This week Michael visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Burton-on-Trent as part of his involvement in the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.
The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK's year-round centre of Remembrance. It is a special place that honours those who have served, and continue to serve, our nation in many different ways in both the Armed Forces and the civil services of this country and it recognises their service and sacrifice.
Since planting began in 1997, the Arboretum has become a living and lasting memorial that consists of many thousands of trees and other plants. It now covers 150 acres and consists of around 30,00 trees and more than 300 dedicated memorials. While there is a very a large focus on the military, there is also an area devoted to Police who have fallen while on duty, as well as other areas devoted to the Fire and Rescue and Ambulance services. National charities representing those who have died in particular circumstances, including children, are also found in the Arboretum grounds.
Michael made the visit with his father, Rob, and his grandfather, Gren Dugher, who served in the Royal Air Force.
Michael met with Peter Orgill, Head of Operations at the Arboretum to learn more about the work they do and attended the daily service of Remembrance in the Chapel. Michael then toured the site, guided by one of the many dedicated volunteers.
Commenting Michael said: “The National Memorial Arboretum is a truly unique living tribute to those men and women who selflessly serve our country. It’s made possible by the hundreds of volunteers who give up their time to maintain and guide visitors around the grounds. It was incredibly moving to take part in the daily Service of Remembrance and to see not only the wonderful huge memorial to the Armed Forces, but also the other, numerous small memorials.
"It was also great to be there with my grandfather who served in the RAF and we also talked about his father who served in the British Army in France in the First World War a century ago in 1917.
"It's only an hour and a half's drive from Barnsley and I can't recommend enough what a fantastic place to visit the Arboretum is."
You can view the National Memorial Arboretum by clicking here.