Grave of wartime Victoria Cross winner restored

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The grave of Belper’s First World War Victoria Cross winner, Charles Stone, will be restored to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the war.

The ‘neglected’ monument is being improved as part of a £100,000 Government project that aims to repair the memorials of those who received the highest military award for valour.

Gnr Charles Stone, of the Royal Field Artillery, born in Denby, was awarded the VC on 21 March 1918 and is buried in Belper Cemetery.

His surviving niece, Kathleen Jennison, added her voice to calls to see a more fitting tribute erected in Amber Valley for the courageous soldier in the Belper News last September.

Announcing the restoration project, Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, said: “Charles Stone was considered a local celebrity. Today, however, you wouldn’t know it. One hundred years on from the start of the First World War, Charles’ gravestone lies neglected, obscured from sight, and to all intents and purposes, forgotten about.

“In life or death Charles Stone’s crumbling headstone is not reflective of the bravery and honour he deserves. It tarnishes his memory and fails to teach the next generation that despite the time passed since the First World War our gratitude must never diminish.”