A STUNNING sculpture which has been stolen has been recreated and installed in Chedzoy Churchyard.

Created by sculptor Richard Austin, the figure shows Lt Col Sydney Mason Collins astride his horse.

The statue has pride of place on top of the pedestal which marks Lt Col Collins’ grave in the churchyard.

His death in 1946 was the last of his family; a family which can be traced back in Chedzoy to the time of the first Queen Elizabeth.

Renowned Cornish sculptor Richard Austin has a lifetime’s experience of creating more than 2,000 pieces for private commissions, numerous civic and public spaces.

With the permission of Mr Collins’ executor and advice from Chedzoy PCC the new sculpture was commissioned by the Village Hall Committee in 2018 to replace the original bronze one that was stolen in 2006 and never recovered.

Following a recommendation from a contact at The Tate St Ives, with the original drawings obtained from the Diocesan archives and following the exacting specifications stated in Mr Collins’ will, the closest possible faithful recreation of Cecil Thomas R.A.’s original has been achieved, but in a composite base material .

The work is created in Antius bronze which is a composite material developed by Richard and his team,.

Mr Austin said: “It is always a huge challenge to recreate a work that had stood in place for many decades and was much loved.”

“To work on such a figure for public display is therefore particularly exciting. I hope that this legacy for Chedzoy will be as inspiring to those who see the statue, as it has been to create it.”

Village Hall chairman Martin Chandler added: “Sydney Mason Collins’ wish was that his family name be kept in remembrance at the Village Hall where his bequest enabled the 2014 extension and kitchen enlargement to be built. His ancestors’ portraits are displayed there, in accordance with his wishes. We have been able to thank him for his generosity by reinstating the statue.”