Paving stone to be laid in honour of heroic soldier from Willesden Green

Left to right: Eric Pickles, communities secretary and Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry, with the pavi

Left to right: Eric Pickles, communities secretary and Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry, with the paving stone which will be laid in Willesden Green - Credit: Archant

A soldier from Willesden Green will be the first in the country to have a paving stone laid to honour his heroism in the First World War.

Charles Garforth, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for heroic acts in France in August 1914, will have his name enshrined on a paving stone next year.

The slabs were designed by architect Charlie MacKeith, 50, of Research Design as part of a government scheme to mark the 100th anniversary of the conflict.

Mr MacKeith said the design of the commemorative stones was inspired by local historians and Commonwealth war graves.

He added: “It’s all about the soldier’s stories and how their stories will encourage people in that area for years to come.”


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Corporal Garforth’s heroic acts included volunteering to cut wire under fire, allowing his squadron to escape.

He also rescued a sergeant trapped under his dead horse and carried him to safety. He died at the age of 81 in 1973.

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Eric Pickles, communities and local government secretary, who announced the scheme this week, said the paving stones would keep the memory of war heroes alive.

Brent Council will hold a Remembrance Day talk covering all aspects of Wembley in the First World War today at Wembley Library in the Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, from 2-3pm.

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