VC win­ner Tom joins heroes re­mem­bered for­ever on our streets

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

A PLAQUE has been un­veiled at the West Bank birth­place of one of Widnes’s Vic­to­ria Cross win­ners.

The plaque, com­mem­o­rat­ing Cap­tain Tom Wilkin­son VC, was paid for by Peter Brady from the Mersey pub, West Bank, and the un­veil­ing was or­gan­ised by The Tom Wilkin­son VC Statue Ap­peal.

Cllr Stan Hill also at­tended the un­veil­ing on Thurs­day, May 31, at 96 Mersey Road.

Sec­re­tary and founder of the ap­peal Tony Miller said: “The ap­peal com­mit­tee wish to thank Peter Brady from the Mersey pub, Chris Win­ders and Cllr Stan Hill for the un­veil­ing of the blue plaque.

“The blue plaque was kindly bought by Peter Brady, from the Mersey pub.”

Mr Miller and his com­mit­tee have al­ready suc­cess­fully fundraised for Hal­ton’s two other Vic­to­ria Cross win­ners, Pvt Tom ‘Todger’ Jones and Sgt Tom Mot­ter­shead – and are now em­bark­ing on their fi­nal project.

Cllr Hill ex­plained: “Tony has done a re­mark­able job, along with his fundrais­ing group, in pro­duc­ing stat­ues of Todger Jones and Thomas Mot­ter­shead, two of Hal­ton’s re­cip­i­ents of the Vic­to­ria Cross. ● The blue plaque un­veil­ing for Act. Lt. Tom Wilkin­son VC. From left, Cllr Stan Hill, Bev Top­ping (com­mit­tee mem­ber), Tony Miller (com­mit­tee mem­ber), Chris Win­ders (house owner) and David Grey (com­mit­tee mem­ber); inset, the plaque

“He is now fundrais­ing to pro­duce a statue of the third of our VC hold­ers Lt Thomas Wilkin­son who was born in Mersey Road. I hope he is suc­cess- ful in his at­tempts to raise the money to do this.”

Mr Miller said: “The ap­peal needs £64,000 to get the statue, we have been in­formed WREN (com­mu­nity fund) will not give a third grant to a statue ap­peal in Hal­ton.

“The statue, like the pre­vi­ous two stat­ues, have to be at no cost to the ratepay­ers of Hal­ton, which means Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil can­not help fi­nan­cially.

“The Lot­tery do not fund new stat­ues. All monies have to come from dona­tions and fund rais­ing.

“Ev­ery penny raised goes di­rectly to the ap­peal, no monies are paid out for ex­penses, wages or any other form of pay­ment to the com­mit­tee or any­one else.

“The com­mit­tee pay their own ex­penses and work vol­un­tar­ily.”

Mr Miller has set an ini­tial dead­line for the statue to be fin­ished, but vows to con­tinue his work un­til it is fin­ished, re­gard­less of how long it may take.

“A date has been set for the un­veil­ing of Sun­day, Au­gust 29, 2021, the near­est Sun­day to Septem­ber 2 which is the an­niver­sary of the end of the Sec­ond World War.

“If we can­not raise the £64,000 by March 2021, the un­veil­ing date will have to be put back to a later date when the money has been raised.

“Don’t for­get, Act Lt Tom Wilkin­son VC gave his life fight­ing for our coun­try.

“Do you think he and all those he rep­re­sents, men and women who have know­ingly gone into ac­tion or en­tered a sit­u­a­tion that will cost them their life whilst serv­ing our coun­try, ir­re­spec­tive of where they come from a de­serve a statue?”

To do­nate to the ap­peal, there is a PayPal link on the ap­peal’s web­site: http://www.thetomwilkin­son­vc­stat­ueap­peal.co.uk

Or do­nate through Just Giv­ing: https://www.just­giv­ing.com/crowd­fund­ing/tony-miller-5

Dona­tions can also be made by send­ing a cheque, not cash, to The Tom Wilkin­son VC Statue Ap­peal and sent to Tony Miller, 27 God­stow, Sandy­moor, Run­corn, WA7 1UE.

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