The UK Government has unveiled the latest stage of its plans to mark the First World War Centenary.
Victoria Cross (VC) recipients will be at the heart of the commemorations.
Special paving stones will be laid in the hometowns of all those in the United Kingdom who were awarded the Victoria Cross. The VC is the highest decoration for bravery under enemy fire.
As part of the four year centenary programme, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced a national competition to design specially commissioned paving stones.
These will be presented to councils in the areas where First World War Victoria Cross recipients were born.
It is hoped that the stones will provide an enduring legacy of local heroes and enable residents to gain a greater understanding of the impact the war had on their community.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
“It is our duty to remember the British and Commonwealth troops who lost their lives fighting in the Great War and we are determined to make sure their bravery for King and Country is not forgotten.”
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said:
“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.”
With one year to go until commemorations begin, the Government has also announced that more help will be made available for local communities to restore and refurbish their war memorials.
A new website will be created, to help make sure that people across the country can get funding and support so that all First World War memorials are in good condition for November 2018.
Today also sees the launch of a campaign to get 100 employers signed up to the new Centenary Apprenticeship scheme in 100 days.
The aim is to get companies who existed 100 years ago, who focus on crafts with a modern application, to join the scheme.
Find out more about these plans on the DCMS First World War Centenary website.
IWM London has the largest collection of Victoria Crosses in the world on display in The Lord Ashcroft Gallery.