That great column of men and women who defended us in the Great War has now marched into history, represented by the veterans who paraded each year past the Cenotaph in remembrance of comrades who gave their lives in battle . We can see them on films of earlier years.

We are now seeing the rearguard of those who served in the Second World War, of which the Queen is one of the younger members. So it is right to be thankful for her ability and determination to honour the dead of her own generation in this solemn act.

Of course, she also represents us in giving thanks for those who lost their lives in many more recent conflicts where our armed forces were required to be in harm’s way. The cost of defending our peace and liberty is ultimately underwritten by their many sacrifices. It is fitting to recall these at this time.

At one time it was thought that the observance of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday would simply fade away, as the recollection of the World Wars became more distant but that has not happened . Whilst not in any way glorifying war, it reminds us of the cost at which our freedom has been purchased, thus giving us greater cause to value and defend it.