Remembered Today:

Kate Wills

Paving stones to commemorate VC holders

112 posts in this topic

ID: 51   Posted (edited)

London gets enough.

Surely the only way to make it work is to create a flagstone for every VC awarded during the Great War and concentrate them all in one place .... for the sake of argument, along Victoria Street between Victoria Station, where the Unknown Warrior arrived in London and Westminster Abbey, where he is buried...

Edited by Derek Black

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Good to read and fair enough

... and perhaps a (British) TV programme on Belgium's resistance and the story of the opening of the flood defences on the Yser/IJzer!

Ian

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It becomes increasingly apparent that this project was never thought through properly and evidently never consulted about in any circles that could/would have raised the sort of issues and problems that have been aired here. Surely the only way to make it work is to create a flagstone for every VC awarded during the Great War and concentrate them all in one place .... for the sake of argument, along Victoria Street between Victoria Station, where the Unknown Warrior arrived in London and Westminster Abbey, where he is buried, having been borne there on the shoulders of a bearer party of VC winners. A sort of medal roll in stone. Replica/duplicate slabs could then be supplied at cost to locations around the country (and indeed the world) that satisfy a suitably expert committee of their claim to an association with the VC winner concerned .... thus allowing for multiple claims, by birthplaces, places of education, places of residence, etc.

You'd need to have a neutral place - one that has associations with the whole of the old Empire but which wasn't purely or overwhelmingly British in the nationalist sense - difficult.

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London gets enough.

Maybe ... in fact Yes! But Siege Gunner's solution does avoid interminable arguments over where the 'official' flagstone goes and allows other localities to step up and be counted as they wish (or not)

Ian

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I did quite deliberately say 'for the sake of argument' ... :hypocrite:

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What about the National Arboretum?

Chris

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If discussion on his topic is going to continue could someone please sort out the title.

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Is this topic not the same as the other I have just posted to?

Chris

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If discussion on his topic is going to continue could someone please sort out the title.

I think this comentt aboutt a typpo is tendding towards the unecesary and trivviall in the conntextt of the isues involvved. Seriously.

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Looking at the 5 spreadsheets (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic) which are part of the UK Government's press release I have found at least two men born in Scotland who were awarded the Victoria Cross while serving with the Canadian's.

Of concern is the number of "home towns" which are not the correct birthplace.

We even have one home town in the wrong county.

Ken

A memorial to VC recipients born in the County of Lanarkshire, Scotland was constructed in the Lanarkshire town of Hamilton, http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Lanarkshire/HamiltonVCWinners.html as you'll read in the mini biography's of each man, 2 of them won the VC serving with the Canadian forces in WW1.

In addition folks can I draw attention to this VC memorial for the following reasons.

LanarkshireVCMemorial.jpg Photograph Copyright © Baird Ferguson 2006

1) Crucially for me it includes ALL VC recipients from the County. I find the idea of essentially ignoring the VC recipients pre and post WW1 abhorrent and an insult to their bravery. How can it be considered correct to commemorate Arthur Martin-Leake's 1914 Bar to his VC yet ignore his award of the VC from 1902?

2) The memorial covers a County, not a village/town/city, some of which may no longer exist, this removes petty arguments between villages and makes for IMHO a more impressive memorial.

3) The memorial is vertical, as I posted on another thread on the subject:

"There's a reason why most gravestones are vertical, statues stand on plinths, commemorative plaques are mounted on walls, no one wants to trample on those they seek to commemorate."

On the subject of "who should be Commemorated where"? To me the solution is simple, we are a nation blighted by committee's and quango's, will another make such a difference? Submission for the Government issue stone could be made on the basis of 3 criterea in the following order which would relate to what is now the UK:

1) On the recipients County of Birth.

2) Where it can be proved the recipients County of birth was transient e.g. parents temporarily posted abroad, on holiday etc then a usual place of residence could be substituted for criterea 1.

3) Where a family relocated while the recipient was an infant under 2 years of age to another County/Country that became their home for a minimum of the next 10 years, that County could be substituded for criterea 1.

Whatever a Commitee's decision, if it's deemed that a County has a credible claim that is deemed unsuccessful, then they should have the right to purchase a replica stone.

For those recipients who don't qualify for any of the above criterea then sadly it's upto their Countries to imitate the UK's memorial idea.

I should stress however I am against any commemoration that focuses purely on VC recipients, as I pointed out on another thread:

"To single out only those awarded the VC seems to me to belittle those who were awarded "lesser" medals, take for example Cpl Ernest Albert Corey AIF awarded the MM on 4 occasions?"

In addition, the fact that VC recipients outwith WW1 will not be commemorated is abhorrent enough if it goes ahead, but the additional fact that the commemoration of those VC recipients with no tangible connection to the current UK (I'm thinking especially Eire) maybe ignored makes it even more abhorrent, personally I'd scrap the idea.

Sam

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Just one last thing on what would be the definition of a County for the purposes of the idea I put forward.

I'd base it on the structure of the Counties from the WW1 period, with St Helier being a central location for the Channel islands. The Isle of Man and Isle of Wight would of course be counted as individual "counties". The Isles of Scilly, if they have a VC recipient would come under Cornwall as they did during WW1.

Sam

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For me remembering VC winners is an act of remembering all who showed such bravery. Many, many stories deserved the VC but even more are untold. Having some VC memorial or memorials would give credit to all the brave. But I still can't offer the solution!

Chris

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For me remembering VC winners is an act of remembering all who showed such bravery. Many, many stories deserved the VC but even more are untold. Having some VC memorial or memorials would give credit to all the brave. But I still can't offer the solution!

Chris

I reckon personally the silent War Memorials all over the UK and the Cemeteries dotted worldwide say far more in commemoration of those who served in WW1 than a memorial project simply for VC recipients, especially if you look at the ratio of Commissioned Officers to Other Ranks, it's hardly representative.

Sam

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ID: 64   Posted (edited)

... there are huge holes in the prospects of implementation.

Paving stones - walking over our heroes?

Place of birth - not necessarily where they spent their lives (I foresee a big argument locally over Alexander Buller Turner's stone - born in Reading, brought up in Thatcham - the family memorial is in Thatcham church).

WW1 only - so Alexander Buller Turner will get a paving stone - but his brother, Victor, won't??

Edited by Kate Wills
Political comment removed

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Ken

A memorial to VC recipients born in the County of Lanarkshire, Scotland was constructed in the Lanarkshire town of Hamilton, http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Lanarkshire/HamiltonVCWinners.html as you'll read in the mini biography's of each man, 2 of them won the VC serving with the Canadian forces in WW1.

In addition folks can I draw attention to this VC memorial for the following reasons.

LanarkshireVCMemorial.jpg Photograph Copyright © Baird Ferguson 2006

1) Crucially for me it includes ALL VC recipients from the County. I find the idea of essentially ignoring the VC recipients pre and post WW1 abhorrent and an insult to their bravery. How can it be considered correct to commemorate Arthur Martin-Leake's 1914 Bar to his VC yet ignore his award of the VC from 1902?

2) The memorial covers a County, not a village/town/city, some of which may no longer exist, this removes petty arguments between villages and makes for IMHO a more impressive memorial.

3) The memorial is vertical, as I posted on another thread on the subject:

"There's a reason why most gravestones are vertical, statues stand on plinths, commemorative plaques are mounted on walls, no one wants to trample on those they seek to commemorate."

On the subject of "who should be Commemorated where"? To me the solution is simple, we are a nation blighted by committee's and quango's, will another make such a difference? Submission for the Government issue stone could be made on the basis of 3 criterea in the following order which would relate to what is now the UK:

1) On the recipients County of Birth.

2) Where it can be proved the recipients County of birth was transient e.g. parents temporarily posted abroad, on holiday etc then a usual place of residence could be substituted for criterea 1.

3) Where a family relocated while the recipient was an infant under 2 years of age to another County/Country that became their home for a minimum of the next 10 years, that County could be substituded for criterea 1.

Whatever a Commitee's decision, if it's deemed that a County has a credible claim that is deemed unsuccessful, then they should have the right to purchase a replica stone.

For those recipients who don't qualify for any of the above criterea then sadly it's upto their Countries to imitate the UK's memorial idea.

I should stress however I am against any commemoration that focuses purely on VC recipients, as I pointed out on another thread:

"To single out only those awarded the VC seems to me to belittle those who were awarded "lesser" medals, take for example Cpl Ernest Albert Corey AIF awarded the MM on 4 occasions?"

In addition, the fact that VC recipients outwith WW1 will not be commemorated is abhorrent enough if it goes ahead, but the additional fact that the commemoration of those VC recipients with no tangible connection to the current UK (I'm thinking especially Eire) maybe ignored makes it even more abhorrent, personally I'd scrap the idea.

Sam

Sam - Your points are well made but even in the case of this memorial there has been some controversy. The name of Lieutenant Graham Thomson Lyall (Airdrie) 102nd Canadian Infantry Battalion C.e.f. (sic) has been added to a rear panel.

Graham was born in Manchester, England and enlisted at St. Catherine's, Ontario. He married in Airdrie in 1919 and lived there for 20 years.

He served as a Colonel (48647) in the RAOC in WW2 and died in Egypt on 28/11/1941.

See: http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic412.html

Ken

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I think this comentt aboutt a typpo is tendding towards the unecesary and trivviall in the conntextt of the isues involvved. Seriously.

Thank you for sorting out the title of this thread - I was having bad day.

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Sam - Your points are well made but even in the case of this memorial there has been some controversy. The name of Lieutenant Graham Thomson Lyall (Airdrie) 102nd Canadian Infantry Battalion C.e.f. (sic) has been added to a rear panel.

Graham was born in Manchester, England and enlisted at St. Catherine's, Ontario. He married in Airdrie in 1919 and lived there for 20 years.

He served as a Colonel (48647) in the RAOC in WW2 and died in Egypt on 28/11/1941.

See: http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic412.html

Ken

Exactly the reason I suggested a committee to decide on all claims, I meant to add to my list that an association with a County that is purely post WW1, should not qualify for inclusion in that County's memorial.

In an ideal world (where the incendiary bomb didn't destroy the WW1 archives) the recipients home address at their time of enlistment and for the duration of their service would have been the ideal choice for the location of any memorial, but it's not an ideal world.

But to reiterate what I've said earlier, I'm totally opposed the the concept of any memorial that is based on VC recipients as a WW1 commemoration, the intracacies of the arguments about who, where, what and when only serve to enforce the question I have when I read the arguments;

WHY?

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In an earlier thread I wrote "To single out only those awarded the VC seems to me to belittle those who were awarded "lesser" medals".

To emphasise this point, can I bring to your attention this page of the LG I found http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/31583/supplements/12213 listing: -

T/Comdr Archibald Walter Buckle, Anson Bn, RND, RNVR.

Capt & Bt/Maj (T/Lt Col) William Robert Aufrere Dawson 6th Bn R W Kent Regt.

T/Maj (A/Lt Col) Robert Sinclair Knox 10th Bn (attd 9th Bn) R Innis Fus.

None of these men were awarded the VC, however they were being gazetted for the 3rd Bar to their DSO.

Sam

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Department of Local Gov and Culture- Pickles's Mob- credit CHARLES ROBERTSON ( VC and MM- VC won 8/9.3.1918) his home town as PENRITH Cumbria, Yet ancestry says he was born in Bentham, Yorkshire. He spent the majority of his life in Dorking in Surrey.

Is there a problem?

Richard

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See my post 40. I now find that William Fuller VC spent the last 86 of his 90 years on earth in Swansea...but his stone will go to Laugahrne.

With all the justifiable queries and quibbles shown in this thread I suppose the question isn't so much 'is there a problem?' as 'is there an answer?' Not a one size fits all, methinks....

Bernard

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Department of Local Gov and Culture- Pickles's Mob- credit CHARLES ROBERTSON ( VC and MM- VC won 8/9.3.1918) his home town as PENRITH Cumbria, Yet ancestry says he was born in Bentham, Yorkshire. He spent the majority of his life in Dorking in Surrey.

Is there a problem?

Richard

On the 1911 census he gives his birthplace as Bentham, Yorkshire - age 31 born c.1880 but I cannot trace his birth in either Yorkshire or Cumberland.

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The criteria of using the birth place as the location will cause a great many issues in my opinion.

It has already been suggested that a Council should be able to purchase a flag stone if they have a compelling argument for residency etc.

This might be a potential solution?

The Noel Chavasse example is key, yes born in Oxford and lived there until 1900 but he will FOREVER be associated with the Liverpool Scottish.

In my home town we have J T Davies - born in Rock Ferry on the Wirral but moved with his family to St.Helens aged about 5 years, went to school, started work, Joined the Local "Pals" and won his VC, Returned back home to family life and work, became the Captain of the Local Home Guard in WW2, Died and is buried in St.Helens Cemetery. Surely his Flag Stone should be in St.Helens,

Does anyone have any update on this specific aspect please?

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If the Government stick to their present plans it looks like the Flying Services will be most hard done by as at least 8 of the 19 VC holders were not born in the UK.

There has already been press comment regarding Rex Warneford (born in India) with regard to Exmouth where he supposedly lived. I believe his mother later lived there but not the VC winner himself.

I note that the official spreadsheet has Edward Mannock marked down to have his stone in Brighton.

Interesting!

Peter

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According to an article in today's Sunday Telegraph (22nd September) Click , it appears that this scheme is being revised so that it will now include those VC winners born overseas who had UK 'ties'. Somehow, with the possibility of different towns claiming to have 'ties' to a particular man, I don't think this proposed revision, although welcome and certainly a step in the right direction, will be without its problems.

NigelS

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