Yesterday (Sunday, September 30) was the National Police Memorial Day and is marked by an annual service to remember police officers who have been killed or died in the line of duty.
The service rotates around the United Kingdom and its timing coincides with the Sunday closest to Saint Michael’s day, who is the patron said of police officers. This year, the service was held in Belfast.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford and PC Tom Hill represented Nottinghamshire Police at the service together.
Craig Guildford said: “Days like this are really important to police force’s across the country to take a moment to remember fallen colleagues and recognise the dedication, courage and ultimate sacrifice they made in protecting the public.
“This year Tim and I will be attending on behalf of Nottinghamshire Police to pay our respects to all our fallen colleagues who have died or been killed on duty together with their family members who are left behind.”
Christopher McDonald, a 19-year-old Probationary Constable, was the first officer of Nottinghamshire Police to be killed in the line of duty and was honored on the day.
He had only served in the force for eight months when on May, 17, 1978 he was killed with his own truncheon and a brick after chasing a suspected burglar.
The enthusiastic young officer, from Skegby, had responded to an alarm sounding at a jeweller's shop in Central Avenue, in Worksop town centre during his night shift.
At the scene he saw the suspects and chased them towards the River Ryton.
Whilst other officers were on their way, PC McDonald radioed in to say he was in contact with the suspects. But after sending a further message of their whereabouts at 12.28am nothing further was heard from him.
A search was launched and his body was found later that morning in the river, just 200 yards from the scene of the burglary.
Later the same day 20-year-old Peter Albert Loveday was arrested and subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford added: “Earlier this week, I paid tribute to our Nottinghamshire colleagues, PC Christopher McDonald and PC Ged Walker who both made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. At every passing out parade when the final salute is taken at HQ with all the families looking on next to their memorial stones, I always think of them and hope they’ve smiled at some of the drill.”
Born in Ollerton, PC Ged Walker was on duty in Bulwell on January 7, 2003 when he was dragged 100 yards by a stolen taxi as he attempted to remove the keys from the ignition.
He died in hospital two days after the incident from serious head injuries.
PC Walker, a dog handler with the force, is survived by his widow Tracy and their two children.
David Parfitt, 26, was convicted of PC Walker’s manslaughter in December 2003 and sentenced to 13 years in prison.