Pillar Wedge's expertise has helped create a permanent tribute to a Second World War hero who was recognised for an incredible act of bravery.The plant was asked to supply its galvanizing treatment to steel used to build a sculpture commemorating Leading Seaman James ‘Jimmy’ Freel in his hometown of Barrow.
The £18,000 monument, which was commissioned by Barrow Borough Council and created by Cumbrian architectural blacksmith Chris Brammall, represents the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal that Mr Freel was awarded after he and Sub-Lieutenant Rod Dove rode a human torpedo to attack Italian ships back in January 1943. The raid – codenamed Operation Principal – saw the pair blow up a troop ship after travelling into Palermo harbour on an underwater chariot containing a bomb.
At approximately 2.7 metres wide, the steel sculpture incorporates heavy anchor chains representing the troop ships that were targeted during the mission, as well as a propeller to depict the torpedo. It has been installed on land near the Furness Business Park on the road that was renamed James Freel Close two years ago.
Chris Brammall said: “This has been a fantastic project to be involved with and hopefully will help future generations understand and acknowledge the courage heroes like James Freel displayed. Pillar Wedge provided a very professional service and high-quality service, ensuring the sculpture was complete in time for the official unveiling.”
“Seaman Freel’s story is truly inspiring and it’s been an absolute privilege to play our part in creating a lasting tribute to his phenomenal bravery,” said Mark Waters, Customer Service Manager of Pillar Wedge. “Chris Brammall has done such a great job capturing the various aspects of the raid, and the final sculpture is a striking way for everyone in the town to pay their respects.”