A man from Wycombe is currently in the process of making a sculpture of a World War II hero.

Andrew Lilley, who lives in the town, has been creating sculptures for over 40 years and has nearly finished producing a statue of the late Irena Sendler.

Sendler was a Polish social worker, humanitarian and nurse who saved thousands of Jewish children from the Holocaust by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Europe during the conflict.

Speaking on creating the sculpture, Andrew said: “The statue would depict Irena Sendler with two children whom she is in the act of rescuing from the Warsaw Ghetto.

“The younger one is a little baby clinging to Irena as she carries him.

“He is looking behind with tears in his eyes as he leaves his family and home behind.

“He is holding a small teddy bear which I will depict upside down with one eye missing symbolic of his entire world having been turned upside down.

“To Irena’s side is a girl of five or six-years-old, who is tightly gripping Irena’s free hand.

“She is also in tears and carries a doll which will be a replica of one the shown in the National Holocaust Centres’ display.”

During the Second World War, Sendler, who was Catholic, saved the lives of over 2,500 Jewish children, where she placed them in new homes/orphanages with new identities.

After German officials discovered what Sendler had done, she was arrested by the Gestapo and was sentenced to death, after she vehemently refused to reveal the documents stating the children’s new identities and locations.

She was tortured and imprisoned for her actions but on the day of her execution, Sendler was saved after the Żegota, who were the Polish Council to Aid Jews with the Government Delegation for Poland, after they bribed the German officials to obtain her release.

In the years after the war, she was recognized for her actions.

She died on May 12, 2008, at the age of 98.

Andrew then added: “I truly believe that she should be remembered as one of the most selfless and heroic women of all time.

“The National Holocaust Centre & Museum have kindly set aside the most prestigious spot in the Irena Sendler Memorial Park for my statue and have expressed heartfelt appreciation of the progressing sculpture.

“Also, I initially calculated that this project would take a total of 18 months to complete and would cost £46,000.

“This would have covered my fees, overheads and the casting in bronze however as funds have been slow to manifest, I have invested my own funds in purchasing all the materials and embarking upon the life-sized sculpture which is now 40% finished.”

So far, Andrew has received approximately £2,000 in donations.

To donate to the statue's creation, call Andrew on 07544 571 830.