Derbyshire Police Federation

Fallen officers remembered at Memorial Day

27 September 2021

Being able to attend the National Police Memorial Day in person for the first time in two years made it an even more poignant event, says Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton.

Tony attended yesterday’s memorial day service at Lincoln Cathedral yesterday with Angela Morgan, partner of Derbyshire DC Gary Freeman who died in a car accident in August 1994. Due to Covid restrictions, places were limited at the service and Angela represented the families of all Derbyshire’s fallen officers.

Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Shooter represented the Force at the service.

Tony said after the service: “National Police Memorial Day was due to be held in Lincoln last September but, due to the restrictions in place at the time, a virtual event was held instead.

“This year, with an easing of restrictions, we were able to come together again and you could really sense that people were pleased to be able to do that. The families of fallen officers join a group of people they never want to become part of when they lose their loved ones but you can see that they gain comfort from the friendships they form with those who understand what they are going through.

“Looking around yesterday, you really did get the sense that people were pleased to see each other, despite the solemn occasion of which they were a part.

“I felt honoured and humbled to stand alongside them at the memorial service, to show them that we will never forget their sacrifice and that we remember those officers who gave their lives while serving their communities.

“It was a very moving service and a fitting tribute to our fallen colleagues.”

The service was led by the Reverend Canon David Wilbraham, national police chaplain and coordinator of the National Police Memorial Day.

Home Secretary Priti Patel gave a reading from 1 Corinthians 13 on the theme of love and Dame Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, gave the address.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, addressed the congregation of around 300 people and read out the names of the six officers who had lost their lives during the year since the last memorial day service.

  • PS Paul Keany, Northamptonshire Police
  • PC Christopher Miller, Metropolitan Police
  • PC Matiu Ratana, Metropolitan Police
  • DC Quamar Zaman, Greater Manchester Police
  • PC Thomas White, Police Scotland
  • PC Darryl Street, Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

He said: “National Police Memorial Day is an incredibly important day in the policing calendar. It’s a day to remember those colleagues we have lost and to ensure they are never forgotten.

“Policing is a family, and when we lose a member of our family the pain is felt far and wide. The National Memorial Day is a time to reflect, pay tribute and remember. It is so important, especially to the families, friends and colleagues of those we have lost, that their loved ones will never be forgotten.”

During the service, representatives of fallen officers lit candles in an act of remembrance with one each for the forces of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

While there was a minute’s silence, petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, fell from the gallery as the orchestra played “Abide With Me” and “The Last Post” was sounded.

The service was followed by an online commemoration for those unable to attend in person. As a show of support, public buildings around the UK were illuminated blue to mark the occasion, including numerous police headquarters buildings.

National Police Memorial Day was founded in 2004 by now retired Sergeant Joe Holness to commemorate the memory of colleagues lost in the line of duty. Sergeant Holness was motivated by the death of his colleague, fellow Kent officer PC Jon Odell, who was killed in December 2000 after a vehicle was driven at him.

Next year’s service will be held in Belfast on Sunday 25 September 2022.

 

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