Highbridge honours Frank Foley with statue
A statue of Frank Foley, the MI6 agent who helped to save thousands of Jews from the Nazis in the 1930s, has been unveiled in the town of his birth.
Described as "a true British hero", Frank Foley is being commemorated for his bravery in helping thousands of Jews escape from pre-war Nazi Germany.
A band of dedicated local volunteers have been fundraising for over five years and have raised over £25,000 to have a permanent tribute to Frank Foley in his Somerset birthplace of Highbridge.
Money was raised from donations, coffee mornings, Jewish communities and the annual Frank Foley Fair.
The statue can be seen in front of Highbridge Community Centre on Market Street.
It was commissioned in 2000 by Rev Mark Bond of Highbridge Vicarage on behalf of the Frank Foley Committee, who have also erected a plaque outside the house where he was born.
Sculptor Jonathan Sells started work on the statue in 2004 that depicts Major Foley stamping the visa of an anonymous Jewish refugee.
At the base, it includes local references that would have been familiar to Major Foley, and carries allusions to symbols of hope, re-birth and freedom, which continue through to the two figures.
Who was Frank Foley?
Born in Highbridge in 1884, Major Frank Foley was an MI6 agent who used his cover as a passport control officer at the British Embassy in Berlin during the 1930s to provide the necessary papers for Jewish people to leave Nazi Germany for sanctuary.
A deeply religious Catholic who frequently risked his own life by venturing into concentration camps to help free Jewish internees, he also assisted them to obtain forged passports and even hid them in his own home until they were able to leave Germany.
His selfless bravery saved the lives of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of Jewish people - many of who remained in ignorance of their unassuming benefactor's identity.
last updated: 17/04/2008 at 09:05
Have Your Say
What do you think of Frank Foley's heroic efforts? Do you feel a sense of pride that he was born in Somerset? Do you like the statue?
Sarah, Perth, Western Australia
Peter Morgan, Norwich
Asher Rubin from Israel age 44
Kaitlyn Walsh - 16 years old
Sophie -13 year old!!!