Families of the fallen mark National Police Memorial Day

Gwent Police Federation chair Steve Thorpe attended the National Police Memorial Day service at Lincoln Cathedral on Sunday.

Steve was accompanied by Dorothy Ellis and her friend Joy Edwards. Dorothy’s son, PC Adrian Ellis, was killed in a motorcycle accident as he travelled to report for duty on 27 September 1989; he was 29.

The service was led by the Reverend Canon David Wilbraham, national police chaplain and coordinator of the National Police Memorial Day. The 300-strong congregation included dignitaries, family members and public figures to honour police officers who have fallen in the line of duty

Steve said: “It was particularly poignant to attend the service with Dorothy and Joy – an important reminder that the policing family extends beyond officers and staff to their families and friends. I am thankful and honoured to have stood alongside them to remember Adrian and all the other colleagues who have given their lives to protect the public.”

Dame Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, gave the address, and Home Secretary Priti Patel read from 1 Corinthians 13.

Fallen officers remembered this year included:

  • PS Paul Keany, Northamptonshire Police
  • PC Christopher Miller, Metropolitan Police
  • PC Matiu Ratana, Metropolitan Police
  • DC Quamar Zaman, Greater Manchester Police
  • PC Thomas White, Police Scotland
  • PC Darryl Street, Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “National Police Memorial Day is an incredibly important day in the policing calendar. It’s a day to remember those colleagues we have lost and to ensure they are never forgotten.

“Policing is a family, and when we lose a member of our family the pain is felt far and wide. The National Memorial Day is a time to reflect, pay tribute and remember. It is so important, especially to the families, friends and colleagues of those we have lost, that their loved ones will never be forgotten.”

During the service, representatives of fallen officers from England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland lit candles in an act of remembrance.

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.

The service was followed by an online commemoration for those unable to attend in person. As a show of support, public buildings around the UK were illuminated blue to mark the occasion, including numerous police HQ buildings.

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.

Next year’s service will be held in Belfast on 25 September.