The grave of hero soldier Charles Edwin Stone is now befitting a man who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his incredible bravery during World War On.
For the plot in Belper Cemetery has been restored and was re-dedicated at a poignant service organised by the Royal British Legion after an initiative that involved the Victoria Cross Trust.
The service was held on Saturday on the eve of the anniversary of the outbreak of World War One.
It was attended by the Royal ArtilleryAssociation from Wiltshire, current serving soldiers, the British Royal Legion, local dignitaries and living relatives of Charles Stone.
Denby-born Bombardier Stone was awarded the Victoria Cross, ‘the highest military decoration awarded for valour in the face of the enemy’, after he single-handedly stopped a German attack in France in 1918 before capturing a machine gun and four prisoners under heavy fire.
He was later decorated by King George V at Buckingham Palace for his bravery.
Leading the service was the Rev John Blackburn, who said: “We meet together today to give thanks to God for the life of Charles Edwin Stone, who was awarded the Victoria Cross and Military Medal for his valour in the Great War.
“His compassion for his comrades, his love for his country, his sense of humour and boldness and bravery will be recorded for us when the citations to his awards will be read later in this service.
“The nation, his family, his regiment and this community remember his action with pride.”
Bdr Stone’s bravery was initially brought to light by the Victoria Cross Trust, which led a campaign to see the graves of Victoria Cross medal winners which had fallen into disrepair restored.
Trust chairman Gary Stapleton said: “We are extremely proud of the work that has been done there.
“It was a shame that it was ever allowed to get in that situation, but this is not unusual; it’s fairly common around the country.
“We are proud that people were happy for us to cone in and do it. There was great pride in doing it.
“We do it for the local people of Belper and Derbyshire.”
Meanwhile, more than 250 people turned out to an open-air service in Belper Market Place which saw a temporary memorial which originally re-created.
Many people turned out with jars filled with flowers to go around the recreated tribute that originally stood there in 1919.
When it was unveiled, about 6,000 people turned out to see the memorial and place vases of flowers. The service was taken by the Rev Anne Stratton.