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Hundreds pay respects at National Memorial Arboretum

Hundreds of people attended a ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire today.

The names of those who have been killed in recent conflicts are carved on the wall around the memorial.

Chuck Hall, a veteran of 20 years service, said:

I've come from Derby today but actually I've come from Canada, to Derby, for today... I've come to remember my buddies... I served 20 years.

Bert Hayward served in Korea and said:

I come here three, four, five times a year to pay my respects for those that have gone and those that are still serving.

A motorcycle group called Ride To The Wall has raised more than £300,000 to help with the upkeep of the arboretum which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

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Soldier's mother: Arboretum closure would break hearts

A woman who lost her son in Basra says the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is too important a place to get rid of, and it would break her heart if it closed.

Carol Jones was instrumental in getting the Basra Memorial moved from Iraq to the Arboretum. She says she prefers to go to the memorial in Staffordshire than to her son John's grave.

MP: Memorial Arboretum cuts an 'embarrassment'

A Staffordshire MP has criticised a decision by the Ministry of Defence to cut funding to the National Memorial Arboretum, calling it an "embarrassment".

While the MoD says it extended funding which was due to be cut altogether last year, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant argues that it's still not enough. He says the Arboretum gets a fraction of the funding given to other memorials - despite attracting much higher visitor numbers.

MP slams cuts to National Memorial Arboretum

General view of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire Credit: ITV News Central

There are calls for the government to re-think its decision to cut funding for the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The MP for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant, has called the removal of the grant a national disgrace, saying:

> "This is an embarrassment and a national disgrace. I shall work with the NMA to pile the pressure on the Ministry of Defence into supplying adequate funding... The National Memorial Arboretum and the Armed Forces Memorial are an iconic centre for national remembrance."

The arboretum contains the National Armed Forces Memorial dedicated to the 16,000 servicemen and women who have died since the Second World War.

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New steam engine 'blessed' at Arboretum

The 'blessing' ceremony Credit: ITV News Central

'The Unknown Warrior', an LMS Patriot class steam locomotive under construction as a memorial to the fallen, has been 'blessed' at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Members of the Army, Navy and RAF were present, alongside the company behind the engine, organisers of the Warley National Model Railway exhibition, and rail enthusiasts from the general public.

The locomotive in front of the memorial Credit: ITV News Central

'The Unknown Warrior' arrives in the Midlands

A steam locomotive, mostly built in the Midlands, has arrived at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to be dedicated.

The engine, named 'The Unknown Warrior', has still not been completed, but it has travelled on a lorry from Wales, where it was assembled.

'The Unknown Warrior' arriving at the ceremony Credit: ITV News Central

The locomotive is to be the only LMS Patriot class engine in existence, after none of the originals was saved.

It is now to travel to Birmingham's NEC, to take centre stage at this weekend's Warley National Model Railway Exhibition.

Armistice day remembered across the Midlands

Poppy badges at the Armed Forces Memorial for a Service of Remembrance on Armistice Day at the National Memorial Arboretum Credit: PA

Events commemorating Armistice Day will take place across the East and West Midlands at 11 o clock to remember the fallen.

A number of services were also held across the region yesterday on Remembrance Sunday.

One of the largest services of remembrance will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire, where 93-year-old Dorothy Ellis, the last surviving WWI widow, will lay a wreath with a group of cadets.

Bikers show support for Armed Forces with annual ride

Thousands of bikers have ridden through the Staffordshire countryside for the sixth annual Ride to the Wall.

The event, which ended at the National Memorial Arboretum, is designed to show support for the Armed Forces and is attended by many former servicemen.

Some of the riders told ITV News Central why they take part in the event - and what it means to them.

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