Those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on duty must never be forgotten

The police service gathered yesterday to remember the 4,500 officers who have died on duty at this year’s National Police Memorial Day in Cardiff.

A guard of honour was formed by officers from throughout the UK before the service, during which the names of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the past year were read out.

Speaking about the importance of the event, Ian White, Secretary of Gloucestershire Police Federation, (pictured) said:

“It is always an honour to represent Gloucestershire Police Federation at this moving event.

“Those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty must never be forgotten. I hope the service gives the families and friends of those fallen officers some comfort and reassurance that their passing will always be remembered.

“National Police Memorial Day is a reminder that we should all try and make the most of each and every day, as we never know what tomorrow may bring.”

Remembered this year were DC Joe Mabuto and PC Gareth Browning, of Thames Valley Police; PC Paul Briggs, of Merseyside Police; PC Austin Jackson, of Leicestershire Constabulary; Insp Mark Estall, of Essex Police; and PC Keith Palmer, of the Met.

There was silence in the auditorium as petals of remembrance descended from the ceiling before the Last Post was sounded.

Speaking in the programme, Prince Charles, who is patron of National Police Memorial Day, said:

“Appalling terrorist attacks carried out earlier this year serve to remind the country of the heroic efforts made by Police officers to safeguard and protect our society – none more so than PC Keith Palmer who was so tragically killed in March while protecting the House of Parliament, and to whose memory we pay a special tribute today.

“Our National Police Memorial Day is a when we remember those who carried out their duties with professionalism, steadfastness and great courage and, in doing so, paid the ultimate price. Since our last National Police Memorial Day, we have lost officers in some of the worst attacks ever seen on our soil as well as through everyday policing.

“The terrorist attacks in Manchester and London were mindless and barbaric. The enduring images from those attacks, seen all over the world, were of Police officers rushing to thwart attackers.

“Officers showed complete disregard for their own safety and it is doubtless that their bravery and sacrifice helped save countless lives.”

Candles were lit by family members of fallen officers to remember those who have died from all parts of the UK. PC Lowri Davies, daughter of Gwent PC Terence Davies, who died in 1990, lit a candle for Welsh officers. Thelma Corkey, widow of Reserve Constable Samuel Snowdon Corkey, who died in 1982, lit a candle for Northern Irish officers.

Laura Wiggins, daughter of PC Dougie Wiggins, who died in 2016, lit a candle for Scottish officers. And Pamela Knee, sister of PC John Egerton from GMP, who died in 1982, lit a candle for English officers.

Prayers were given by PC Ian Swales, of Cambridgeshire Constabury, of behalf of his crew partner PC Andreas Newbery, who died in 2003; Tim Harding, son of PC Leonard Harding, of Wiltshire Police, who died in 1977; Tony Browning, father of PC Gareth Browning, who died on 1 April 2017; and Amy Mawson, daughter of Sgt Nigel Mawson, of West Midlands Police, who died in 2012.