More than 200 entries from artists, individuals and schoolchildren across Britain were received before judges – including L/Sgt Beharry, VC collector and philanthropist Lord Ashcroft and Birdsong author Sebastian Faulks – selected the design by Charlie MacKeith from London.His circular design hopes to ‘make one pause and remember’ and uses the material, form and lettering of the family of memorials used by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The design also incorporates an electronic reader which people will be able to scan using smartphones to discover more information about their local Victoria Cross recipient.

“The winning paving stone is a fitting tribute to the centenary of the war and will keep the memory of local war heroes alive for hundreds more years to come,” said Mr Pickles.

The memorial stones are due to be laid in the centennial month that the recipient earned the medal.

The first – to soldiers Charles Garforth and Sidney Godley, decorated for actions at Mons and the subsequent retreat in August 1914 – will be put down in Willesden Green and East Grinstead respectively next month.

The first Royal Navy recipient was Edinburger Cdr Ritchie in November 1914.

The first naval airman recognised was Reginald Warneford, who was born in Darjeeling, India, and educated in Stratford-upon-Avon; he destroyed a Zeppelin in flight over Belgium but was killed in a flying accident just ten days later in June 1915.

And the first Royal Marine VC winner of WW1 was the mortally-wounded Major Francis Harvey from Sydenham in Kent. With his dying breath he ordered the magazine of HMS Lion to be flooded, thus preventing the battle-cruiser sharing the fate of her sisters at Jutland by blowing up in May 1916.