Honour appeal for 'British Schindler'

First published in Black Country News

DUDLEY North MP Ian Austin is calling on the residents of Dudley to get behind a campaign to honour local hero Frank Foley - 50 years after his death.

The MP wants everyone in Dudley to get support a petition which has been launched by The Holocaust Educational Trust which is calling on the honours system to recognise the heroism of deceased British heroes like Major Foley.

Stourbridge hero, Frank Foley was an MI6 agent working undercover as the passport officer in Berlin in the 1930s. He saw the persecution suffered by the Jews and used his cover to issue fake documents and passports to help an estimated 10,000 escape from the Nazis.

Following his retirement, Frank moved to Stourbridge where he lived in anonymity until his death in 1958, aged 73. There is currently a memorial to him at Mary Stevens Park and the council run an award in his name.

Although Major Foley has been recognised as "Righteous Amongst the Nations" by Israel, he did not receive a formal recognition or honour for his actions from his country during his lifetime.

As this year is the fiftieth anniversary of his death, Ian believes now is the right time for his country to recognise what he did.

Ian Austin MP said: "I've been fascinated by Frank Foley's story since I first heard of him, I really cannot stress how much I believe this man and his memory need to be honoured.

"Frank Foley refused to standby when people were being singled out because of their race and religion and did what he could to help.

"In doing so he stood up for the great British values of democracy, freedom, fairness, equality and tolerance. This is exactly what marks him out as such a great British hero.

"I think it would be great if as many local people as possible visited the number ten web page and signed the petition so more heroes like Major Foley get the recognition they deserve."

The petition can be found at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/UK-Rescuers

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