“Over recent days and weeks many remembrance events have taken place in Rugby and across the country to commemorate the achievements and sacrifices of the men and women who served our country during the First World War.
“We will forever be indebted to those who went to war 100 years ago, and the many millions of British people at home, who went through such incredible pain and suffering to help bring peace to the world and to ensure our way of life and our values were preserved. Their courage ensured our freedom and we will never forget their sacrifices.
“I would like to put on record my thanks to everyone involved at Rugby Borough Council for the remarkable job they have done in organising numerous commemorative events and also my thanks to our former Mayor Tony Gillias for arranging a trip to the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres in May of this year.
“The memorial commemorates the lives of nearly 56,000 soldiers who were killed during the fierce Ypres Salient battles and was an incredibly humbling, and emotional, experience.
“Here in Rugby it was particularly poignant to attend the recent re-enactment of an enlistment office at the Rugby Library and to witness the subsequent, very well attended, parade through the town centre of those who had enrolled. The enlistment re-enactment allowed local people of all ages the opportunity to have just a small glimpse of what previous generations went through, and the sacrifices they made, to ensure our future and I know how deeply it affected all who were involved.
“With hindsight and our knowledge of the horror of the Great War it is incredible, and dispiriting, to think how many people went to war in 1914 expecting a short conflict and to be back home by Christmas. Very few at the time envisaged the terrible nature of the conflict that was to come and the comprehension of this makes our understanding of the sacrifices made during Great War all the more dreadful.
“In this centenary year since the outbreak of the Great War Rugby will remember all those who have contributed, and continue to contribute, to protect our way of life, our values and our freedom. Rugby remembers and lest any of us ever forget.”
Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby