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Judges announced for Victoria Cross paving stone competition
A PANEL of experts has been appointed to judge a competition to design a paving stone commemorating First World War heroes awarded the Victoria Cross.
The stones, which will be laid from August next year, will take pride of place in hundreds of communities across the country.
A UK-wide design competition was launched earlier this year by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
It forms a key feature in plans to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Paving stones will be laid in areas where Victoria Cross recipients were born – including Darlington, Bishop Auckland, Durham and Willington.
The judges will present a shortlist of entries to communities secretary Eric Pickles, who will choose the winning design.
Judges include novelist Sebastian Faulks, historian Michael Burleigh and Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC, the first living recipient of the British Army’s highest military decoration in more than 30 years.
Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft, who owns the largest collection of VC medals in the world, will sit on the panel, along with Imperial War Museum chairwoman Diane Lees and National Trust chairwoman Dame Helen Ghosh.
Major General Patrick Cordingley, chairman of the National Memorial Arboretum appeal, completes the panel.
Entries submitted ranged from school children, design professionals and students as well as members of the public. A total of 201 entries were received.
The winning designer will see their paving stone laid in 430 communities across the country - a lasting legacy for years to come, and a fitting tribute to the extraordinary bravery of the local heroes who fought for their country.
Mr Pickles said: “This competition has captured the minds and imagination of the nation and I am extremely impressed with the high quality of entries that were submitted from such a variety of people.
"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.
"For the winner, it means that their design will be admired for years to come and I look forward to seeing the final stone soon in all its glory."
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