Remembrance Day is an important time for reflecting on the sacrifices others have made to preserve our freedom, writes Sir Edward Leigh MP.
In particular over the past few years we have been remembering the 100th anniversary of the Great War that ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It is appropriate this anniversary has become our annual day to remember and appreciate those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their king and country, whose names line the war memorials of villages, towns, and boroughs across England.
Cyril and John Pippet were brothers from Market Rasen who both signed up after the outbreak of the war in 1914.
Cyril, the elder brother, was killed by a German machine gunner on March 27, 1918 and has no known grave.
Just two months later his brother John – who earlier had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery during a raid on an enemy trench – was killed by an enemy bullet on May 29, 1918.
The very morning that he died 2nd Lieutenant John Pippet was with his old friend from De Aston School, Lieutenant John Edward Tillett, who was wounded in the same action
Both men were of the 1st Battalion the Lincolnshire Regiment.
Unfortunately Tillett met the same fate months later on October 8, 1918, little more than a month before the armistice.
He was the only son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Tillett of Market Rasen.
What a terrible blow his death must have been.
Another only son involved in the war was Captain William S Hunter from Caistor, killed on July 31, 1917.
His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres, as well as on the war memorial in Caistor.
It is useful to remember that the freedoms we enjoy today have been dearly bought.
As we remember the past we also must plan for the future.
The Government is concerned that currently as many as 28 per cent of children finish their reception year without the basic early communication skills needed to do well later on in school.
The Education Secretary has set out plans to cut this number in half by 2028, and is hosting a home learning environment summit to bring businesses, the media, and technology companies together to look at useful solutions for strengthening children’s early communication skills.
There are several problems with the Chancellor’s recent budget, most especially that this country’s level of borrowing is still too high.
All the same, I’m very pleased to see that the nation’s high streets will receive some much needed relief.
Business rates are to be cut by a third for retailers with a rateable value under £51,000.
This should save as much as £8,000 per year for up to 90 per cent of shops.
The £675 million Future High Streets Fund will also help improve access to town centres and high streets.
And the Government is also consulting on creating a more flexible and response ‘change of use’ system to make it easier to start new mixed-use businesses on our high streets.