Published: May 24, 2011
'An utter disgrace' - Highbridge's Frank Foley war plaque is stolen

A bronze plaque laid in honour of Highbridge's wartime hero Frank Foley has been stolen from a memorial statue in the town, angering residents.

Members of Highbridge's Frank Foley Committee say the theft of the plaque - which is pictured on the right in Southwell Gardens - is an "utter disgrace".

The committee's Pam Lyes told she was shocked to discover a space on the wall where the plaque was attached.

She said: "I'm very, very upset that such an important plaque for Highbridge has been stolen."

"It's an utter disgrace that someone would do this."

"I just hope that whoever is responsible has a conscience and that they will hand it in."

"I just hope that the plaque hasn't gone to a scrap metal yard and been sold on or melted down."

The plaque was unveiled in May 2000 and has been at the centre of Highbridge's annual Remembrance Day and Holocaust Day ceremonies for the last decade.

Highbridge-born Frank Foley was employed as a Passport Control Officer in Berlin from 1920 until 1939. In his role, he was able to help hundreds of Jews escape from Nazi Germany before the outbreak of World War Two.

He had no diplomatic immunity and put himself at great risk by helping to save the lives of 10,000 Jews.

The plaque stated: "In honour of Major Frank Foley. The spy who saved the lives of 10,000 Jews from the Holocaust. Born at 7 Walrow Terrace, Highbridge." It also gave his birth and death dates.

Town and district councillor Neville Jones told he is saddened by the news.

"This is a disgraceful act and an insult to a man who put his life on the line to rescue so many people," he said.

Burnham-On-Sea Police have started an investigation into the theft and anyone with information is asked to contact Burnham Police via 0845 456 7000 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Pictured: (top) Pam Lyes and Shirley Adams from the Frank Foley Committee, and (above) how the plaque looked last year


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