Moving National Police Memorial Day service held at Lincoln Cathedral

The annual National Police Memorial Day service was held at Lincoln Cathedral on Sunday.

South Wales Police Federation was represented by divisional representative Leigh Godfrey, who attended alongside dignitaries, family members and public figures to honour police officers who have fallen in the line of duty.

The service was led by the Reverend Canon David Wilbraham, national police chaplain and coordinator of the National Police Memorial Day.

South Wales Police Federation chair Steve Treharne said: “This is one of the most important and poignant days in the policing calendar. I’m glad Leigh was able to represent South Wales Police Federation in person to show our solidarity and respect for those who have paid the ultimate price to protect their communities and colleagues.”

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

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, also took part in the service which was attended by around 300 people and read out the names of the six officers who have died during the last year.

Fallen officers remembered this year included:

  • PS Paul Keaney, 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 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.