This is the citation describing the action that earned Thomas Mottershead his Victoria Cross, an extract from the London Gazette dated 9th February 1917 records,
"For most conspicuous bravery, endurance and skill, when attacked at an altitude of 9,000 feet; the petrol tank was pierced and the machine set on fire. Enveloped in flames, which his observer Lt. Gower was unable to subdue, this very gallant soldier succeeded in bringing his aeroplane back to our lines and though he made a successful landing, the machine collapsed on touching the ground, pinning him beneath the wreckage from which he was subsequently rescued. Though suffering extreme torture from burns, Sergeant Mottershead showed the most conspicuous presence of mind in the careful selection of a landing place, and his wonderful endurance and fortitude undoubtedly saved the life of his Observer. He has since succumbed to his injuries."
Tom Mottershead's widow accepting his posthumous VC from King George V.
The Appeal Committee intends, through public donation and available grants to raise sufficient funds to commission and erect a statue in Victoria Park, Widnes to commemorate this gallant airman who was a native of Widnes.
Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin KCB AFC FRAeS RAF (Ret'd).
His award is unique as he was the only non-commissioned pilot to be awarded the Victoria Cross in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force in the 1914-18 war. We are fully supported by the family of Thomas Mottershead and Halton Borough Council. Our Honorary Patron is Sir Roger Austin KCB AFC FRAeS RAF Ret'd, who as a junior pilot in the 1960s, was a member of No.20 Squadron Royal Air Force, that before 1 April 1918 had been No.20 Squadron Royal Flying Corps, the Squadron that Thomas Mottershead was a member of in 1917 flying in the skies over the Western Front when he earned his posthumous VC.
This statue isn't just about Thomas Mottershead VC DCM and his selfless act, which unfortunately cost him his life in saving another. It's to honour every man and woman who "joined up" in the Great War. It's a mark of gratitude for the courage and bravery that they have displayed in support of their nation.
Paul Wright Cmgr PG Dip, who is the open spaces Divisional Manager for Halton Borough Council and his team are going to design the area where the statue is to be sited.
As it states on all memorials
"Lest we forget".
How dare we forget?