Wales needs a statue to celebrate a cross dressing hero who fought for freedom rather than one in honour of an oppressor, says a local author.

At a recent book signing in Maenclochog in Pembrokeshire, the author, Hefin Wyn, said a lifesize sculpture of Twm Carnabwth, should be installed somewhere in the Preseli Hills.

The National Wales: Author, Hefin Wyn, signing copies of his recent publication at the Caffi Beca book launch in Efail-wenAuthor, Hefin Wyn, signing copies of his recent publication at the Caffi Beca book launch in Efail-wen

His comments come following controversy over the unveiling of a statue of William Marshall in Pembroke. Some voiced concern over the behaviour of Marshall and his forces in ransacking the city of Lincoln and his role in the conquest and subjugation of Wales.

Thomas Rees, also known as Twm Carnabwth, was the first leader of the Rebecca insurgents, known as Merched Beca, who smashed the Efail-wen tollgate in 1839, as it was seen as a symbol of oppression on local rural folk.

MORE HISTORY: ‘The War of the Little Englishman’: Ceredigion’s forgotten uprising

Twm and his followers, dressed in female clothing, smashed the tollgate at Efail-wen on three separate occasions to protest about having to pay to use the road.

Local farmers were frustrated by having to pay tolls for the roads on top of the expensive lime which they bought from Ludchurch, near Narberth and then bought back by horse and cart.

“The recent unveiling of a sculpture in memory of William Marshall in Pembroke was in honour of an oppressor,” said Mr Wyn. "While the sculpture of Twm Carnabwth would be in memory of an individual who set the rural folk free of oppression."

The National Wales: Pembroke Castle is the backdrop to the statue of William Marshal. Picture: Martin Cavaney PhotographyPembroke Castle is the backdrop to the statue of William Marshal. Picture: Martin Cavaney Photography

He said, due to Twm’s choice of dress, the sculpture would fit in with the aims of the Monumental Welsh Women campaign which has commissioned recent sculptures of Betty Campbell, Wales’ first black headteacher and feminist and scriptwriter Elaine Morgan.

READ MORE: Life-size statue of Cranogwen to be erected in Llangrannog

Hefin Wyn’s book Ar Drywydd Twm Carnabwth [On the Trail of Twm Carnabwth] is a study of the background and contribution of Twm Carnabwth, one of the leaders of the Becca movement in the west of Wales in the mid-19th century.

It places the events of the time in their social context deals with Becca's campaigners in detail.

The book is published by Gwasg y Lolfa and an English language adaptation will be published in the autumn.