IN THIS age of celebrity, it can become increasingly easy for the true legends in life to miss out on the recognition they deserve.

But Jim Lewendon is entirely worthy of all the praise he gets.

The 85-year-old has dedicated years of his life to making sure our brave troops are properly honoured.

And now it is his turn to be thanked.

Mr Lewendon has spent 41 years selling poppies to raise cash for the Royal British Legion, but he is now stepping down as chairman of its Oxfordshire branch.

He also served his country in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and as a gunner with the Royal Artillery.

One of his greatest contributions in his time has been his role in helping to found the group of veterans who gather for repatriations at Headley Way.

No amount of cash raised, as wonderful as it is, even gets near the contribution such a touching gesture makes.

In his time, Mr Lewendon has raised £160,000 to help former service personnel and their families deal with hardship.

But his greatest achievement is ensuring that the families of the Fallen know that their loved one’s sacrifice counts for something.

Through that work the great-grandfather has provided the bereaved with more support and comfort that any of us could ever imagine.

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, it is absolutely vital we take a moment to reflect.

True local heroes are men like Jim, who dedicate their lives to helping others.