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Paving stones to commemorate VC holders


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#1 Kate Wills

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 01:34 AM

Special paving stones will be laid in the home towns of every UK soldier awarded the Victoria Cross as part of 2014's World War I centenary events.
The specially-commissioned stones will be given to councils in the areas where the VC recipients were born.
A total of 28 will be unveiled next year to commemorate medals awarded in 1914 and others will be laid in every year up to 2018.
Plans to restore war memorials around the country have also been announced.
Help will be given to local communities and a website will be launched so people around the UK can obtain funding and support to ensure all memorials are in good condition by November 2018.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles revealed there will be a national competition to design the paving stones, which will have a QR barcode , which people can scan with a smartphone to learn more details about the recipient...

Complete article

#2 NigelS

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 10:40 AM

Article in today's Sunday Telegraph (4th August) which also covers the 'Step Short' project in Folkestone including an artist's impression of the memorial arch that's to be built Click

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Mods/admin: for completeness, couldn't this thread be merged with the other which has now been locked?

#3 centurion

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 10:50 AM

I'm slightly confused by the article - will there eventually be a stone for every VC winner from the inception of the award, every winner since 1914 or just those awarded for WW1 related deeds?

#4 redbarchetta

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 10:59 AM

"A total of 28 will be unveiled next year to commemorate medals awarded in 1914 and others will be laid in every year up to 2018."
So just VCs won in 1914-1918 period, clearly.
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#5 gem22

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 12:03 PM

I'm slightly confused by the article - will there eventually be a stone for every VC winner from the inception of the award, every winner since 1914 or just those awarded for WW1 related deeds?

The article specifically mentions British-born recipients in the First World war. The article goes on to say that the 'FO is considering how to honour those born abroad'. What I cannot find is who will take responsibility for commemorating VC recipients born in Britain who later emigrated and served with Commonwealth forces. Garth

#6 NigelS

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 02:59 PM

I was intending to mention in post #2 that the 'Sunday Tottygraph' also carries a short editorial comment (mainly blowing its own trumpet) Click

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#7 Ferguson73uk

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:44 AM

One of the issues will be define 'home town'. If it is to be the place where they were born then that is clear but here in Wales we lay claim to a VC winner who was born in The Hague while the family were there on business: Thomas Tannatt Pryce. The family home was in Wales. So the stone will be laid in The Hague? This worthy initiative will require careful handling so as not to offend.

#8 Ian Riley

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:56 AM

One of the issues will be define 'home town'. If it is to be the place where they were born then that is clear but here in Wales we lay claim to a VC winner who was born in The Hague while the family were there on business: Thomas Tannatt Pryce. The family home was in Wales. So the stone will be laid in The Hague? This worthy initiative will require careful handling so as not to offend.


Talking to fellow Liverpudlians (or Lerpoolians as Old Boys of Liverpool College refer to themselves), they were debating exactly where in the city the (two) paving stone(s) for Noel Chavasse might go. I suspect that they might end up in Oxford, his birthplace.

The article specifically mentions British-born recipients in the First World war. The article goes on to say that the 'FO is considering how to honour those born abroad'. What I cannot find is who will take responsibility for commemorating VC recipients born in Britain who later emigrated and served with Commonwealth forces. Garth


This raises all sorts of issues such as those officers of the Indian Army (the Army of British India). who received the VC. Are they UK soldiers or not? There must be somewhere in London that would be suitable for paving stones to commemorate the awards of all those VC winners of WW1 of the Empire forces who were not born in the UK but nevertheless fought in the name of the King/Emperor. It would, of course, require more cash. Outside the Commonwealth Secretariat perhaps, outside the old India Office maybe or outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It would be much better to be entirely inclusive than arbitrary and selective.

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#9 daggers

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 09:24 AM

Is a paving stone a suitable means of commemoration? In my view, no.
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#10 Pighills

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 09:28 AM

Why not Daggers?



#11 Ian Riley

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 09:45 AM

I have to admit that it rather struck me as a Holywood Walk of Fame job and almost smacks of walking on gravestones, but I am prepared to go with the flow if they are well done in granite or similar with brass inset.

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#12 daggers

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:39 AM

Ian has expressed it better than I would have done, including the Walk of Fame angle. How long would an insert last, of whatever metal, in today's climate?
D

#13 Pighills

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 12:06 PM

Well, I can understand those points of view. I am also thinking any reminder/remembrance must surely be better than none. Thoughts then turn to what could be done to honour these men instead, but then, the decision's already been made .........

#14 Kate Wills

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:17 PM

I'm not keen on the idea either. Walking all over people seems disrespectful.

#15 Kath

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 03:18 PM

South Yorkshire men:

http://www.thestar.c...eroes-1-5923100

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#16 NigelS

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:33 PM

Rewinding to Kate's opening post & thinking about the inclusion of QR codes. Can't help wondering how long these will be around, and how long before a replacement scheme comes along. QR codes in short term advertising and at information points where they can easily be replaced or updated with a sticker, fair enough, but the practicalities & longevity of their installation on a paving stone seems questionable & possibly a bit of a gimmick.

(In a similar vein I recently saw the suggestion that a USB memory stick with data relating to a building project should be included in a time capsule which it was planned would be buried at the site to be opened in 50 years time. Knowing how frequently computer memory types & interfaces have changed over just the last 10 years or so - anyone acessed data on a 5.25" floppy disc or a PCMCIA card recently? - it seems unlikely that by then there will still anything around capable of accessing the information)

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#17 Derek Black

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:40 AM

They did this in Kirriemuir 7ish years ago for their illustrious residents, none of which were born there http://warmemscot.s4...post-57233.html

I am getting shades of olympic gold post boxes with this announcement though.
As other folks have pointed out, there will be disagreement over the merits of some birthplaces being used when the recipient may not have had much of a connection with the place compared to elsewhere. Many existant V.C. awardees are claimed by several towns.

Derek.

Edited by Derek Black, 06 August 2013 - 03:51 AM.


#18 dycer

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:21 PM

Well,however,well meant,the "stones" will be explored by dogs,who will sniff them and mark their scent as something new.
I have never met a VC holder,but I glean from reading their War exploits and ,those surviving , post War life.
They just enjoyed being ordinary men e.g.taking their dog for a walk.
George

#19 Phil_B

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:43 PM

I'm not keen on the idea either. Walking all over people seems disrespectful.

Not to mention liberal doses of chewing gum! And the odd fag end. :unsure:

#20 DaveBrigg

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:43 PM

This has been done in Germany and several other European countries to remember Holocaust victims, which somehow seems more appropriate as a reminder of people who in some cases vanished without trace. As well as the issues raised above, there will be cases where the VC recipient's house has been bulldozed to make way for a bypass or shopping centre. It also singles out individuals, when I had thought that the centenary was a time to remember all who served, and in particular all who lost their lives. Our town council is looking at ways of marking the home address of all local casualties, possibly with a poppy plaque with the current owner's consent.

#21 eyman

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:07 AM

I am involved in this initiative in my day job so I'm making sure that we take part. http://www.wyrefores...memorate-v.aspx
I agree with earlier comments about recipients whose link with where they were born might be quite limited e.g. the sole Essex Yeoman who won the VC with MGC (Cavalry) was born in London but living in Essex by 1912 when he enlisted in the Essex Yeomanry and continued to live there after the war. It's ironic that his paving stone won't be in the county....
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#22 MikeMeech

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:27 AM

This has been done in Germany and several other European countries to remember Holocaust victims, which somehow seems more appropriate as a reminder of people who in some cases vanished without trace. As well as the issues raised above, there will be cases where the VC recipient's house has been bulldozed to make way for a bypass or shopping centre. It also singles out individuals, when I had thought that the centenary was a time to remember all who served, and in particular all who lost their lives. Our town council is looking at ways of marking the home address of all local casualties, possibly with a poppy plaque with the current owner's consent.


Hi

I presume by 'casualties' you mean those that died not those that were 'just' wounded and survived. I always thought those that 'died' were already 'remembered' on War Memorials, in churches and in some places of work (eg. Liverpool Street), some on more than one. There have been worries that local councils are failing to look after those type of memorials and I don't quite see the point of the 'poppy plaque', as many of their original homes of these 'individuals' would now have gone through by-passes, shopping centres being built, not to mention the 'slum clearances' post WW2. Would it not be better for 'local councils' to spend any money for this project on the memorials to these men that already exist rather than produce a 'new' memorial which some future council members will decide not to look after!

Mike

#23 steve morse

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:17 AM

Fred Greaves VC will be an interesting one - He was born at Killamarsh Derbyshire but is named on the Barlborough Memorial (although he did not die) and Chesterfield have put a bench near the memorial in his memory. I can see arguments of 'ownership' of the men from interested parties. As the local council recently rejected a blue plaque for Fred in Killamarsh, why should they get a slab. It would be interesting to know which committee came up with the slab idea. A blue plaque for all of them would be much nicer. In fact anything would be better than said slab (Paving stone to southerners :) )
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#24 redbarchetta

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:17 PM

Would agree with Steve - a special blue plaque, with a VC silhouette at the top would be better. This would also avoid the multiple claims issues - house in Killamarsh can have one saying he was born there, Barlborough and Chesterfield can both have ones on houses he lived in etc. Avoids the 'being trodden on' issue, is an established, recognised scheme already and would be a good deal cheaper to implement!
James

#25 Don Don

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:24 PM

What about a stamp for every VC recipient,it would be very collectable and would give world wide coverage