Statue for the ultimate D-Day hero to become a reality

The Northern Echo: Brian Bage who is campaigning to build a war memorial in memory of Stan Hollis in Middlesbrough. Brian Bage who is campaigning to build a war memorial in memory of Stan Hollis in Middlesbrough.

A STATUE and monument to one of Britain’s greatest war heroes is likely to be built in the region next year.

The memorial to Stan Hollis, the only man to win a Victoria Cross on D-Day, will be built outside The Dorman Museum in Company Sergeant Major Hollis’ home town of Middlesbrough.

Campaigner Brian Bage, 80, of Guisborough said enough money had been raised for “the basics” but about £10,000 was needed to help create a permanent Second World Exhibition in CSM Hollis’ name.

Haverton Hill’s Impetus Environmental Trust pledged £150,000 to the scheme but at least £12,000 first had to be raised from the public. That figure has been surpassed but Mr Bage said that although the basics were assured, about £10,000 more was still needed for details like stonework, plaques and the exhibition.

The monument will include slabs containing details of 17 other Victoria Cross winners from the Green Howard regiment. A bronze statue on a large base will form the centrepiece of the monument in the green space in front of the Dorman Museum. A definite venue for the exhibition is yet to be decided.

Mr Bage, who said donations from across the country had been received as a result of CSM Hollis’ story being told as part of the media’s coverage of the D-Day commemorations, said: “Not enough people in Middlesbrough know about Stanley. I went them to be proud, I want them to look at the statue and the exhibition and say, ‘he was one of us, that’s our town,’ and be proud.”

Mr Bage, a retired businessman who remembers meeting CSM Hollis as a young man, said the idea was to start work after this year’s Remembrance Sunday and have a grand unveiling in May next year.

CSM Hollis was nominated for a VC twice for two separate actions on the same day. Mr Hollis, a father-of-two, stormed two pill boxes single-handed and later risked his own life to save two of his men. He died in 1972, aged 59.

Last week Hollis’ children, Brian Hollis and Pauline Armstead, accepted a Teesside Heroes Award from the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation charity.

For details of the fundraising, visit stanley hollisvcmemorial. co. uk or send cheques to Mr Bage, Church Street, Guisborough, TS14 6BX.

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