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Hertfordshire Police Federation

Memorial day honours fallen officers

27 September 2021

Fallen officers from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been remembered in a poignant service to mark National Police Memorial Day.

Hertfordshire Police Federation chair Geoff Bardell and workplace representative Gareth Rees attended the poignant service which included a reading from Home Secretary Priti Patel and an address by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.

Speaking after the service at Lincoln Cathedral yesterday, Geoff said: “National Police Memorial Day is when family, friends and colleagues take time to remember, reflect and pay tribute. It is an incredibly important day in the policing calendar.

“The service is always a very moving and emotional experience which honours our fallen colleagues but also acts as a reminder of the risks our members face every day while trying to keep our nation safe from harm.

“It is also important that the loved ones of officers who are killed in the line of duty know they will never be forgotten by the wider policing family.

“Last year, due to the pandemic, the service was held virtually so it was particularly moving to be able to come together again this year.”

During the service, Dame Cressida praised the courage and dedication of police officers throughout the coronavirus pandemic and paid tribute to those who had lost their lives over the past 12 months.

She told the congregation: “This year, we sadly add six more families to those we want to protect and support.

“The families of Paul Keany, Chris Miller, Matt Ratana, Darryl Street, Thomas White and Quamar Zaman.

“We will never forget you nor will we ever forget the sacrifice your loved ones made.

“Their lives give us hope, motivation and inspiration that through our police work good can prevail, safety and peace can be secured.

“Each and every one of our fallen colleagues will have helped and protected so many people, brought comfort, justice, safety, hope, reassurance and courage to others. We are proud of them.”

John Apter, national Federation chair, also read out the names of the officers who had died in the last 12 months and said: “Let us remember before God the men and women of the police service who gave their lives in the exercise of their duty.”

Addressing bereaved families in the congregation, Chris Haward, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, said: “I hope today is of some comfort and that you can feel the support and compassion from all those around you because it is here in abundance

“National Police Memorial Day holds a place in all our hearts. We remember those we have lost but we should also celebrate their accomplishments, achievements and contributions together with those who continue to hold the thin blue line.

“Serving as a police officer is not an easy duty. Day in, day out, our officers give their everything to protect and serve others. They guide people when they are at their worst, they comfort people on their darkest of days.

“It is a path that many could not, nor would not, want to walk and we are proud of those who have dedicated their lives to policing. To those who have lost lives in the line of duty, their legacy will live on and they will always remain part of the police family.”

Ms Patel gave a short Bible reading from Corinthians 13 on the subject of love.

The service was led by Reverend Canon David Wilbraham, national police chaplain and coordinator of National Police Memorial Day, who said: “On this National Police Memorial Day, we give thanks for the bravery, courage and sacrifice of officers who since British policing began, have died on duty.”

Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis was among the dignitaries who spoke during the service and praised the police for keeping the nation safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “The pandemic has cast so many fears not experienced before by any of us, that doubts for our safety and care were being greatly challenged no matter our circumstances.

“But the huge degree of comfort that the nation is protected by the most professional police force anywhere in the world gives us all the belief and faith to discover our inner strengths.”

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

While the congregation observed 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.

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.

 

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