Last week on 14th October 2021 the Victoria Cross Trust, in conjunction with The Cheshire Regiment, Victoria Road School, Runcorn Council and author Neil Thornton cleaned and restored the grave of Thomas ‘Todger’ Jones VC at his family resting place. The clean was particularly poignant as buried next to Todger was Amos Dyson, who died 103 years to the day and who fought in World War 1. A donation of VC books from by James “Ralph” Swarbrick earlier this year supported us in this endeavour and this clean is dedicated to his generosity and with thanks. The local news media reported on the activity of the local school who took part in this project. Click for article.
The action for which Todger earned the VC was gazetted and reads:
Thomas Alfred Jones VC - He was 35 years old and serving in the 1st Bn, Cheshire Regiment. When his company was covering the advance in front of a village, he noticed an enemy sniper 200 yards away. He went out after him, and although one bullet went through his helmet and another through his coat, he returned the sniper’s fire and killed him. He then saw two more Germans firing on him, although they were displaying a white flag. He shot both of them. On reaching the enemy trench, Jones found several occupied dug-outs and single-handedly disarmed over 100 Germans, including several officers, and took them prisoner. He died from a heart attack on 30 January 1956.
Brazier, Kevin. The Complete Victoria Cross : A Full Chronological Record of All Holders of Britain's Highest Award for Gallantry . Pen and Sword.
Following the clean which included the family of Todger, as well as Amos Dyson and Thomas Taylor, defender of Rorkes Drift, a short rededication ceremony was performed by the Reverend Karen Brady and attended by children from Victoria Road school. The children had already been spellbound by veteran Paul Grimley and author Neil Thornton on the history of the first world war and the story of Todger, their local hero. Children were able to see first hand artefacts from the war and ask questions about the history behind the VC and its recipients. One child was so moved by the experience that they have returned to place flowers on Todgers grave.