A GROUP planning a tribute to honour Stourbridge hero Frank Foley are meeting this week to iron out the details of the new statue in Mary Stevens Park.

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 until his death in 1958.

Relatives of Major Foley, as well as representatives of the Holocaust Educational Trust, borough artist Steve Field and local councillors and residents will be meeting at 2pm today (Friday, June 30) at the Sons of Rest building in the Norton park.

The meeting is the next step after Dudley North MP Ian Austin raised £40,000 from the government to meet the costs of the statue.

Mr Austin said: “I am absolutely delighted that we will be meeting to discuss the statue to honour Frank Foley.

“We are proposing a bronze statue of him seated on a bench in the park so that people will be able to sit next to him and reflect on his heroism and what it teaches us about fighting for freedom, democracy and tolerance.

“Frank Foley refused to stand by when people were being persecuted because of their race and religion and his heroism helped saved ten thousand people from the Holocaust.

“When other European countries were sending Jews to concentration camps, Britain provided a safe haven for tens of thousands of refugees.

“I think this period defines what it means to be British – our unique response to the Holocaust and role in the War gives us the right to claim a particular attachment to the values of democracy, equality, freedom, fairness and tolerance.”