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WWI Centenary brings opportunities for architects

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A design competition for WWI memorial paving slabs has been launched while work has started on a commerative arch in Folkestone

Backed by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the contest is searching for designs for paving stones to remember those awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War.

The paving stones will be laid in the home towns of all those in the United Kingdom awarded the Victoria Cross for valour during the conflict.

The competition forms part of WWI Centenary celebrations, taking place next year.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: ‘Laying paving stones to mark these Victoria Cross heroes will ensure that there is a permanent memorial to all the fallen who fought for our country and the competition is a great way for people from all corners of the United Kingdom to get involved.’

Culture secretary Maria Miller added: ‘The First World War had a fundamental effect on the course of our history. It also saw nearly a million British military and civilian deaths, heroes from communities across the commonwealth who fought for King and Country. But as time passes, the living links that connect that terrible time and the present day have dwindled. So it is really important that we mark the centenary which, saw some of the darkest days in our history, and remind everyone of the sacrifice that was made - and how it has affected all our lives today.’

Alongside the paving slabs, a £500,000 memorial arch designed by Folkestone-based design firm Foster Gearing has begun construction in Folkestone, Kent.  

The memorial arch will be erected over the route taken by troops between 1914 and 1918.

Black and white holograms of men marching through the arch will be projected at night.

Built for ‘no charge’by Lend Lease, the arch will be opened on 4 August 2014, on the 100th anniversary of the war breaking out.

In addition to these new memorials, local communities will be given access to funding to restore and refurbish existing war memorials.

The deadline for entries to the paving slabs competition is 4 October 2013.

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