One hundred and one years after the end the First World War, a war that many historians now say should never have been fought, and closing in on 75 years after the end of the Second World War, a tragedy that the First War spawned, there are only a handful of veterans left alive. One or two of them will join the schoolchildren and others at the Cenotaph in Knowlton on November 11.

Many soldiers, airmen and sailors from the surrounding villages died in both wars. There were many who served valiantly.

Women like Jean Wootton who drove through the night in wartime England, the lights blackened on her Buick, as she drove agents to their rendezvous to be dropped into occupied France.

Pilots like Dal Russell who flew fighters in the Battle of Britain.

Susan Leggat and Jane Gilday who volunteered to serve in wartime Britain, a place where death could drop unannounced from the sky.

Colonel Lawrence Cosgrave, a veteran of the First World War, who signed for Canada the papers of the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbour in August of 1945.

The Brouillette brothers, Ross and Sidney, ordinary soldiers who served overseas and are buried there.

Geoffrey Hughson, a young naval officer on a Canadian destroyer spending Christmas in the frozen Soviet harbour of Murmansk.

Donald French, who sat in the rear gunner’s post of a Halifax Bomber, a fearless 19-year-old, and one of the last veterans still able to attend the ceremony on November 11.