Town’s VC heroes to get new memorials

Sgt John Molyneux
Sgt John Molyneux

WAR heroes from St Helens are to be honoured with special stones laid in their memory.

The commemmorative stones will be laid in honour of all veterans who received Britain’s highest military accolade - the Victoria Cross (VC).

They will be a centrepiece of events planned from 2014 to 2018 to mark the conflict 100 years on.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has launched a national competition to design specially-commissioned stones.

Stones will be laid in honour of, among others, John Molyneux, of Parr, and John Davies, of Sutton.

On October 9, 1917, Sgt John Molyneux organised a bombing party to clear a trench in front of a house in war-torn Belgium.

Many of the enemy were killed and, when Sgt Molyneux bravely rushed towards the house, he became engaged in a hand-to-hand fight - before forcing the enemy to surrender.

More than 20 prisoners were taken.

On March 24, 1918, Cpl John Thomas Davies and the St Helens Pals were under heavy fire and in danger of being surrounded.

After receiving orders to withdraw, Cpl Davies mounted a parapet with his gun - fully exposing himself to enemy fire - to buy time for colleagues to escape.

Following the incident, Cpl Davies’s parents were notified of his death and his VC awarded posthumously - before, amazingly, it was discovered that he was, in fact, still alive and had been taken prisoner.

He is thought to be the only soldier ever to be awarded a posthumous VC while still alive.

Are you related to any of the borough’s Victoria Cross heroes? If so, please contact the newsroom on 01744 611011.