The bronze statue of Company Sergeant Major Stan Hollis VC will be officially dedicated near the town’s Cenotaph on Thursday (November 26).
The tribute to the legendary Green Howard was made possible thanks to a £150,000 fund-raising campaign by the Stanley Hollis VC Memorial Fund Committee led by retired businessman Brian Bage.
Company Sergeant Major Hollis VC was born in Archibald Street, Middlesbrough in 1912, and became a steelworker and lorry driver before joining the famous regiment.
He went on to become the only person to be awarded the Victoria Cross on D-Day, being recommended twice for his actions on June 6, 1944.
He braved heavy machine gun fire during the landings and was wounded so many times he was branded ‘the man they couldn’t kill’.
First he single-handedly charged a pill box with his Sten gun as his Green Howards comrades of the 6th Battalion spearheaded the invasion of Gold Beach, before going on to save two comrades who were trapped by enemy fire at Crepon.
Several years ago Brian Bage approached Middlesbrough Council with a proposal for a memorial in the town in honour of one of its most courageous sons.
Mr Bage founded the Stanley Hollis VC Memorial Fund Committee and worked tirelessly to raise funds needed to commission a fitting memorial.
The statue – created by sculptor Brian Alabaster – depicts the hero in the heat of battle and was finally lifted into place earlier this month.
The larger than life-size figure is surrounded by a walk-in memorial commemorating the D-Day landings along with all the VCs awarded to the Green Howards regiment.
The memorial will be officially unveiled by Vice Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Peter Scrope at a special ceremony on Thursday.
Brian Bage said: “It’s taken a lot of hard work by a great many people, but it’s been more than worthwhile.
“It’s a magnificent statue and a fitting tribute to a true hero, and I hope people will come from far and wide to see it, and to remember the actions of a very brave man.”
Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “Stan Hollis is synonymous with heroism beyond the call the duty, and this memorial is a truly fitting tribute to such a courageous man.
“We also owe a debt of gratitude to Brian Bage and his committee who have devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to making this terrific addition to the Cenotaph a reality.”
Those wishing to attend the official unveiling of the Stanley Hollis VC memorial statue are asked to meet at the site near the Cenotaph and Dorman Museum on Linthorpe Road at 11.45am. The service and unveiling will begin at noon.