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Architect wins commemorative paving stone competition

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A London-based architect has won the competition to design a paving stone commemorating recipients of the Victoria Cross

Charlie MacKeith of London-based practice Research Design Architecture beat off competition from more than 200 other entries to scoop the prize.

MacKeith’s circular design, which aims to make people ‘pause and remember’, impressed the judges with its ‘simple and elegant qualities’.

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

The winning paving stone was selected by a panel of seven judges, including members of the government’s First World War Centenary Advisory Board and novelist Sebastian Faulks.

Commenting on the win, MacKeith said: ‘It is a fantastic privilege to win and have my design as a permanent marker for heroes who won the highest award for gallantry.

‘It is humbling to think that the making and laying of this design will continue until 100 years after the last selfless, heroic act in conflict.

‘The name I used for the stone design - Private William Young VC, identified by Preston veterans - summarised for me the humanity we will find in all the stories of those who served in the First World War.’

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: ‘It was an honour to reveal the winning design that will take pride of place in our communities and enable people of all ages to appreciate the sacrifices of the fallen brave.

‘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’.

Member of the judging panel Lord Ashcroft added: ‘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 from children with great imaginative powers.’

The first paving stone will be laid in August 2014, representing the date that the first two Victoria Crosses were awarded in the first world war.

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