90 days from today is Sun, 25 December 2022
30 July 2021
A memorial dedicated to police officers who have lost their lives while on duty was unveiled at a ceremony attended by HRH The Prince of Wales.
The UK Police Memorial, which is located at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, honours those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while on duty protecting their communities.
Among those to take part in the dedication ceremony were Hertfordshire DC Katie Hull whose father PC Ron Hull, died on duty in November 1989 when he was struck by a car while helping an Army ambulance crew at the scene of a serious road accident at Royston in thick fog. Katie gave a reading during the service.
The Force was also represented by Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Hertfordshire Police Federation chair Geoff Bardell.
Geoff said after the service: “The memorial is a fitting tribute to those officers who tragically lost their lives while serving their communities. The ceremony, with so many dignitaries in attendance, was moving and I hope that the families of fallen officers in attendance felt comforted and assured that their loved one will never be forgotten.”
The £4.5 million memorial, which follows seven years of fund-raising and 12 months of building work, was designed by Walter Jack Studio.
The 12-foot tall sculpture is designed to look like a slightly ajar door, said to signify officers going into the unknown during their line of work on a daily basis.
Sir Hugh Orde, chair of The Police Arboretum Memorial Trust, explained that it is decorated with cut-out leaves, which represent the lives of the heroic officers lost.
Addressing an audience of 400, as well as those who were watching live from home, Prince Charles said: “I am so pleased and proud to be able to join you today. This memorial recognises the unique contribution British police gives to the country and in fact, the world. I pray this memorial will provide a place to pay tribute and provide reassurance that those who have given their lives will leave a lasting legacy and will never be forgotten.”
He expressed his “profound gratitude” to “those who have laid down their lives” to protect the public and paid tribute to “those who continue to serve” today.
John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation, laid a wreath during the service and said afterwards: “It’s really important the memorial - along with other memorials across the country – is recognised for what it is intended. That is to remember the supreme sacrifices colleagues have made over a great many years.
“This memorial will be especially important to colleagues and ensure friends and colleagues will always be remembered – they will never be forgotten.”
The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary also attended the ceremony.
The National Police Air Service (NPAS) paid tribute to fallen officers by taking part in a fly past during the ceremony and “bowing” in front of the sculpture.
The British Police Symphony Orchestra also performed with mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins closing the ceremony with the National Anthem.
The event came two months before this year’s annual National Police Memorial Day, which will be taking place on Sunday 26 September, and days before the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) memorial service on Sunday (2 August).