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Published July 28th 2021
Prince Charles unveils memorial to fallen police officers
Hero police officers and staff from across the UK who have died while protecting the public have been commemorated in a permanent memorial unveiled this week at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The new £4.5 million UK Police Memorial honours the courage and sacrifice of all those from across the police service who have dedicated their lives to protecting the public. It was commemorated at a special dedication ceremony at the Arboretum in Alrewas which was attended by more than a hundred guests, including HRH Prince Charles, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, representatives from police forces across the country, policing charities and the relatives of officers killed on duty. The ceremony was screened live online on the police memorial website www.ukpolicememorial.com
Prince Charles, who unveiled a plaque during the ceremony, said he was "so very pleased and proud" to attend the event. He said the "splendid" memorial ...recognised the unique contribution of UK policing and offered his "most heartfelt thoughts and prayers" to the families of those who died, He added: "Ever since the first recorded death of an unknown police constable in 1680, approximately 5,000 men and women from our police service have died on duty." He offered his gratitude to the "valour and sacrifice of those who have laid down their lives to keep us safe", and said he prayed that the memorial would provide a "hallowed place" for people to pay tribute to every officer who had died as well as leave a lasting legacy.
Leaf-shaped apertures represent courage, sacrifice and lives lost
The ceremony, with radio presenter Nick Ferrari as Master of Ceremonies, was also attended by opera singer Katherine Jenkins who sang the National Anthem and the hymn I Vow to Thee My Country, and relatives of three officers who died on duty. Katie Hull, the daughter of PC Ronald Hull, Sidney Mackay, the father of PC Nina Mackay, and Gillian Wombwell, widow of DC David Wombwell, all gave readings. Police piper Colin McClelland then played as various guests laid wreaths at the memorial, led by HRH Prince Charles, Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Pritti Patel, and Sir Hugh Orde, Chair of Trustees. Sir Hugh had earlier said the dedication ceremony was an "historic day for our police service". He added: "After seven years of fundraising and 12 months of construction, we can finally dedicate this beautiful and iconic memorial that pays tribute to the courage and sacrifice of all those police officers and staff who have paid the ultimate price."
The £4.5m memorial recognises the sacrifice of police
The 12-metre-tall brass memorial, situated within a landscaped area, represents an open door through which police officers routinely enter regardless of the danger. Its leaf-shaped apertures signify courage, sacrifice and lives lost. A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the Arboretum in June 2020 by Paul Bone and Bryn Hughes, whose daughters were shot and killed on a routine 999 call nine years ago. Since 1749 and the establishment of the Bow Street Runners as the country's first recognised police force, almost 5,000 police officers and staff have died on duty. The National Memorial Arboretum is the nation's place of year-round remembrance for all our services. It is home to almost 400 thought-provoking memorials, including the National Armed Forces Memorial, and attracts over 300,000 visitors per year. For more information visit www.thenma.org.uk