A STATUE to mark the centenary of a Newton-le-Willows resident receiving top military honour the Victoria Cross may sit in Mesnes Park, if efforts to raise £100,000 are successful.

Norman Harvey was 19 when he won his VC medal on October 25, 1918 - so fundraisers have more than two years in which to gather the money from sources including British Arts Council, Heritage Lottery and European arts funding.

The VC is the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

The statue, capturing the moment just after the action that won him the honour, would be sited in the centre of Mesnes park's remembrance meadow.

Newton ward councillor and member of Newton and Earlestown Community Group Seve Gomez-Aspron, said: "The centenary of this heroic man falls on our watch and it is vital that we mark it appropriately.

"I know that it sounds a lot of money, but the funding will be applied for from pots of money that can only be spent on arts projects to mark a key figure in our local history.

"It is a one-off project and shows that we shall never forget the sacrifice made by all residents of our town who have fought in war."

Earlestown ward councillor Dave Banks said: "The project will complement perfectly the naming of a street on the former Viaduct Works site as 'Norman Harvey VC Close' which will face out onto the new parkland off Earle Street."

Norman's award recognised his actions in Ingoyhem, Belgium. When his battalion was held up and suffering severe casualties from machine-gun fire, he ran forward and engaged the enemy single-handed, killing two, wounding one and capturing 12 men and two guns.

He later used a hidden machine-gun to put the enemy to flight. When night fell, he went out alone and gathered important information.

Throughout these actions, Norman was limping as he had a sprained ankle.

Born in Newton-le-Willows on April 6, 1899, Norman enlisted in the 4th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment in November 1914, when he was only 15. He was transferred to the 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in April 1918. After the War, Norman lived at Old Station in Parkside Road.

He re-enlisted for World War II and was killed in action in 1942. He is buried in Haifa, Israel.