REMEMBRANCE Sunday is one of the biggest days in the constituency year.

With two of the UK’s major military bases in the patch – RAF Leeming and Catterick Garrison – the period when we remember the sacrifices of our servicemen and women will always be very special for me.

On Sunday, I shall be paying my respects and laying a wreath on behalf of you all at Northallerton. Last year I did the same at Richmond’s most moving and solemn Remembrance commemoration.

Last month, I was privileged and honoured, in equal measure, to attend the launch of the annual Poppy Appeal at Catterick Garrison. It was one of a number of events held around the country to formally get the appeal underway.

A simple ceremony in Coronation Park was attended by representatives of the Royal British Legion, the Garrison Commander Lt Col Mark Steed, Catterick Army Cadet Force, Army families and veterans.

Remembrance traditions were observed in the ceremonial presentation of poppies, in the sounding of The Last Post and Reveille – and the reciting of the famous Remembrance Ode.

Under grey, leaden Catterick skies, these well known words, written by Laurence Binyon in 1914 as the full horror of the Great War unfolded, were especially evocative. I reproduce them here: They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

After the ceremony, I had the chance to meet three of the veterans who took part. They included Anna Pollock, of Catterick, who is one of the faces of this year’s Poppy Appeal nationally.

Her story illustrates the theme of this year’s appeal which is to Rethink Remembrance by recognising the sacrifices made not just by the Armed Forces of the past, but by today’s generation too.

For many people, Remembrance is associated with the fallen of the First and Second World Wars. While we will always remember them, the Legion wants to raise awareness of a new generation of veterans and service personnel that need our support.

Anna’s story illustrates what the Legion is trying to do today with veterans who may not have been injured in famous conflicts but whose needs are just as great.

A former RAF medic, Anna was paralysed from the waist down by a blood clot on her spine in 2013. A mother of three, she was told she would never walk unaided again.

She sank into deep depression but with the help of the Legion discovered the thrill of recumbent cycling. The Legion bought her a recumbent bike, she found her fighting spirit again and started taking on cycling marathons such as riding from Catterick to Windsor.

This year she took part in the Invictus Games in Florida representing Team UK and won three bronze medals, with her family cheering her on.

Anna’s story is truly inspirational. On Sunday morning, I’ll be thinking of her, the many other modern-day veterans and also the millions who made the ultimate sacrifice in the conflicts of the last century.