Descendants and dignitaries will be attend the unveiling of a commemorative paving stone in a Willesden Green street for a soldier who won the Victoria Cross for his valour and gallantry during the First World War.

Saturday morning's ceremony will remember the heroics of Charles Ernest Garforth, who was born in Chaplin Road in 1891, and the paving stone has been laid in nearby Lechmere Road.

It is the first of more than 400 commemorative stones to be installed across the country to coincide with the marking of the centenary of the First World War.

Willesden Green-born Victoria Cross recipient, the late Charles Garforth, who displayed acts of gallantry and valour during the First World War
Willesden Green-born Victoria Cross recipient, the late Charles Garforth, who displayed acts of gallantry and valour during the First World War
 

Councillor James Denselow (Labour), Brent Council's lead member for stronger communities, said: "We’re proud that Charles Ernest Garforth was born in Willesden Green in the London borough of Brent and was one of the first men to win a Victoria Cross in the First World War.

“It’s very fitting that the VC recipients of the First World War are remembered with a commemorative paving stone and I hope people come and see the paving stone on Lechmere Road and find out more about Charles Garforth.

“This event kicks off a four year programme organised by our Libraries, Arts and Heritage team which will see a whole host of events and exhibitions to commemorate the centenary of the First World War."

Corporal Charles Ernest Garforth, who died in 1973, was part of the 15th Hussars (The Kings) Regiment and was one of the first soldiers to be awarded the Victoria Cross for acts during the First World War.

On August 23 1914, under heavy fire, he volunteered to cut a wire, allowing his squadron to escape during a battle at Harmingnies in France.

On September 2, he extricated a sergeant lying under his horse and under fire and carried him to safety.

The following day he drew off enemy fire to allow another sergeant to escape.

He was recommended for the Victoria Cross for all three acts and received it for the first of them.

Harrow on the Hill Urban District Council later presented him with an illuminated certificate of thanks.

He was captured by the enemy in October 1914 and spent four years as a prisoner-of-war before being repatriated in November 1918.

Charles Garforth was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace the following month.

Doug Garforth, the grandson of Charles Garforth, said “I am extremely proud of my grandfather.

"His acts of bravery saved the lives of his fellow man.

"His courage is an inspiration to all of us."

Dignitaries joining Mr Garforth's relatives and family at the 11am ceremony include communities secretary Penny Mordaunt, the Deputy Mayor of Brent, Councillor Lesley Jones, the Deputy Leader of Brent Council, Councillor Michael Pavey, and Army representatives.

In August 2008 a headstone was dedicated Charles Garforth at Wilford Hill Cemetery in Nottingham, where he died and where his ashes were originally scattered.

n For more information, see www.brent.gov.uk/firstworldwar