A subject that rarely fails to bring a lump to my throat is that of the remaining World War One veterans and so it is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Bill Stone, one of the last four servicemen of the Great War.
A stoker in the Royal Navy during both wars, he joined up on his 18th birthday to serve in the final two months of the first war and was then involved in a number of actions, including the Dunkirk evacuations in the second.
I know that this idea has been around for a while, but I believe that it would be appropriate for the passing of the last of these great men to be marked by a state funeral. I sincerely hope that it will be some years to come, but it is right that the Government address the issue now. The sacrifices made by their generation should be marked in a proper way and I believe that there can be no more fitting tribute.