A STATUE commemorating a Walton war hero is set to be unveiled on the town’s seafront next week.

A group of residents have been raising money for a lifesized tribute to Private Herbert Columbine for more than three years.

The soldier was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross after sacrificing his own life to keep enemy soldiers at bay and let his comrades escape during the First World War.

A group of Walton residents, spearheaded by Michael Turner, raised more than £50,000 to have the statue made by renowned sculptor John Doubleday.

It will be unveiled at the centre of Marine Gardens, just off Walton promenade at 2.30pm on August 1.

Mr Turner died of a heart attack last year, aged 63, before he could see the result of his hard work.

Friends and family stepped up to complete the project.

Wife Jean said: “This will be the culmination of a lot of hard work and will be a great occasion for Walton.”