In 2014 the UK Government launched a 4 year scheme to honour recipients of the Victoria Cross who served in the First World War. The first of these paving stones was laid in East Grinstead. From August 2014 until November 2018, a total of 469 stones will be laid throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in memory of the brave young men who went above and beyond the call of duty to protect our nation with incomprehensible acts of valour.
These specially commissioned stones will be given to each of the councils in areas where the VC recipients were born. Plans were also announced in 2014 to restore war memorials around the country. The design of the paving stones was revealed after a national competition judged by seven experts and each one will carry a QR code which can then be scanned by a smartphone to get further details of the VC recipient.
A further 145 stones will commemorate those soldiers born overseas and these will be laid at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Help will be given to local communities to ensure these memorials stay in good condition for 2018 when all of them should be completed.
Over 4.5m Britons served during the war and over 3m personnel from the British Empire, some 8m soldiers lost their lives. A total of 628 Victoria Crosses were awarded
The last of the paving stones will be laid in November 2018 and there is a list of future ceremonies and events on this gov.uk page.
An interactive map can be found at this link – where you can view all the stones that have been laid to date throughout the country, you can also follow news about the stones on Twitter with the hashtag #vcpavingstones
Here at SSC we are honoured to have been part of this great commemoration, using our skills and knowledge in sandblast engraving to create the memorial paving stones pictured, for Captain Allastair McReady-Diarmid VC and Lance-Corporal John Christie VC.
Each stone is 45kg of York Stone Scoutmoor and each one is 600mm x 600mm x 50mm. Each stone includes the name, rank and regiment of the VC recipient and also the date of the action that led them to be awarded.
This article was written by: Sandblast Sign Company