This weekend is a time for remembering those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, to give us the freedoms we have today.

With much attention being aimed at marches in London this weekend, all I’ll say is I hope everything remains peaceful and respectful.

Remembrance is a time I think of my mum and dad who both served in the armed forces during the Second World War.

My mum, Grace, was a sergeant in the ATS and I’m sure she made a good one as she was the matriarch of our extended family, always there to help, support and guide people when they needed it.

Ipswich Star: Mark's mum was proud of her time in the ATSMark's mum was proud of her time in the ATS (Image: Mark Murphy)

She was proud to have been in the ATS and would often tell me about the times Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was also in the ATS, would turn up and help out.

Ipswich Star: The Queen in her ATS daysThe Queen in her ATS days (Image: Newsquest)

A few years ago, in Christchurch Park in Ipswich the parks team created a wonderful floral display depicting the ATS badge.

I can still remember taking Mum in her wheelchair to see it which, for all of us, ended up being an emotional experience.

An added bonus of Mum being in the ATS was that one of her best friends from the war ended up serving as a dinner lady at Northgate Grammar School in Ipswich.

I went there between 1975 and 1980 and let’s just say when Barbara was serving school dinners, I never went hungry!

Thankfully Mum left me her army number and one of these days I’ll write off to get more details of what she did.

Sadly, I lost her 20 years ago and there’s so much I wished I’d asked her but I’ll visiting her grave to place a poppy on there this weekend.

I’ll be doing the same for Dad or Spud as everyone called him.

Ipswich Star: Mark's dad was in the SASMark's dad was in the SAS (Image: Mark Murphy)

He never spoke at all about what he did in the war, apart from to say he was in the SAS.

He died a long time ago and, until recently, all we had was a photograph of him in his SAS uniform, taken in what looks like North Africa.

I’ve got his medals which include the Africa Star and Italian Star which would place him firmly in the areas the SAS fought in during World War Two.

Just recently I was contacted by a second cousin who just happened to have an army photograph of him in uniform with his army number, date of birth and regiment on it!

This was the key to unlock more about him.

So far, I’ve managed to find, from a relatively secretive regiment, that he was in fact on the special forces register.

More work to do but hopefully I can find out more about his war record.

It's one of those things that I come back to from time to time and this Remembrance weekend has inspired me to do some more research.

Maybe you will too.

It’s certainly a time for reflection and I hope, wherever you are, you get a chance to do that this weekend, and once again I sincerely hope events this weekend remain peaceful.

We certainly don’t want to be fanning the flames of an already tense situation in the Middle East.