A COMMEMORATIVE statue honouring Newton-le-Willows’ Victoria Cross hero Norman Harvey was unveiled at Mesnes Park on Saturday afternoon.

The revealing followed a service at nearby St Peter's Church and a parade which made its way to the park.

Guests included St Helens North MP Conor McGinn; councillors, around 80 members of Norman’s family - including his surviving daughter Geraldine, 85; representatives from the Royal Irish Regiment; Royal Engineers; the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and 103 Regiment and performances by Haydock Male Voice Choir.

The statue was made possible by a £100,000 fundraising effort launched by the Newton and Earlestown Community Group in 2016.

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.

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.

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.

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

The fitting service saw a welcome by Rev Stephen Grey before an introduction reading by Newton councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron.

The service also heard the Norman Harvey VC Citation by Captain Harry Smedley, poetry; songs and from Conor McGinn MP.

Mr McGinn said: "When you think of the challenges we face it pales into insignificance when you think of Norman Harvey."

He also spoke of the ongoing respect given to the armed forces which has remained constant over the past 100 years and said: "I think it's best summed up by Private Harvey himself when he was being honoured in his home town: 'What I did was not for bravery but because my conscience made me do it'".

Earlier in the day, the Norman Harvey VC Stone was unveiled at Earlestown War Memorial and relatives got to see Norman Harvey VC Close on the former Viaduct Site.

Daughter Geraldine said: "I feel very proud of him today. It means a lot and I am a bit overwhelmed. I'm amazed by how many people have turned up."