To raise money for a statue for the only man from Widnes to be awarded the Victoria Cross in WW1.
Tom was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for actions on 7/1/1917. He was flying his FE2b aircraft when he was attacked by two German aircraft, a bullet entered his petrol tank and burst into flames, the Pilots seat was the petrol tank. Tom became engulfed in flames, he could have easily landed behind German lines, there he would have been give first class treatment, but his observer would have been shot.
He could have saved himself, but chose to fly and land on British held territory and thus save the life of his observer Lt. W. Gower.
On landing the aircraft collapsed in flames, W.Gower was thrown clear, but Tom was stuck in the inferno, some heroic soldiers dragged him free, but badly burnt. Tragically, Tom passed away five days later from his injures. Lt. W. Gower survived the war.
For more about Tom and the appeal, please go to :-