Site clearance for new police memorial begins
Work has started to clear the site at the National Memorial Arboretum for the build of the new UK Police Memorial.
Over the next few weeks workmen will prepare the site in Staffordshire to allow construction to begin.
Chair of the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust, Sir Hugh Orde, said: “We have finally started on the journey of creating a fitting place to commemorate and remember those brave men and women from our police service who have given so much. It is important that we never forget those who have paid that ultimate price.
“This was an ambitious project to raise £4.5million and we have had to overcome a number of hurdles along the way. Although we still have at least £500,000 to find, I am delighted that thanks to the generosity of the Government, the police service, businesses, the public and individual donors we can start the work. I would especially like to thank chief constables, police and crime commissioners, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Superintendents Associations and the Police Federation Branch Boards for all their support and donations.”
The build of the new memorial will be completed throughout 2020 and will be dedicated and open to the public in the spring of next year.
John Apter, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I welcome the news that ground clearing has begun for the new memorial to officers who have paid the ultimate price in the line of duty.
“It is only right and proper that we honour our courageous colleagues and the sacrifice that they have made.
“This new UK Police Memorial, which will complement the other memorials we have, will stand as a permanent monument to their heroism and dedication to duty, and a place of solace for their loved ones.”
The memorial designed by Walter Jack has been created for personal acts of reflection by family and friends, as well as commemoration and dedication ceremonies, with lawn space for 1,500 people.
Visitors to the memorial will make their way along a pathway with descriptive text, edged with Sillitoe Tartan, evoking the police ‘battenberg’ blue and white, before reaching a tall brass doorway that leads into a remembrance garden. The doorway represents a threshold that some officers walk through towards danger, but sadly never return.
The memorial is built on a circular glade surrounded by a bold ring of trees imparting a sense of protection to reflect the vital role our police service plays in today’s society. The glade is further embraced by the wilder more natural wooded area of the Arboretum.
More than 300,000 people visit the Arboretum each year, which is home to over 300 memorials, including the National Armed Forces Memorial.
Sir Hugh added: “The additional half–a–million pounds we need to raise will fund completion of the digital memorial that tells the personal stories of the fallen, an education programme for school and colleges, the inscription of names on the physical memorial and a maintenance fund.
“The new UK Police Memorial is a project of major national significance that will once again bring a sense of pride back to our police service. It will reconnect the public with those brave men and women who daily police our cities, towns and villages and will give those officers and staff who have lost their lives, rightful and proper recognition, at the place where all our services are remembered.”
You can donate to the UK Police Memorial and create a fitting tribute to honour our police service and fallen policing heroes by visiting www.ukpolicememorial.org