Lord Freyberg Statue

Lord Freyberg Statue, Auckland, public art

Public Art : Lord Freyberg Statue

Sculptor : © Anthony Stones

Description : Bronze statue of Lord Freyberg dressed in his military greycoat and leaning slightly back on his heels.

Date Unveiled : The statue of Lord Freyberg was unveiled in 1978.

Location : The Lord Freyberg statue is located in Freyberg Square, Auckland, New Zealand.

Inscription :

LORD FREYBERG V.C, G.C.M., C D.C.B, K.B.E, D.S.O 1889-1963

COMMANDER OF THE SECOND NEW ZEALAND DIVISION 1939-1945 GOVERNOR GENERAL OF NEW ZEALAND 1946-1952

THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN DONATED BY RETURNED SERVICEMEN TO THE CITIZENS OF
METROPOLITAN AUCKLAND IN APPRECIATION OF THEIR CONTINUING GENEROSITY.

So who was Lord Freyberg? : Born Bernard Cyril Freyberg (March 1889- 4th July 1963) in Richmond, London, he would later become a war hero and 7th Governor General of New Zealand.

Freyberg moved with his parents to New Zealand at the age of two. He attended Wellington College and later became a qualified dentist. However his want for adventure lead him to America in 1914 and then to Mexico where he took part in the Mexican Revolution.

On hearing that war had broken out in Europe he left for England hoping to get involved in the action. As luck would have it he met with Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, and persuaded him to grant him a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve commission. Despite receiving numerous injuries during his time on the battlefields (and I mean numerous) he was unstoppable and his valour evenually earnt him a Victoria Cross. In France alone, while fighting on the Western Front, he was injured 9 times. In 1917 a shell exploded at his feet inflicting the worst of his many wounds.

During the intermission between WWI and WWII Freyberg returned to New Zealand to convalesce from his numerous war wounds and met and married Barbara McLaren. Unfortuantely Freyberg was forced to retire from the army due to a heart problem in 1937.

Despite being unfit for active duty Freyberg managed to again  return to the thick of the action following the outbreak of World War II. He even managed a few more injuries for old time sakes.

After the war in 1945, Freyberg was invited to become Governor-General of New Zealand , a role he relished from 1946-1952. In 1946 he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George. He left New Zealand in 1952 and returned to England to become the Deputy Constable and Lieutenant-Governor of Windsor Castle.

Freyberg died on the 4th of July, 1963 following the rupture of one of his war wounds. His wife is buried by his side and their son, Paul,  at the end of their graves.

Trivia

Freyberg started out as a dentist.

Freyberg was the first soldier on the beach during the Gallipoli Campaign.

He became the youngest general in the British Army during WWI.

Due to his bravey while serving in the Western Front he was decorated with the Victoria Cross.

Churchill described Freyberg as his "salamander" due to his love of fire and wanting to  always be in the middle of the action.

Lord Freyberg Statue, Auckland, public art

Lord Freyberg Statue, Auckland, public art

Lord Freyberg Statue, Auckland, public art

LEST WE FORGET

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