Former Dyfed Powys Police officer John Morgan says it’s been an honour to be the director of music for the National Police Memorial Day for the past 18 years.
John retired from the role on Sunday after conducting the orchestra for the final time at the New Theatre in Cardiff.
He said: “It’s been an honour. I’ve absolutely loved it.
“I’m very grateful to all the participants from all over the UK over the years who have helped make this event a very moving an appropriate commemoration for the policing family.”
John Morgan has retired as the NPMD's director of music after 18 years
A former Dyfed Powys Police Federation member, John served with the Force for 33 years.
During that time he was a founder member and principal trumpet of the Police National Orchestra, which subsequently became the British Police Symphony Orchestra.
His first involvement in the National Police Memorial Day was in Cardiff in 2005.
“We’ve had a lot of challenges along the way, but because we put the families first it’s worked,” he said. “The music is there for the families.
“It’s there to provide periods of reflection. It’s all carefully planned and it’s a joy to do. It’s been an absolute privilege.
“I’m proud to be part of it and I was proud to represent Dyfed Powys Police as well.”
John recalled one of the highlights of his 18 years happened at last year’s service in Belfast.
“I had the opportunity to invite Tom Miles to come and play trumpet,” explained John. “His father when I was working in Carmarthen was my chief inspector, Ian Miles, who passed away from cancer a few years ago.
“Ian was a big supporter of memorial day, so I know if he was looking down he would’ve been pleased to see Tom there.
“During the petal drop, one of the blue petals landed on my music stand.
“At the end of the service I gave it to Tom and said that’s your dad, because that’s what it felt like.
“Tom is studying to be a doctor and he’s still carrying that petal around in his wallet.”
John said the service was always very emotive and this year was particularly poignant following the death of Dyfed Powys Police officer Gareth Earp in June.
He said: “I was on traffic and dealt with several fatals and one of the hardest thing was dealing with the family’s grief, because you can’t put plaster on it.
“You have to, somehow, try to help and support them through it.”
John Morgan says NPMD is always very emotive
He added: “This one was particularly difficult for me.
“There have been a couple of services where I’ve known people.
“I worked with Barrie Davies, who died travelling home from work.
“Any officer from Dyfed Powys, whether I worked with them or not, always had a special significance.
“I feel the same with other forces, it’s just that when it’s your own Force it’s close to home.”