North Yorkshire Police Federation and bereaved family members have honoured fallen officers at the at the annual National Police Memorial Day in Cardiff on Sunday.
Frances Ellerker, who lost her husband PC Richard Ellerker in 1993, said the day was a significant one for her.
The police carry on. They’re very, very busy. But it’s important that the ones that died on duty are remembered and are still thought of. I live with it every day but it is nice when we all get together. There are lots of tears, but it’s just nice that they’re not forgotten.
We all come together as a family and we know that we’re all feeling the same. Despite how many years, it never goes away. But it brings comfort to be with other people who know what you’ve been through. It is a unique position to be in when you lose a police officer.
PC Ellerker collapsed and died of a heart attack shortly after sustaining injuries when he arrested a drunk and violent man while on foot patrol in York. He was just 42.
The service also heard a reading First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.
There was silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the Last Post was sounded.
Rob Bowles, Federation Chair, said:
It is really important for us to demonstrate to all the families we bring down with us that they’re still a part of the policing family and that their sacrifice is remembered and that officer is remembered. It is a really poignant event.”
Rob said it was important that the Federation builds a relationship with the families “to make sure they know they’re not forgotten and that we’re always here for them.
They’ve all got heart-rending stories. But they are stoic, they are brave, and over the years of doing this we’ve all just got to know each other and we all go out and we have a laugh together and it’s a nice way of letting off steam for them. This is a sombre occasion, but it’s important to the Federation, it’s important to the police service, and it’s important to the families.
More than 5,000 officers have lost their lives on duty and the names of those officers who had died in the past year were read out at the service. They were PCSO Daniel Gower, of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary; Sgt Steven Creal, of Sussex Police; PC Richard Kemp, of Lancashire Constabulary; PC Bruce Lister, of Hertfordshire Constabulary; PC Neil Pattinson, of Northumbria Police; PC Andrew Boardman, of West Mercia Police; Insp Gareth Earp, of Dyfed-Powys Police; and Sgt Graham Saville, of Nottinghamshire Police.
During the service, candles were lit for officers in each of the four nations. Representing Wales was Dorothy Ellis, mother of PC Adrian Ellis, of Gwent Police, who died aged 29 on 27 September 1989 as a result of a road traffic collision.
Representing Scotland was David Taylor, son of PC George Taylor, of Strathclyde Police, who died aged 27 on 30 November 1976 after being attacked with an axe.
Representing England was Sid Mackay, father of PC Nina Alexandra Mackay, of the Metropolitan Police, who died aged 25 on 24 October 1997 having been stabbed by a wanted man. She was posthumously awarded the Commissioner’s High Commendation for Bravery.
Representing Northern Ireland were Mervyn and Dorothy Reynolds, parents of Constable Philippa Reynolds, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who died aged 27 on 9 February 2013 after the police vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck by a stolen vehicle.