26 September 2023
The eight police officers who have lost their lives on duty in the past 12 months were honoured at this year’s National Police Memorial Day (NPMD) in Cardiff yesterday.
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton represented the branch at the service, joining officers of all ranks including Chief Constable Rachel Swann and, most importantly, the families of fallen officers at the New Theatre in the city. Derbyshire PC Mark Atterbury also attended the service as the Standard Bearer for the Force.
Tony said afterwards: “I have attended a number of National Police Memorial Day services over the years but I never fail to feel moved.
“It really is an emotional event and one that serves as a poignant reminder of the risks police officers take as they go about their duties, serving and protecting their communities.
“It is an honour to stand alongside the families of our fallen colleagues and to show them that their loved one’s sacrifice is never forgotten by the police service.
“We must always remember them and their families, for whom the pain of that loss never goes away.”
The national police chaplain and NPMD co-ordinator, the Reverend Canon David Wilbraham MBE, welcomed those attending the 20th annual service.
He said: “Grief is a universal experience that affects all our lives and today we gather to support each other and pay tribute to those lost in service.”
Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford, Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper each gave a reading during the service.
Policing Minister Chris Philp, who also attended, said: “National Police Memorial Day is a time for us to remember the ultimate sacrifice that many have made to keep this country safe.
“Every single day the police put their lives at risk to protect us and we must not forget these daily acts of courage and bravery.”
The Act of Remembrance saw candles, one from each of the four nations in the UK, lit to remind people of the ‘undying flame of devotion and commitment, exemplified by those whom we remember today’.
Representing England was Sid Mackay, father of Metropolitan PC Nina Mackay (25) who died in 1997 after being stabbed by a wanted man. Representing Wales was Dorothy Ellis, the mother of Gwent PC Adrian Ellis (29) who died in a road accident in 1989. Representing Scotland was David Taylor, the son of Strathclyde PC George Taylor (27) who died in 1976 when he was attacked with an axe. Representing Northern Ireland were Mervyn and Dorothy Reynolds, parents of PC Philippa Reynolds (27) who died in 2013 following a road accident.
Nicky Ryan, Welsh lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), read out the Roll of Honour of the names of the officers who had lost their lives during the past year.
PC Bruce Lister, Hertfordshire Constabulary
Police Community Support Officer Daniel William Gower, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary
Sergeant Steven Creal, Sussex Police
PC Richard James Joseph Kemp, Lancashire Constabulary
PC Neil Pattinson, Northumbria Police
PC Andrew Boardman, West Mercia Police
Inspector Gareth Earp, Dyfed Powys Police
Sergeant Graham Saville, Nottinghamshire Police
Sergeant Paul Frear, West Midlands Police.
“We give thanks to God for their courage and their dedication,” said Nicky, as petals of remembrance, representing those who have lost their lives, fell.
This was followed by audience members standing in silence, as the orchestra played ‘Abide with Me’ and the Last Post sounded.
The service finished with the national anthems of Wales and the UK.
The National Police Memorial Day 2024 will take place in Glasgow.