WALLINGFORD is set to hold a special Remembrance Sunday event this year – and is asking for local input to help trace fallen soldiers’ families.

As the nation gears up for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the South Oxfordshire town is trying to track down relatives of local fallen soldiers.

For years, Wallingford has held a Remembrance ceremony which involves reading out the names of the 121 servicemen from the town who died in the two world wars.

This year, organisers are inviting a relative of each of the men to attend the event and ‘play an active part in remembrance of their service’.

Wallingford Town Council is calling this year’s event ‘especially poignant’ and said the name reading is an ‘integral’ part of the yearly ceremony.

On November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed ending the First World War. It took effect at 11am, leading to remembrance events taking place on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Wallingford lost 82 men in the First World War and 39 in the second.

RAF Benson’s Station Warrant Officer Caroline Cooper said: “It will be an honour for RAF Benson personnel to be taking part in the Wallingford Remembrance Parade, particularly during the RAF’s centenary year and on the day that signified the end of the First World War.

“It is said that they gave their today for our tomorrow and during the two minute’s silence we will be reflecting on the sacrifices made by all personnel in all conflicts.”

Wallingford Mayor Lee Upcraft said: “Remembrance reminds us not just of the cost of conflict in broad terms, but also that those who lost their lives in defence of our way of life left behind families and loved ones. 100 years may seem like a long time to many of us, but I think it remains important we recognise that these men left behind families no less loved and loving than our own. I would be very honoured to see relatives of these servicemen join us at this special act.”

Local MP Ed Vaizey added: “Remembrance Sunday this year will take on special significance as not only does it fall on Armistice Day but it also marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice. I am aware of special commemorations taking place throughout the Wantage and Didcot constituency and the event being organised in Wallingford is a great example.”

The town council is asking relatives or anyone with knowledge of the men’s relatives to get in touch via email on queries@wallingfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or on 01491 835373.

The names of the fallen soldiers are available here

Meanwhile, Wallingford Castle Gardens is set to host a free garden party to celebrate 100 years of the RAF and its ‘special link’ with the town this Sunday.