VC winner Tom joins heroes remembered forever on our streets
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.