Chair honoured to welcome policing family to National Police Memorial Day in Cardiff
Steve thanked organisers for their work in putting the day together and said the event was vital to keep the memories of fallen officers alive.
The families, friends and colleagues of fallen officers gathered with police chiefs, senior politicians and religious leaders for an emotional service at the New Theatre in Cardiff on Sunday.
They included Diane Roberts, the widow of PC 1884 Jeffrey Pitman. Jeffrey, 21, was the first South Wales Police officer to die on duty following a motorbike accident after he'd been called to an incident. He died of his injuries on 13 August 1969.
Steve said: “It was an honour to be able to welcome the policing family to South Wales for National Police Memorial Day. It was a moving and uplifting day and one I'll remember for a very long time.
“The organisers have done a fantastic job in some difficult circumstances at times to make sure the day went ahead and they deserve huge credit
“It’s one of the most important days in the police calendar and it’s vital that we honour those who have died serving and protecting our communities and keep their memories alive.
“It’s a chance for us to pay our respects to Jeffrey and our other colleagues who have died in the line of duty, and to show our commitment to supporting their loved ones.
“We will remember them,” he added.
Branch chair Steve Treharne with Diane Roberts, the widow of Jeffrey Pitman.
The service was attended by South Wales Police Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan, who took part in the Act of Dedication.
He said: “Remembering those who have died, and showing our heartfelt gratitude for their service, is of huge significance and importance to us as a police family, and National Police Memorial Day helps us to do exactly that.
“We must not, and will not, forget those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. I know that this year’s Memorial Day will have added resonance for many colleagues both here in Wales and right across the UK, and we have been all too frequently reminded of the selflessness, dedication and self-sacrifice which members of the police service display each and every day on behalf of others.”
Civic buildings including the Senedd and the South Wales Police headquarters were lit up in blue to mark the occasion.
The service began with a welcome from the Reverend Canon David Wilbraham MBE, the National Police Chaplain and NPMD co-ordinator.
He said: “Grief is a universal experience that affects all our lives and today we gather to support each other and pay tribute to those lost in service.”
Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford, the Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, each gave a reading.
Policing Minister Chris Philp, who also attended, said: “National Police Memorial Day is a time for us to remember the ultimate sacrifice that many have made to keep this country safe.
“Every single day the police put their lives at risk to protect us and we must not forget these daily acts of courage and bravery.”
The main address was given by Reverend Liam Bradley, Dyfed Powys Police’s lead chaplain, while the National Police Memorial Day’s director of music John Morgan, a retired Dyfed Powys Police officer, conducted the orchestra for the final time after 18 years.
The Act of Remembrance saw candles, one from each of the four nations in the UK, lit to remind people of the ‘undying flame of devotion and commitment, exemplified by those whom we remember today’.
Representing England was Sid Mackay, father of Metropolitan PC Nina Mackay (25) who died in 1997 after being stabbed by a wanted man. Representing Wales was Dorothy Ellis, the mother of Gwent PC Adrian Ellis (29) who died in a road accident in 1989. Representing Scotland was David Taylor, the son of Strathclyde PC George Taylor (27) who died in 1976 when he was attacked with an axe. Representing Northern Ireland were Mervyn and Dorothy Reynolds, parents of PC Philippa Reynolds (27) who died in 2013 following a road accident.
Nicky Ryan, Welsh lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), read out the names of the officers who have lost their lives during the past year.
This year’s Roll of Honour included:
Police Community Support Officer Daniel William Gower, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary
Sergeant Steven Creal, Sussex Police
PC Richard James Joseph Kemp, Lancashire Constabulary
PC Bruce Lister, Hertfordshire Constabulary
PC Neil Pattinson, Northumbria Police
PC Andrew Boardman, West Mercia Police
Inspector Gareth Earp, Dyfed Powys Police
Sergeant Graham Saville, Nottinghamshire Police
Sergeant Paul Frear, West Midlands Police
“We give thanks to God for their courage and their dedication,” said Nicky, as petals of remembrance fell, representing those who have lost their lives.
This was followed by audience members standing in silence, as the orchestra played ‘Abide with Me’ and the Last Post sounded.
The service finished with the national anthems of Wales and the UK.
Next year's National Police Memorial Day will take place in Glasgow.