A statue honouring an Army intelligence officer for his role in saving the lives of thousands of Jewish people at the start of the Second World War has been unveiled in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
Major Frank Foley commanded an infantry company of the 1st Battalion the Hertfordshire Regiment and was later with the 2nd/6th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment during the First World War, during which time he was mentioned in despatches. He escaped from Germany and, after the First World War, was recruited by the Intelligence Corps.
In the years leading up to the Second World War he ran MI6’s Berlin station. Under cover as a passport control officer he helped thousands of Jews escape from Nazi Germany by bending and breaking the rules to issue visas needed by Jewish people to get to Britain or British-controlled Palestine.
This is a proud day for our Army intelligence unit to be associated with such an incredibly brave officer.
Foley became known as the ‘British Schindler’ and was officially recognised as a British hero of the Holocaust. He was awarded the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George CMG (order of chivalry) in 1941.
Major Foley retired to Stourbridge in 1949 and died there in 1958, aged 73.
Major Louise Smith, Officer Commanding 63 Military Intelligence Company, said: “This is a proud day for our Army intelligence unit to be associated with such an incredibly brave officer as Major Foley.
“The skills that he had to employ to help thousands of people escape Nazi Germany, namely courage, selfless commitment and loyalty, are the same values that our military intelligence officers show today.”