordshire).
Set up in 2014 The Thame Remembers Project set out to identify the final resting places of the 212 from Thame who gave their lives in World War 1 - wherever in the world that might be - and place a Thame cross on the grave. 300 people have involved themselves and placed crosses on graves in 102 cemeteries on four continents, including ocean graves. All have been delivered.
This week as we walk around our Market Town, paper poppies are appearing in front windows of houses. 600 left Thame to fight in World War 1 - 'Thame Remembers' was able to find the addresses of over 300 - 65 of whom died. Local school children and youth groups cut out and coloured in the poppies - a black centre to signify one who did not come home, a white centre for those who did - the current home owners have kindly displayed many and others fill our Town Hall windows.
Beneath each poppy are the details of the young man - some windows have the names of two or three brothers.......
These are such poignant and impressive projects that I thought others might like to hear about them and perhaps be inspired to do something similar. I should also like to thank all those involved in this wonderful project.
On Sunday I know that the town will turn out in force again - Mums and Dads with toddlers in buggies, teenagers and us 'older folk'- because not only do we honour those who have gone before but today in 2018 our young men and women are still prepared to risk their lives for the rest of us.
Thank you for looking