27 September 2020
The treasured memory of our fallen police officers has been honoured at the seventeenth National Police Memorial Day - which was broadcast online this afternoon.
It opened with personal words from PC Samantha Dixon, wife of PC James ‘Dixie’ Dixon of Thames Valley Police, who was killed on duty in 2017 while she was pregnant, about what the annual event means to her and their son Parker. “It’s somewhere I can take our son to, who sadly never got to meet his father, and he can be remembered in a proud way rather than the sadness that is normally attached to it,” she said.
HRH The Prince of Wales, who is patron of NPMD, also paid tribute to UK police officers, saying they had “earned the admiration of the world” and would always have a "special place in the heart" of our grateful nation. You can watch his remarks above.
And the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, added that the police officers we remembered today are “the very best of us”.
The event was held online for only the first time since its founding in 2004, due to coronavirus restrictions. But Reverend Canon David Wilbraham MBE, who led the service said it was fitting that it would be seen in the home - where the loss of our courageous officers is felt the most.
The service also received contributions from the Home Secretary, who gave a tribute and a reading, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The British Police Symphony Orchestra played ‘I vow to thee my country’, with more than 60 musicians who had proudly recorded their contributions whilst in isolation from homes across the UK.
And the service heard from families of those who had lost loved ones in police service, such as Louie Johnston, son of Reserve Constable David Johnston of the Royal Ulster Constabulary George Cross, who said NPMD is an occasion to “look past the uniform and to celebrate the character, the memories and the special place that our loved ones will always have in our hearts”.
Candles were lit to represent the four nations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and to remind everyone of the flame of devotion and commitment, exemplified by those whom the service remembers. Lissie Harper, Rebecca Davies, Louie Johnston and Chief Constable Iain Livingstone took part.
You can watch the ceremony again below and leave a message on our NPMD virtual tribute wall.