CALLS have been made to honour a Spanish Civil War hero who worked as a trade union official in Flintshire.
History enthusiast Damian Evans penned a letter to Rhos Community Council asking if Tom Jones, of Rhos, near Wrexham, could be remembered with a special plaque in the village.
Mr Jones was born in Lancashire in 1908, but moved to Wales as a child and was brought up in Rhos.
He worked for 14 years as a miner in the Hafod, Vauxhall and Bersham collieries.
His experiences of the harsh conditions of the 1920s led him to support the Labour and Communist Parties ad in 1937 he joined the International Brigade to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War, joining an elite anti tank battery.
At the final battle on the River Ebro in July, 1938 he was badly wounded in the right arm and was captured by General Franco’s Nationalists.
His family believed he was dead, but he was among the prisoners kept in harrowing conditions in jails at Zaragoza and Burgos.
At one point he was sentenced to death but this was subsequently commuted to 30 years’ imprisonment.
Mr Jones was released in 1940 and returned to Rhos where he became known as ‘Twm Sbaen’ (Tom Spain).
He became a full-time trade union official in the Shotton area, in Flintshire, until his retirement in 1973. He died in 1990.
Mr Evans, 37, of Rhos, said: “I feel Tom never gets any recognition for what he stood for and what he achieved in his life.
“His name and the village of Rhos are mentioned in many books about the Spanish Civil War, and I feel Rhos should recognise him.”
A specially commissioned exhibition panel featuring the life of Mr Jones was unveiled at the National Eisteddfod in Wrexham in August 2011 by his daughter Jill Nield.
But community leaders now want something more permanent in the village.
Rhos Community Council has agreed to make contact with Mr Jones’ family with a view to installing a plaque on the memorial colliery wheel at the bottom of Gutter Hill in Johnstown.
Ponciau councillor Paul Pemberton said: “Tom is a bit of a legend in the village to be honest.
“He is part of Rhos’ history and it’s only right that he should be remembered. I think it’s a great idea.
“We are making contact with his surviving family to see if they have any objections to the plaque.”