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  1. ITV Report

Prince William unveils statue to spy Frank Foley

The Duke of Cambridge has unveiled a statue of a 'modest spy' who saved the lives of thousands of Jews.

The bronze statue honours MI6 officer Major Frank Foley who was described as 'a true British hero' by MI6.

The statue has been made by local artist Andy DeComyn and was unveiled by the Duke of Cambridge today (Tuesday).

Mr Foley - who served in both world wars and died in 1958 - saved more than 10,000 people from persecution. He retired in Stourbridge, where the bronze statue was unveiled at Mary Stevens Park.

Artist Andy de Comyn made a full size size clay model of Frank Foley before it was cast in bronze. Credit: Ian Austin MP
The Duke of Cambridge visited Mary Stevens Park in Stourbridge to unveil the statue. Credit: PA

Mr Foley exploited his cover as a passport control officer at the British Consulate in Berlin during the 1920s and 1930s.

He provided visas to those who feared persecution under Nazi racial laws.

In January this year, the Secret Intelligence Service said Mr Foley was 'a true British hero. Dignified, compassionate and brave'.

A true British hero. Dignified, compassionate and brave.

– SIS tribute

Their statement added: "Frank Foley did not carry out his work for personal gain; he did not do it for national recognition.

"Indeed, many of those he saved knew nothing of the quiet, unassuming British man at the consulate who saved them. Amongst the many thousands he saved were the grandparents of an SIS/MI6 officer who is serving today.

"Frank Foley enjoyed almost a decade's peaceful retirement with his family in Stourbridge before he died at home on May 8 1958 - the anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe.

"It was a typically low-key, unspectacular end to a life whose frequent dramas were a counterpoint to his quiet and modest personality. That recognition of his remarkable achievements came only after his death is surely the way he would have wanted it."

Today's ceremony was the result of a campaign by the Holocaust Educational Trust and Dudley North MP Ian Austin.