Published: December 22, 2011
Stolen Highbridge war plaques to be replaced with stone memorials

Two bronze wartime plaques which were stolen from a Highbridge memorial garden earlier this year are to be replaced with granite plaques in a bid to prevent them being removed by thieves again for their scrap metal value.

A businessman has come forward to offer the funding needed to buy the replacements after we reported here earlier this year how the plaques dedicated to wartime hero Frank Foley and American soldiers who served locally during the second World War had been stolen from Southwell Gardens.

Pam Lyes from Highbridge's Frank Foley Committee told this week: "The committee has decided that the Foley plaque and the smaller American wartime plaque will both be replaced by granite memorials to make them less attractive to thieves."

"Fortunately, both will be replaced with the financial help of a businessman in Highbridge who has been shocked at the thefts. It has been very upsetting for us all that someone targeted these gardens."

Southwell Gardens committee member Joyce Beard has recently received a letter from Bob Jurney, the American G.I. who bought the bronze plaque for the gardens, expressing his disappointment at the theft.

"Bob has written to us to say how 'sorry' he is that the plaque was stolen from the gardens earlier this year and how he remembers the occasion when the plaque was formally unveiled in the Garden of Remembrance in Southwell Gardens on the 50th Anniversary of 'D' Day in June 1994."

The wartime plaque was dedicated to American soldiers responsible for the operation of a large petrol depot located in our area. The fuel played a major role in the invasion of the French coast on 6th June 1944 and in support of Allied advances on the continent.

The Frank Foley 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."

Pictured: (top) Pam Lyes and Shirley Adams from the Frank Foley Committee, and (above) Highbridge's Frank Foley plaque which was stolen


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