Memorial stone for Denby WWI hero Charlie

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The Denby-born recipient of a Victoria Cross medal is set to be honoured with a commemorative paving stone.

It is not yet known where the memorial to commemorate Charlie Stone will be placed, but it will be one of 400 communities paying tribute to First World War soldiers who were awarded the Victoria Cross for valour ‘in the face of the enemy’.

Last week communities secretary Eric Pickles announced Charlie MacKeith as the winning designer for the paving stone.

Mr Pickles said: “The winning paving stone is a fitting tribute to the centenary of the war and will keep the memory of local war heroes alive for hundreds more years to come.”

Judges said Mr MacKeith’s circular design uses the material, form and lettering of the family of memorials used by the War Graves Commission, bringing this well understood layout into cities, towns and villages across the United Kingdom.

The design will also incorporate an electronic reader which people will be able to scan using their smartphones to discover more information about their local Victoria Cross recipient.

The paving stone was unveiled at an event at the Army and Navy Club in London last Monday and was attended by the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross in over 30 years, Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry.

Charlie Stone died on August 29, 1952, aged 63, was buried in his mother’s grave in Belper cemetery.

The Last Post and Reveille were sounded at the graveside.

Following Charlie’s wishes, his family donated his medals to his regiment and these are now in the safe care of the Royal Artillery Institute at Woolwich.

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, a member of the judging panel and owner of the largest collection of Victoria Cross medals, said: “This was a truly splendid crop of designs, many of which showed that their creators had put massive effort into their submissions.

“There were also some exceptionally good entries.”