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Hero statue on hold

Monday, 16th June, 2014

By Michael Murphy

A campaign to create a life-sized statue of a Broken Hill war hero is in limbo.

Reginald Roy Inwood won the Victoria Cross for his exploits on the Western Front in 1917.

He is the only local serviceman to have won the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Earlier this year, RSL Honorary Secretary Des Kennedy revealed the local RSL had applied for Commonwealth funding under a program to help communities commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.

He said that was three months ago and he was now “sweating it” on the funding announcement because he wanted to get the statue in place before Anzac Day next year.

Mr Kennedy said the bronze statue of Inwood would take about six months to make.

He said there was some concern that a statue would only commemorate one person, but he added that Inwood was a “Broken Hill icon” and the statue would serve to commemorate all local war veterans.

“He is a well known identity, and he was a gentleman,” Mr Kennedy said of Inwood, adding that the project was a personal one for him.

“There has been so many veterans that have fought in the wars; the statue is an honour for all of them.”

He said the statue of Inwood would add value to the city.

“I’ve lived here all my life, and anything that will improve tourism, which we will have to fall back on one day, is great for the city.”

Mr Kennedy said he needed to know how much the government was going to “chip in” so he could proceed with planning, and fundraising if necessary.

He said one local man - Steve Sliwka, who is restoring the Old Royal Hotel in Oxide Street - had already approached him and offered $1000 for the project.

Other support from locals would be welcomed.

All up, to create and install the statue will cost about $25,000.

Mr Kennedy said the statue was not about glorifying war, but paying tribute to the people who served.

The statue of Roy Inwood would be placed near the war memorial in Argent Street.

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