Commemorative paving stones unveiled for Lincoln war heroes

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Two Lincoln heroes who were awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War have been honoured with commemorative paving stones at a special ceremony in the city.

The event on Thursday, June 4 saw the engraved stones laid at the entrance to Lincoln Drill Hall, preserving the stories and memories of Leonard Keyworth and James Upton, who were awarded the VC in May 1915.

Council representatives and family members of the two heroes gathered for a display at the Drill Hall cafe before the pavings stones where laid.

A free one-day exhibition then opened immediately after the ceremony at the Lincolnshire Archives.

The two men both served in France during WWI. While James was reported to have survived the war, Leonard was killed only six months after receiving his award from King George V at Buckingham Palace.

The Lincoln tribute forms part of the Government-led initiative by the Department for Communities and Local Government to provide a lasting legacy of Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War.

The scheme aims to lay a paving stone in the birth place of each of the 482 men to honour their bravery.

Each paving stone has been designed to make people ‘pause and remember’, and also features an electronic reader which can be scanned by any smartphone to find out more information about the Victoria Cross recipient.

The stones were unveiled by The Right Worshipful Mayor of Lincoln Councillor Andrew Kerry and Chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, Councillor William Webb.

Mayor of Lincoln, Councillor Andrew Kerry, welcomed relatives of Leonard Keyworth and James Upton to the ceremony.

He said: “It was envisaged that the scheme would engage with both the local community and family relations of the Victoria Cross winners and I am very pleased that so many of you can be with us today.

“I am delighted that we are joined by relatives of both Leonard Keyworth and James Upton.

“It is a great honour to pay tribute to two men who won the Victoria Cross during the First World War, both a credit to this historic city.

“The principal aims of the scheme are to honour the bravery of the Victoria Cross winners and to provide a lasting legacy of their courage.”

Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Member for Culture and Heritage at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “The stones are a way of honouring the bravery of these two men, providing a lasting legacy within the community.

“It reveals some of the many stories of heroism that are connected with the county, the Lincolnshire Regiment and the Lincolnshire Yeomanry.”