Victoria Cross as it appears on Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstones, courtesy of Wikipedia

Panel of judges appointed for First World War Centenary paving stones competition

Posted on centenarynews.com on 14 October 2013
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The British Government has announced that a panel of "seven experts" has been appointed to judge designs for paving stones to honour First World War Victoria Cross recipients.

The British Government announced in August 2013 that paving stones dedicated to VC winners from the conflict would be presented to the local councils where they were born.

The Victoria Cross is Britain's highest military honour.

The initial announcement in August came as details of national Centenary plans were announced, which would "put Victoria Cross Winners at the heart of the Centenary".

News today that a panel of experts had been appointed to judge designs for the paving stones was announced by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, who said that:

"These paving stones will ensure that there is a permanent memorial to all the fallen soldiers across the country and will enable local communities to connect with this important piece of their shared history".

Panel members

Lord Ashcroft – Conservative Peer, owner of the largest collection of Victoria Cross medals and author of the book Victoria Cross Heroes.

Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry – British army soldier who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2005 and is the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross in over 30 years.

Michael Burleigh – Historian and member of the Government’s First World War Centenary Advisory Board.

Major General Patrick Cordingley – Chairman of the National Memorial Arboretum appeal.

Sebastian Faulks – Novelist and member of the Government’s First World War Centenary Advisory Board.

Dame Helen Ghosh – Chair of the National Trust.

Diane Lees – Director-General of the Imperial War Museum.

Competition

Mr. Pickles said that the competition has "captured the minds and imagination of the nation" and that he is "extremely impressed with the high quality of entries that were submitted from such a variety of people".

Entrants ranged from those of primary and secondary school age to design professionals and students, as well as members of the public.

In total 201 entries were received. The winning designer will see their paving stone laid in 430 communities across the United Kingdom.

The first stones will be laid on the 23rd August 2014 to mark 100 years exactly since the first two Victoria Crosses of the First World War were won. These will be in Brent, to mark Charles Garforth of Willesden Green, and Mid Sussex District Council – to mark Sidney Godley of East Grinstead.

Source: Inside Government UK press release

Date of press release publication: 14/10/2013

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News