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Devon & Cornwall Police Federation

Police family gathers to remember fallen officers at National Police Memorial Day

27 September 2021

It is important to set time aside to reflect on the immense sacrifice made by officers who have died on duty, according to Devon and Cornwall Police Federation.

Chair Andy Berry was talking as the police family gathered to honour thousands of fallen officers at the 18th annual National Police Memorial Day.

Members of the police family gathered at Lincoln Cathedral on Sunday 26 September, to honour more than 5,000 officers who have lost their lives on duty. It was the first time the police family had gathered together for National Police Memorial Day since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andy said: “We’re here to recognise and celebrate the sacrifice by so many of our colleagues over the decades, who have given everything to serve the public. We just need to make sure we don’t forget that, year on year.

“The sacrifice that has been made by the individuals is massive, it is the ultimate sacrifice, and we mustn’t forget that. It’s important that we put time and space aside to sit back and reflect on the immense sacrifice that those officers have made.

“There’s something about filling a space with people who are there to remember and to celebrate those who have passed, and all the efforts they’ve made to keep safe the public in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

The names of those officers who had died in the past year were read out.

HRH The Prince of Wales, who is patron of NPMD, said the country was “forever grateful for the steadfast dedication to duty of our police officers who have adapted and worked so tirelessly amidst the ever-changing circumstances” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Writing in the commemorative brochure, Prince Charles said: “We owe a most profound debt of gratitude to our police service, and its remarkable officers, who, along with their families, will continue to have a very special place in the heart of our nation.”

Officers who have died in the past year were remembered during the service. They are: Sgt Paul Keany, of Northamptonshire Police; PC Christopher Miller, of the Metropolitan Police; Sgt Matt Ratana, of the Metropolitan Police; PC Thomas White, of Police Scotland; PC Darryl Street of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and PC Quamar Zaman, of Greater Manchester Police.

During the service, candles were lit for officers in each of the four nations. Representing England was Jayne Clemson, daughter of PC Ray Davenport, of Merseyside Police, who died in 1981 following a traffic incident.

Representing Northern Ireland was Andrea Brown, daughter of RUC Sgt Eric Brown, who was fatally shot by terrorist gunmen in 1983.

Representing Wales was Rhianydd Gardiner, great niece of PC Noel Alexander, who died in 1964 because of injuries sustained in a training incident.

Representing Scotland was Faye Buggins, widow of PC Roy Buggins, who collapsed and died on duty in 2019.

The service also heard a reading from Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Addressing the service, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “Policing is a vocation… the women and men of the front line have risen magnificently to the challenges of the past 18 months.

“Today we pay tribute to the courage of those killed in service and the great courage showed by their families ever since.

“Today we thank them for who they were and we thank them for what they did and what they contributed to society.

“Police officers know their actions may cost their lives. The loss of a colleague on duty is felt by each and every member of the service.”

Addressing the families present, she said: “We will never forget you or the sacrifice that your loved ones made.”

There was silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the Last Post was sounded.