Unveiling Of Commemorative Paving Stone To Honour Victoria Cross Recipient

How the London Gazette reported how John Molyneux won his VC

A commemorative paving stone will be laid at St Helens Cenotaph on Monday 9th October in honour of a local First World War serviceman, 100 years after he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Sutton-born soldier John ‘Jack’ Molyneux was awarded the highest military award available for his brave actions on the front near Langemarck, Belgium on 9 October 1917 when the British attack was held up by machine gun fire from a German trench.


John (Jack) Molyneux V.C. Sergeant, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers

He was also honoured by St Helens Council in July when a new street in Sutton was named John Molyneux V.C. Close.

 

The ceremony, to be attended by several generations of John’s descendants, will take place in Victoria Square at 12pm and all are welcome to attend.

The ceremony will include oration from Mayor of St Helens, Councillor Joe Pearson, prayer readings from Reverend Beth Anderson of Parish Church.

More about John Molyneux

John won the Victoria Cross for his brave actions on the front near Langemarck, Belgium on 9 October 1917 when the British attack was held up by machine gun fire from a German trench.

John, aged 26 at the time, organised a bombing party which captured the gun and killed the crew. He then jumped from the trench, calling for his comrades to follow him, running to a nearby house that was occupied by the enemy. Before any help could arrive, John became engaged in hand-to-hand combat. The enemy quickly surrendered and 20-30 prisoners were taken.

John Molyneux was born at number 3 Marshalls Cross Road on 22 November 1890, to mother Minnie and coal miner father Joseph, who worked as a hewer at Sherdley Colliery. The family moved to 8 Manor Street in 1891, and shortly afterwards moved to Ell Bess Lane, which in 1902 was renamed Sherdley Road.

John, known locally as Jack, was educated at Holy Trinity School but left at the age of 12 to work in the mines.

John died on 25 March 1972 at Ashtons Green Home in Parr, aged 81. He was cremated at St Helens Cemetery and his ashes were scattered in the Garden of Remembrance.

Main photo – How the London Gazette reported how John Molyneux won his VC

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