A STATUE to mark 100 years since a Victoria Cross First World War winner received the military's top honour is to be unveiled this October.

A £100,000 fundraising effort was launched by the Newton and Earlestown Community Group in 2016 to create a memorial statue to VC recipient Private Norman Harvey at Newton-le-Willows' Mesnes Park.

The two-metre high statue, capturing the moment just after the action that won him the honour, is to be situated in the centre of Mesnes park's remembrance meadow, which was installed in 2014.

Norman was 19 when he won his VC medal on October 25, 1918.

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.

Norman Harvey 

Private Norman Harvey

Vice chair of the NECG, Cllr Seve Gomez-Aspron said: “Over 300 people from Newton-le-Willows paid the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War.

"And whilst we have a proud record of fitting tributes, it is vital that we come together in this centenary year to pay respects to those who didn’t come home.

"Whilst the day focusses on Pte Harvey VC and his actions which resulted in him being awarded the Victoria Cross, Pte Harvey said many times that the only difference between what he did and what others did was that he was recognised, but all were equally brave.

"Pte Harvey VC was later killed in the Second World War and is buried in Israel, and so it will be fantastic to have a fitting tribute to him in our home town.

"We hope that everyone can attend the church service, parade and statue unveiling and join us in Mesnes Park afterwards.

Falling two weeks before the 2018 Remembrance Day parade will make the occasion extremely poignant.”

St Helens Star:

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 Two and was killed in action in 1942. He is buried in Haifa, Israel.

The ceremony will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, October 27.

There will be a memorial at St Peter's Church at 3pm followed by a parade to the park at 3.30pm.

The unveiling takes place at 4pm followsed by a reception with light refreshments.

Any family members of Pte Harvey who have not had contact with the council, can get in touch with Simon Cousins at Simoncousins@sthelens.gov.uk or 01744 676593.