FAMILIES of two World War heroes gathered with residents today to unveil a statue in their honour.

Trooper Frederick William Owen Potts earned himself a Victoria Cross award for his bravery, when he rescued fellow comrade Arthur Andrews during the battle of Gallipoli in 1915.

The Reading men, both members of The Berkshire Yeomanry, dressed each others wounds before Mr Potts dragged Mr Andrews to safety, using just a shovel.

The Mayor of Reading Councillor Sarah Hacker and the Lord Lieutenant for Berkshire James Puxley joined the families, alongside key fundraisers like Chris Tarrant.

Anne Ames, Mr Potts’ granddaughter, said she was thrilled to see the statue unveiled for the first time.

She said: “It’s fantastic, it’s a combination of all the hard work over the years."

Mrs Ames added that her grandfather, a private and modest man, would have “ran away” from all the limelight.

Christopher Andrews, Trooper Andrews’ grandson, added: “I think it’s an absolutely stunning statue. We saw it when it was in the clay but seeing it in bronze is amazing.”

Soldiers paraded the street near Forbury Gardens in Reading before the statue was revealed, to the chorus of a brass band.

Mr Tarrant, who has been involved with the fundraising of the statue since the project began, said he was delighted to see everything come together, adding it’s bizarre that it has taken 100 years for the town to celebrate the duo’s bravery.

He said: “The statue is brilliant, there was a point when we thought it was never going to be finished.

“I wanted to be involved because of my dad, he too was a soldier for Berkshire.”

The bronze statue, sitting in The Forbury, outside Reading Crown Court, is now available for residents to view.