THOUSANDS of people are expected to turn out across the borough this weekend to pay their respects to those who served and gave their lives for their country.

Parades and services are due to take place in Bury, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom and Prestwich to remember servicepeople and civilians "who paid the ultimate sacrifice".

This year, notably, the country will mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, when the armistice was signed which brought the four-year conflict to an end.

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Davidson is the parade marshal in Bury and has organised the Remembrance Day commemorations for many years.

He said: “It is important every year that we remember. In 2015, we remembered 100 years since the Lancashire Fusiliers’ landing at Gallipoli. We then marked the Somme in 2016, and Passchendaele in 2017.

“This year is significant because we remember the end of the First World War — 100 years since the armistice was signed.

“It is important that we continue to remember next year and the years that follow, to spend a little bit of time in thought or to attend the war memorial in Bury, Radcliffe, or Ramsbottom, wherever it may be, and to lay a wreath or a cross, or write a simple message to a loved one.”

Col Davidson launched the annual Royal British Legion’s (RBL) Poppy Appeal in Bury last week.

He said: “I think the colour red that is seen on the poppy reminds us all of the blood that was lost — the ultimate sacrifice.”

The Bury branch of the RBL has organised a civic parade for Sunday, followed by a Remembrance service at Bury Parish Church.

Veterans and standards will set off from Knowsley Street at 10.35am on Sunday, arriving in Market Place at 10.50am.

The Last Post and reveille — bugle call — will be sounded at the town’s war memorial at 11am, followed by the laying of wreaths.

A service will then be held at Bury Parish Church after which the parade will march to the Town Hall for a salute.

A parade and service will also take place in Radcliffe. The parade will march from the Royal Oak pub in Water Street at 10.45am, heading towards the war memorial in Blackburn Street.

A service will take place at St Thomas and St John at approximately 11.30am. Refreshments will then be served at the Royal Oak.

Barry Young, who organises the Radcliffe Poppy Appeal and parade, said: "The best way we can say thank you is by turning out and actually showing them what it means to us.

"We also want to encourage the young generations to get involved.

"There is usually a very good turnout.

"We just hopes the weather stays dry for us."

Radcliffe Brass Band is due to support the parade, playing the Last Post at the start of the wreath laying.

In Ramsbottom, the parade will set out from Ramsbottom British Legion, in Central Street at 10.45am.

It will then make its way along Carr Street towards the cenotaph for the Last Post at 11am, before the laying of wreaths and a short 10-minute service.

After this, the parade will move on to St Paul’s Church in Bridge Street for a service before marching back to the Legion at 12 noon.

The parade in Prestwich will depart from outside the Longfield Suit at around 10.30am.

It will then make its way to the war memorial, where a service will be led by ex-service personnel.

Music will also be provided for the Remembrance parade by the Besses Boys’ Band.