A one-of-a-kind statue created by a local artist to commemorate the First World War has been unveiled.

The statue, by John Doubleday, is of war hero Private Herbert Columbine, who was killed by a German bomb aged just 24 in 1918.

He manned a gun turret, keeping enemy troops at bay single-handedly for four hours while his fellow soldiers escaped and was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross medal for his bravery.

Mr Doubleday, of Goat Lodge Road, Great Totham, said: “It’s the only statue of a specifically named priate soldier in the country and the idea was to commemorate the sacrifice of the priavte soldier who paid a terrible price."

Maldon District councillor Robert Long organised the unveiling ceremony at Walton-on-the-Naze, which was attended by dignitaries including Maldon town Mayor Stephen Nunn, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex and Field Marshal Lord Guthrie, who unveiled the statue.