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War hero's paving stone to be laid in town he grew up in

By tobymeyjes  |  Posted: November 04, 2013

A paving stone in tribute to Private James Finn is to be laid in Bodmin

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A commemorative paving stone due to be laid in tribute to one of the heroes of the First World War as part of Government celebrations is to be moved to the town he is synonymous with.

Efforts have been made to relocate a paving stone to Private James Finn from Truro to Bodmin ever since the plans were announced as part of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the conflict.

Private Finn is one of 467 Victoria Cross recipients from the Great War to be recognised by the Government with a paving stone in their place of birth.

However, shortly after the announcement was made in August, efforts have been made to move the paving stone from Truro, Finn’s place of birth, to Bodmin, the town where he grew up.

But Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles confirmed yesterday the marking will be laid in Bodmin, following discussions between Bodmin Town Council and Truro City Council.

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson, who lives in Bodmin said it was welcome news.

He said: "The Secretary of State said that there were exceptions about where the commemorative paving stones would be placed, and confirmed that he would update government records to make sure that James Finn's commemorative paving stone should go to Bodmin.

"I'd like to thank everyone who was involved, particularly to Bodmin mayor Ken Stubbs, for all the work to make sure that the town where James Finn was brought up can continue to pay tribute to him next year and in the future through this commemorative stone.”

Private Finn is one of 10 Victoria Cross recipients from Devon and Cornwall to be recognised with a commemorative paving stone.

The three men listed as being born in Cornwall are Ernest Pitcher, from Mullion, Horace Curtis from St Anthony-in-Roseland and Private Finn.

The men listed as being from Devon are Anketell Read, from Bampton; Theodore Veale, Dartmouth; Theodore Harvey, Exeter; Richard Sandford, Exmouth; Alfred Richards, John Crowe and Arnold Waters, from Plymouth; John Smythe, Teignmouth; Thomas Sage, Tiverton and Arthur Harrison, from Torquay.

Liberal Democrat Bodmin Town Councillor, Jacob Lyne, said he was pleased to hear the news the paving stone was being relocated.

“Having lived on the Finn V.C. estate in Bodmin all my life, I am pleased to hear that we can keep James Finn's memory alive and mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in his home town through this commemorative stone,” he said.

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