Paving stone for Burnley Victoria Cross heroes

FOR VALOUR: Coun. Julie Cooper, Ken Nield from the RBL and Shuttleworth College students with the desing for the VC flagstone
FOR VALOUR: Coun. Julie Cooper, Ken Nield from the RBL and Shuttleworth College students with the desing for the VC flagstone

Burnley’s First World War recipients of the Victoria Cross – the highest British military decoration for valour – will be commemorated in a new paving stone.

The Department of Communities and Local Government asked towns to design paving stones to honour soldiers from their area that received the VC during the terrible conflict. Next year will see the 100th anniversary of the start of the war.

The winning entry will then be created, and each council in the country will lay them in their town.

Burnley can lay claim to three VC winners, two of whom were born in the town, and the second “an adopted son” of the borough.

They were Pte Thomas Whitham, after whom a Burnley secondary school is named, 2nd Lt Hugh Colvin and 2nd Lt Alfred Victor Smith, who received the medal posthumously. He had flung himself on top of a grenade to save his comrades.

The flagstone was designed by Burnley Borough Council’s graphics unit.

Leader Coun. Julie Cooper said: “Burnley’s military history is something we are very proud of, and honouring our soldiers in this way is very important. We hope we’re successful, and that our design will be laid throughout Britain.”

Coun. Cooper was joined by Ken Neild from the British Legion, and Shuttleworth College students who are working with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regimental Association.