REMEMBRANCE Sunday is an emotional day for many of us, but especially poignant for Norman MacRae MBE.

The West Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member is the district's armed forces champion and boasts a 45-year association with the Royal Air Force (RAF), which he joined in 1968.

Since 1980, he has been based in Carterton, spending many years at RAF Brize Norton, and will lay a wreath in the town on behalf of the district council to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

RAF Brize, which is the largest in the UK, gives West Oxfordshire a particularly strong military connection.

This weekend, events will be held across the district to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War, and Mr MacRae admits it is a difficult time.

He said: "It's so emotional for many ex-servicemen - you think of those who gave their lives for the good of others and think 'that could have been me'."

"There will be a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

"You can't be part of the military family and not be affected."

Mr MacRae, 70, originally hails from Inverness and joined the air force in 1968 to begin his flying training.

In the early 1970s, he was stationed at Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, Kinloss in Scotland and Cornwall.

He then spent three years in Malta, before returning to the UK in 1978 for a two-year spell at RAF Finningley, Yorkshire.

Two years later, Mr MacRae arrived at Brize Norton and became a flight engineer on VC10 aircraft, serving on 10 Squadron, 241 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) and 101 squadron.

In 1994, he received an MBE in recognition of his military service, before becoming a civilian simulator instructor at the air base in 1996.

Mr MacRae held the role until he retired in 2013, during which time he was elected to Carterton Town Council and became a district councillor for Carterton North East.

From 2010, he spent two years as mayor of Carterton, which coincided with the first military repatriation at RAF Brize Norton in September 2011.

The parade sees fallen servicemen return to their country and Mr MacRae always placed great importance on attending during and after his time as mayor.

He said: "There weren't many I missed.

"It was lovely how many people would turn out to pay their respects but dreadfully sad for the families."

In May, he finished a four-year term as chairman of the district council and was appointed cabinet member for community safety.

Mr MacRae is fully committed to his role as armed forces champion and is aiming to visit every cadet unit in West Oxfordshire, while he also sits on the Oxfordshire South East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association committee.

It shows the county's continuing military presence, which will be foremost in residents' minds this weekend.

Among several events, Witney Town Council is hosting an Armistice Centenary Dinner at Witney Corn Exchange on November 10, while an Armistice Memorial will be unveiled on the Leys at 2pm on Remembrance Sunday.

Also on Sunday, RAF Brize Norton will exercise their Freedom of Witney by parading through the town.

Mr MacRae feels these events will do the fallen proud and believes this stems from the district's intrinsic links to the military.

He said: "Even if you're not related to someone in the military you know someone who is.

"We're blessed with it in the district - Carterton and Brize Norton is jointly a military and a civilian town."