The families of police officers, staff, Special Constables and volunteers who died while in service have helped commemorate their loved ones during a special dedication event at North Yorkshire Police’s new memorial garden.
The ceremony, at the new Alverton Court headquarters on Sunday, included a blessing of the garden before wreaths were laid in memory of those who have lost their lives.
Families and guests were also invited to take a stone and write the name of their loved one on it, along with any personal messages.
Memorials commemorating fallen officers from both World Wars and those who died while working at North Yorkshire Police have been moved from the old headquarters at Newby Wiske to the memorial garden at the centre of the new HQ.
Three meeting rooms at Alverton Court have also been named in honour of fallen officers – Special Constable Glenn Goodman, Sergeant David Winter and PC David Haigh. Their families were given special viewings of the rooms and copies of the murals which are on the walls of these rooms, which they helped to choose.
The service was introduced by Reverend Robert Williamson, with North Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable Dave Jones and Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward attending as presenting dignitaries.
Chief Constable Jones said: “Policing has changed a lot over the years. But the sacrifice our officers have made reminds us of the timeless values that have always been at the heart of policing – courage, selflessness and a determination to make the world a better place.
“We’ve been looking to the future a lot recently as we’ve designed and moved into our new headquarters at Alverton Court.
“But our new memorial garden and our commemoratively-named rooms enable us to reflect and remember those who have served with us, those who have shaped us and those who have given their lives the line of duty. We are forever grateful to them.”
The names of the twelve North Riding Constabulary police officers who were killed in World War I are immortalised on one of the memorial stones, which has been moved from Newby Wiske into the new garden.
Some of their descendants attended the service. Officers, cadets, police staff, specials and North Yorkshire Police volunteers also attended the service to pay their respects.
To coincide with the event, Jane Palmer, the Chief Constable’s Chief Finance Officer, used her love of history and genealogy to find out more about the dozen officers of the North Riding Police who gave their lives in World War I.
“These were men who played an important role in our communities,” said Jane, who carried out the research in her spare time using archived documents, official records, historic newspaper articles and more.
“Until world events took over and changed the course of their lives, they covered the beats that our officers still tread to this day.
“It’s been a privilege to discover more about them and record it – where they were from, where they served as police officers, their family trees and how they gave came to give the ultimate sacrifice for their comrades and their country.
“In some cases I’ve also been able to access the records of the families of these officers, but if any readers have pictures or information for the officers, I would be delighted to add them to the record.”
- You can download a copy of the new booklet, The Ultimate Sacrifice in the Great War, by visiting northyorkshire.police.uk/about/history/first-world-war