FAMILIES across Oxfordshire are being urged to thank the generation of soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the First World War.

The Royal British Legion is calling on the nation to remember the 1.2 million British and Commonwealth Armed Forces who lost their lives and those – military and civilian – who played their part on the home front, as well as people who returned to build a better life for the benefit of generations to come.

During the last 100 days of First World War centenary commemorations, from August 8 to November 11, the RBL is inviting the public from all cultures and faiths, community groups, schools, companies and sports clubs to express their gratitude to those who took part in the war effort.

Lynda Atkins, county chairwoman of the RBL in Oxfordshire, said: “There is now no one left alive who served in the First World War.

“But the war was a pivotal moment in the country’s history and it is important in 2018, 100 years on from the end of the war, that as many people as possible remember the sacrifice made by soldiers and their loved ones.”

Troops from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and The Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars fought in the conflict.

Ms Atkins added: “I am working on a project to get schools engaged in remembering the war this year and a conference is being planned at St Hugh’s College in Oxford, involving a number of secondary schools.

“I also want people in Oxford and towns and villages across Oxfordshire to look at the names on their war memorials.

“There will be people in those villages who have the same names.

“I am sure there will be a massive effort in the county to raise a record amount for the Poppy Appeal.”

The RBL’s Director General Charles Byrne said: “The end of the First World War centenary is a chance for each of us to say thank you in our own ways and in our own words not only to those who gave their lives, but those who returned, those who worked in factories and on the land, and those who pioneered advances in medicine, technology and the arts. Everyone living in Britain today has a reason to say ‘thank you’ to this special generation.”

The RBL is asking groups to plan activities from August 8, with October 28 a special events day.