Runcorn war hero Todger Jones' sculpture to commend the courage of every soldier

Neil Thornton with military memorabilia brought to Halton Lea Library to celebrate the centenary of the Great War

Todger Jones wearing his bullet-ridden helmet (Photo: Cheshire Military Museum)

What the sculpture will look like

Todger Jones (Photo: Cheshire Military Museum)

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A RUNCORN war hero is finally being honoured in his home town.

A bronze sculpture of Todger Jones will be unveiled in a memorial garden opposite The Cenotaph in Greenway Road, in a special ceremony on August 3, to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Schoolchildren are invited to write a poem in a competition and winners will read their work out after veterans and cadets mount a military parade.

Private Thomas Alfred Jones, known as ‘Todger’, is the only Runcorn soldier to have been awarded the Victoria Cross.

His statue will not only commend his courage but mark the sacrifices made by everyone who returned from any battlefield.

Runcorn military history enthusiast, Neil Thornton, chairman of The Todger Jones Statue Appeal, which has raised £80,000, said: “This statue will be dedicated to all returning soldiers to mark the sacrifices they made.

“Many lost limbs, got shot and spent the rest of their lives in agony.

“This sculpture will honour their bravery, not just in the Great War, but in all conflicts right up to the present day.”

Todger Jones charged across No Man’s Land in September, 1916, and despite getting a bullet through his helmet and four penetrating his jacket, he single-handedly captured 102 prisoners.

Wounded in the shoulder and knee, he killed a German sniper and eight other soldiers, and hurled grenades until their comrades all surrendered.

Neil, aged 34, from Brookvale, is a distant relation. His great nan, Annie Jones was Todger’s cousin.

Award-winning Scottish sculptor David Annand, aged 65, has won the commission and just started work on the statue.

Neil added:”We have had tremendous support from the local community.

“This is a significant milestone for the appeal and an exciting time for everyone involved in the project.

“We have received grants and donations.

“The sculpture will show Todger Jones standing with a rifle as if he is the trench.”

The appeal will fund the sculpture, new benches, paving, signs and leaflets.

 

 

 

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