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Norfolk Police Federation

Remembering the fallen at National Police Memorial Day 2019

2 October 2019

“It’s important that every single year National Police Memorial Day continues to make sure that their sacrifice is known and that they are thanked every year”

Police officers from across the UK gathered at the 16th annual National Police Memorial Day to remember fallen colleagues.

Members of the police family were at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow to honour the more than 4,000 officers who have lost their lives on duty. The names of those officers who have died in the past year were read out.

HRH The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of National Police Memorial Day was among those attending the service, led by Canon David Wilbraham. He was joined by Home Secretary Priti Patel; Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, more than 40 Chief Constables and 1,500 police officers and family members.

Norfolk Police Federation Chairman Andy Symonds said the event was an important way to remember colleagues who had made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

“I’m here today because it’s so important that we remember fallen officers, and it’s really important going forward that we remember them all the time,” he said.

“It’s really poignant day; I’ve just met George McLaren [brother of Norfolk officer Robert McLaren who died in 1981] which is a fair while ago, and I can see he’s upset today so it’s important that we’re here to support them and support the policing family of all the colleagues that we’ve lost nationally.”

“The memorial is really important for the families because they send their family, their brothers, their daughters, their sons, out to go and protect the community and they never expect that they’ll never come back.

“They’re bereft and it’s important that every single year the memorial continues to make sure that their sacrifice is known and that they are thanked every year.”

In the commemorative brochure, HRH The Prince of Wales said: “Policing in the United Kingdom has enormous pressures to contend with, no more so than on the front line. As society changes, so must the way in which we support and protect our communities. Your job is one of the toughest there is, and all too often your efforts go unrecognised.

“I am proud to be with you today, and I particularly want you to know how very much I appreciate all that you do, and the sacrifices you make. You and your families have a very special place in the heart of this nation.”

Pictured above - George McLaren and his wife Sarah accompanied by Andy Symonds, Sam Hawkins and ACC Simon Megicks outside the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

During the service, candles were lit for officers in each of the four nations. Representing Scotland was Margaret Sinclair and her daughter Patricia, for PC Leslie Sinclair, who died in 1972 following a road traffic collision.

Representing England was Rumbie Mabuto and her children Kenny and Sophia, for DC Joe Mabuto, who died after suffering a heart attack on duty. Representing Wales was William Parker, son of PC Andy Parker, who was killed in a motorbike crash when travelling home after a night shift.

And representing Northern Ireland was Margo Hetherington, daughter of Reserve Constable Jacob Rankin, who was fatally shot in 1978 whilst on duty by terrorists.

Andrea MacDonald, Chair of the Scottish Police Federation, read the names of officers who have lost their lives during the past year: PC Joseph Robert Cooke and Sgt Colin Michael Fox, both of the Met; PC Daniel Clayton-Drabble, PC Kevin Flint and PC Andrew Harper, all of Thames Valley Police; and PC Roy Buggins, of Police Scotland. The service also paid tribute to US Special Agent Nole Remagen, who died while on duty in Scotland.

There was silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the Last Post was sounded.