20th Jul, 2019

West Midlands Police remember fallen heroes as new roll of honour unveiled

Sarah Mason 26th Feb, 2018

THE FALLEN heroes of West Midlands Police have been immortalised on a new roll of honour.

The names of 112 officers and police staff now adorn the wall of police headquarters in a dedicated area of remembrance.

Relatives of those killed as a result of their public service joined senior officers at a service of dedication led by Force Chaplain Major Vic Kennedy of the Salvation Army.

The new wood and glass board replaces an incomplete list of fallen officers which hung in Lloyd House, Birmingham prior to its refurbishment in 2014.

Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: “For the first time we now have the details of all officers and staff from the forces which amalgamated to form what we now know as West Midlands Police.

“Volunteer researchers from our museum have scoured thousands of records spanning 204 years of local policing history to uncover the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. All are now remembered on this beautiful piece of locally produced work.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson was guest of honour at the unveiling ceremony.

He said: “It was a pleasure to unveil our new roll of honour to the families and friends of former police officers.

“This new roll of honour is a recognition of the brave officers who have lost their lives protecting us. It is a poignant reminder of the sacrifice that police officers have made to keep communities safe.”

The board was part funded by charitable donations from the West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund and Police Federation.

It includes officers from: Birmingham Night Watch; Wolverhampton Night Watch; Birmingham Parks Police; Wolverhampton Borough Police; Dudley Borough Police; Birmingham City Police; West Midlands Constabulary; Coventry City Police; Warwickshire and Coventry Constabulary; and West Midlands Police.

The first officer on the roll of honour is Watchman Robert Twyford, 54, of Birmingham Night Watch.

He died on November 22, 1814 as a result of injuries and the lasting effects of a gunshot wound to the chest sustained in 1806.

The youngest to appear on the roll is 16-year-old Thomas Roland Lowry, a messenger with Coventry City Police. He was killed on November 14, 1940 when a bomb landed on the air raid shelter where he was taking refuge.

At 68, retired PC Keith Malcolm Dobson is the oldest to be remembered. The former firearms officer died as a result of mesothelioma linked to his exposure to asbestos while training.

The first woman – of only three – to feature is Mary Jean Baldwin of Birmingham City Police’s women’s police service. Mary died at the age of 34 on June 26, 1959 as a result of a blood clot caused by an on-duty fall.

The most recent addition to the roll of honour is 48-year-old PC Michael Chapman who died on April 14, 2014 at Stechford police station after a heart attack.

In October 2017 families of WMP’s fallen had their say on a roll of honour where manufacturers had significantly misinterpreted the force’s design. Like the Chief Constable, the families called for something more traditional and long-lasting. Their comments led to this new design.

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