Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Statue of local hero dubbed "British Schindler" reaches next stage

Statue of Frank Foley set to be unveiled in June 2018 in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge

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Midlands’s artist Andy de Comyn has completed his full size clay model of the statue of Frank Foley, three months after being selected to produce the tribute to the spy dubbed the British Schindler.

The model, which depicts Foley quietly seated on a park bench, will now be cast in bronze.

The statue shows Foley feeding a bird, which symbolises freedom and the people he helped, with a briefcase at his side which hints at his MI6 work.

Major Foley was a British spy working undercover as Passport Control Officer in pre-war Nazi Berlin where he provided thousands of Jews with the documents they needed to escape Germany by bending the rules when stamping passports or issuing visas. He also hid Jews in his own home and even went into Sachsenhausen concentration camp with visas to enable prisoners to leave. He settled in Stourbridge when he retired and lived at Eveson Road in Norton, close to Mary Stevens Park where the statue will be located, until his death in 1958.

Dudley North MP Ian Austin spearheaded the campaign for a permanent tribute, persuading the then Chancellor George Osborne to provide £40,000 to cover the costs.

Mr De Comyn was selected by a panel made up of Stourbridge MP Margot James, representatives of Frank Foley’s family, the Holocaust Educational Trust who have supported the project, historian and journalist Michael Smith who wrote “Frank Foley: The Spy Who Saved Ten Thousand Jews” that brought Foley to prominence, local councillors and residents. The project and commission is being organised by Steve Field, Dudley Council’s Public Artist. 

Ian Austin MP Said:

“I am delighted at the progress of the statue. The final piece should be ready next by the summer so people can learn about him and our country’s role in fighting for freedom, democracy and tolerance against Nazi Germany.

“Many thanks to Andy de Comyn, Steve Field and all those on the panel for their ongoing hard work on this project, I can’t wait until the final statue is unveiled”

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