New police digital memorial goes live
The names of more than 4,200 police officers and staff who have died on duty since the introduction of the Bow Street Runners in 1749 are commemorated on a new digital memorial launched on Tuesday (November 12).
The initiative is part of an ambitious plan to create a physical and digital tribute to the sacrifice of those from the service who have lost their lives. This will culminate in the building of a magnificent structure, with gilded leaves cut out and handed to relatives of those who have lost their lives on duty, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire by 2021.
Sir Hugh Orde, chair of the Police Arboretum Memorial Trustees, said: “When we set out on this ambitious project in 2015, the Trust not only wanted to create a physical memorial, but also wanted to create a memorial fit for the modern age. A memorial that was not only accessible to the 300,000 visitors a year who visit the Arboretum, but a memorial that is accessible to a global audience.”
Daily, the Trust will publish the names and photographs of those police officers and staff who have lost their lives on that particular day with a short citation. The On this daysection has been created with the support of the Police Roll of Honour Trust which has supplied the data and information.
Enhanced tributes that tell the personal stories of those behind the badge have also been produced. In a unique partnership with Liverpool John Moores University media studies course, the Trust has worked with students to produce tributes that honour individual officers, including interviews with their families and friends, inclusion of news archive footage and commentary.
Sir Hugh added: “Our aim was to demonstrate to the public that when a police officer dies, they are not just someone in uniform, but that that they are a husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter.”
You can view the new Police Digital Memorial by visiting https://digital.ukpolicememorial.org and follow the online tributes through Twitter @ukpmemorial and comment using the hashtag #couragandsacrifice.
At the launch of the digital memorial at Twitter’s UK headquarters in central London on Tuesday, Sir Hugh also confirmed that the board of trustees had approved the start of building for the physical version, with construction likely to commence in the New Year.
The announcement was a result of significant donations from private individuals, as well as the ongoing fundraising campaign that saw Police Professional’s editor, Paul Lander, complete 100 Olympic-distance triathlons in 100 consecutive days.
The new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is expected to open to the public in the spring of 2021.