Remember: 100 years on
NEXT Monday marks 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany.
The nation, if not the world as a whole, will pause and reflect on the scale of the conflict and the long-lasting impact the First World War has had.
Towns and villages across our area will be holding commemorative services and other events, as communities gather to pay their respects to war heroes dead or alive.
We can only hope that by remembering the terrible circumstances of war, it can prevent further tragedies occurring, or put an end to ones already underway.
The death totals in current conflicts in Gaza, Syria and Ukraine are not yet comparable to that of the so-called Great War, but an end to the violence is necessary to prevent history from repeating itself.
The harrowing stories and sheer number of casualties experienced in the two world wars must surely be a deterrent.
Bearing in mind the population of this area was much smaller 100 years ago, as recorded in the census of 1911, it is perhaps startling to learn that war memorials in the News & Mail patch contain the names of 1,630 people.
Multiply that for every area in every nation involved in the war and it soon becomes apparent how the military death toll of almost 10 million could be reached.
To mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, we have put together the first of several souvenir supplements which will serve as a reminder to never forget the fallen, their courage and sacrifice.
With an area so rich in military history, it is not surprising that there are stories both personal, tragic and of international importance that we have uncovered for you.