Decision to be made on First World War memorials

Darlington and Stockton Times: NEW MEMORIALS: Residents could be allowed to decide on sites of First World War memorials NEW MEMORIALS: Residents could be allowed to decide on sites of First World War memorials

RESIDENTS could be given the chance to decide where paving stones remembering County Durham’s Victoria Cross heroes are located.

Seven commemorative stones will be laid around the county in honour of men who fought in the First World War and received the medal for their bravery.

Durham County Council is responsible for installing the stones as part of a national initiative to mark the centenary of the start of the conflict.

Members of the authority’s cabinet will this week hear how it is proposed that members of the public will be able to get involved in deciding where each of the stones is sited.

Councillor Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The paving stones will provide an enduring reminder of County Durham’s local heroes and are a fitting way to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

“We hope they will also enable residents to gain a better understanding of how their area fits into the story of the First World War.”

The stones, which are based on memorials used by the War Graves Commission, will include a QR code, which people can scan with a smartphone to find out more about the recipient.

Each stone will be installed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the action for which the VC holder received their honour, with the first unveiling in November next year.

The county’s seven First World War Victoria Cross holders are Roland and George Bradford, of Witton Park; Michael Heaviside, of Durham City; Thomas Kenny, of South Wingate; George McKean, of Willington; William McNally, of Murton and John Youll, of Thornley.

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