THIS weekend we commemorate the centenary end of the First World War, in which Bury lost many of its sons.

With our strong military links, thousands of people are expected to take part in parades and ceremonies to mark 100 years since the end of “the war to end all wars”.

Just this week we were reminded of the personal sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of young men, with the reburial of an unknown Lancashire Fusilier in Flanders.

The soldier’s remains were found in an old shell hole, along with those of two Australian soldiers.

Not only were the fighter’s epaulettes bearing the ‘LF’ insignia found with his remains, personal items including a smoking pipe and a pencil bearing Eagley Cricket Club, in Bolton, were also found with him.

While his identity remains unknown, at least his remains have been found ­— the bodies of 42,000 soldiers killed in the Passchendaele battle in which he is believed to have died have never been found.

For more than 100 years, their families have not known what happened to them ­— other than that that they were killed in the battle or are missing and presumed dead.

It must be agonising for people to spend their lives not knowing what happened to a loved one, and how they spend their last moments on Earth.

This weekend gives us an opportunity to remember them and the hundreds and thousands of others who fought and died for their country.

Armistice Day is about remembering all who have died in conflict, but this year is especially important and poignant.

It is our grandparents and great-grand parents generation to whom we owe a special debt of gratitude.

They left behind their lives and families, hoping they would make it home again. But too many never did.

To them we are eternally grateful and we will never forget.