PC Christopher McDonald was only 19-years-old when he lost his life bravely trying to apprehend multiple burglary suspects in Worksop.
His relatives gathered at his memorial stone today at Nottinghamshire Police and Fire Joint Headquarters to remember his life.
Supported by Assistant Chief Constable Steven Cooper and representatives from the Nottinghamshire Police Federation, PC McDonald’s family laid a memorial wreath in his memory.
Assistant Chief Constable Cooper said: “PC McDonald made the ultimate sacrifice in his heroic attempts to uphold the law and bring criminals to justice.
“More than four decades later we are proud to gather on this day every year to remember a life and a policing career cut so tragically short.
“Whilst much has changed in officer safety since the 1970s, what happened on this day 44 years ago should still serve as a reminder about the potential dangers all police officers face when they go out on patrol to serve and protect the public.”
PC McDonald was killed on May 17 1978 as he was on night patrol in Worksop.
He responded to an alarm sounding at a jeweller’s shop on Central Avenue during a night shift, chasing the suspects towards the River Ryton.
PC McDonald radioed colleagues to say he was in contact with the suspects, but after sending a message of their whereabouts nothing further was heard from him.
In a subsequent struggle with a suspect, the young officer suffered serious head injuries and his body was found in the river the following day.
Albert Loveday, aged 20, was later convicted of his murder and was jailed for life.
In 1980, PC McDonald was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.
On this day last year, a new memorial stone to PC McDonald was unveiled outside Worksop Library after a successful public fundraising campaign by a local officer.
All other officers who died in the line of duty are remembered in a memorial garden at Police and Fire Joint Headquarters.