Air Commodore Sir Hughie Idwal EdwardsPrint Page Print this page

17-April-2014 (Graeme Saunders)
17-April-2014 (Graeme Saunders)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Graeme Saunders / Bryan Hardy

The statue commemorates Air Commodore Sir Hughie Idwal Edwards (1914 - 1982).

Raised and educated in White Gum Valley and Fremantle as the son of a Welsh immigrant working class family, Sir Hughie`s bravery, skill, gallantry and leadership led to him receiving the Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross. On 4 July 1941 Edwards led 12 twin-engined bombers in a low-level attack on the heavily defended port of Bremen. The aircraft had to fly under high-tension wires, through a balloon barrage, and into intense fire. All his bombers were hit, and four were shot down. For his gallantry and determination, Edwards received the Victoria Cross.

Edwards continued to lead his squadron against major targets, and was further decorated; his combination of awards marked him as one of the war’s outstanding pilots. In February 1943 he became Commanding Officer of Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) Station, Binbrook, resuming his association with the Royal Australian Air Force (R.A.A.F.) as No. 460 Squadron RAAF operated from the base flying Avro Lancasters.

After the war Edwards continued his career in the Royal Air Force. By 1962 he was Director of Establishments of the Air Ministry in London. Eventually he returned to Australia. He was Governor of Western Australia (1974–75) and was knighted, later retiring because of ill-health.


Address:Queen Street , Kings Square, Outside St John`s Church, Fremantle, 6160
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.053647
Long: 115.748722
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Statue
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Andrew Kay


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 26th November, 2002
Front Inscription

Air Commodore Sir Hughie Idwal Edwards VC, KCMG, CB, DSO, OBE, DFC, KSTJ

August 1, 1914 - August 5, 1982

An Australian hero

Born in White Gum Valley and educated at Fremantle Boys School, Hughie Edwards trained as a pilot in the R.A.A.F., and transferred to the RAF in 1935.

In July 1941, he won the Distinguished Flying Cross for a low-level attack on enemy shipping.  In the same month, he earned the Victoria Cross for "the highest possible standard of gallantry and determination" in leading a low-level daylight raid on Bremen, Germany.

In 1942, he won the Distinguished Service Order for leading an attack by 92 aircraft on an industrial target in Holland.  During 1943 / 1944 he was based in Binbrook, Lincolnshire and carried out operational flying with the 460 R.A.A.F. Lancaster Squadron.

Appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1974, Sir Hughie Edwards retired in 1975 because of ill health.

"Per Ardua Ad Astra"

This memorial sculpture was unveiled by the Governor of Western Australia Lt. General John Sanderson AC on Tuesday 26th November, 2002.

The artwork was funded by private donors with support from the WA Lotteries Commission, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the City of Fremantle.

Artist :  Andrew Kay
Year :   2002


Source: MA,ACPH, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au