Remembering fallen officers at annual memorial day

Force HQ lit up in blue for National Police Memorial Day.

The Police Federation of England and Wales joined the policing family in remembering officers who gave their lives in service on National Police Memorial Day.

The families, friends and colleagues of fallen officers joined police chiefs, officers and politicians for an emotional service at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on Sunday attended by around 2,000 people.

Dyfed Powys Police was represented by retired officer John Morgan, who was the brass ensemble musical director for the service. John, a founder member of the British Police Symphony Orchestra, served the Force for 33 years as a former roads policing officer and driving and motorcycle instructor.

The Dyfed Powys Police Federation branch was represented by chair Gareth Jones.

He said: “National Police Memorial Day has to be one of the most important dates in the policing calendar. I think it is incredibly important for the police service to pause to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving their communities and to support their families, friends and colleagues.

“It was a humbling experience to be able to come together for the first time since the pandemic and pay our respects.”

Leigh Godfrey, regional Federation rep, represented Wales and the South Wales branch, while Mick Antoniw, the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution in the Welsh Government, attended and met families of fallen officers.

During the service, candles were lit by relatives in remembrance of officers throughout the country who have lost their lives, one from each of the four nations of the United Kingdom.

Representing Wales was Sergeant Lowri Davies, daughter of PC Terence John Davies of Gwent Police. He was 34 when he was hit by a stolen vehicle which failed to stop as he cycled home after a tour of duty at Maindee on August 23, 1990.

As a mark of respect for National Police Memorial Day, a number of force headquarters buildings across Wales – including the Force’s own HQ - were lit up in blue and the Welsh Government followed suit with the Cathays Park 1 building in Cardiff which it currently occupies.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who gave a reading during the service, said: “To all the officers who lost their lives while working to keep us safe, we thank you and we honour you.

“Their bravery and commitment to their duty was unfaltering. Society owes them and their loved ones a debt we cannot repay, but it is one we will not forget.

“As Home Secretary I make a promise to give police the powers and tools they need to do their jobs safely.”

Liam Kelly, chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, read the names of officers who have lost their lives during the past year – PC Daniel Golding, Metropolitan Police, PC Craig Higgins, Greater Manchester Police, PC Alex Prentice, Northamptonshire Police, and PC Darryl Street, Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

He said: “National Police Memorial Day is an occasion to reflect and celebrate the best in policing not only in Northern Ireland but throughout the United Kingdom.

“Daily we see officers stepping up to the mark to safeguard communities and, sadly, on occasion, some officers are injured or lose their lives in the execution of their duties. This weekend, we say to assembled families that the police ‘family’ recognises, appreciates, and empathises with what you are experiencing and will never forget the sacrifices your loved ones made.”

There was silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the orchestra played Abide with me and the Last Post was sounded.

Canon David Wilbraham MBE, national police chaplain and co-ordinator of National Police Memorial Day, said: “This is the first time the National Police Memorial Day family has been able to gather in remembrance since the pandemic. Today we held those lost in honour - their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Next year’s service is due to be held at St David’s Hall in Cardiff on 24 September and Nicky Ryan, the Federation’s Welsh lead, said: “We’re already looking forward to hosting next year’s memorial day service. A lot of hard work goes into planning the day and that hard work starts right away.”