A LOCAL Spanish Civil War hero is to be honoured at the National Eisteddfod in Wrexham.

A specially commissioned exhibition panel featuring the life of Tom Jones, from Rhos, is to be unveiled at the Cymru Cuba stand on the eisteddfod field at 3.30pm on Thursday, August 4.

Members of his family, friends and people of Wrexham and Rhos have been invited to join in a toast in his honour.

It is hoped to find a permanent location for the exhibition panel in a public building in the area after the eisteddfod.

Born in 1908, Tom ‘Twm’ Jones worked for 14 years as a miner in Hafod, Vauxhall and Bersham collieries.

His experiences of the harsh conditions of the 1920s led him to support the Labour and Communist Parties.

In 1937 he joined the International Brigade to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War, joining the elite Anti Tank Battery.

At the final battle on the River Ebro in July 1938 he was badly wounded in the right arm and 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.

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 until his retirement in 1973. He died in 1990.