ON SUNDAY, communities large and small across West Oxfordshire will come together to remember those who gave their lives for the country in conflicts over the past century.

While there are a number of memorials to the fallen from earlier wars, the tradition of Remembrance and community war memorials recording the names of the fallen only became established after the terrible sacrifice of the First World War, which cost the lives of almost a million men in British uniforms on battlefields across the world.

A century on from the outbreak of that war and several decades after the Second World War, it might appear that this is all distant history but men and women still risk their lives in the service of their country.

Some may pay the ultimate price and join the ranks of their forebears on a war memorial, others may return home with physical and psychological scars as a result of their service in conflict zones and need long-term support and rehabilitation.

This is why the annual traditions of marking Remembrance Sunday, with simple, solemn ceremonies, and buying poppies in support of the Royal British Legion’s work to help past and present service personnel and their families, are so important.

We must never forget the debt of gratitude that we owe all those who strove to keep us safe, and those who continue to do so in a fast-changing and dangerous world, often in trying circumstances, and show that we will always remember them.