joint memorial garden unveiled in honour of firefighters, police officers and
staff who died serving the public in Nottinghamshire has been welcomed by
families who have lost loved ones.
The garden is an integral part of
the new joint police and fire headquarters being built at Sherwood Lodge, was
formally unveiled at a ceremony on Friday 16 October.
Set in newly landscaped grounds
at the heart of the new joint campus, the garden contains two memorial stones
and a memorial wall containing the names of all the people from both
organisations who have died in public service.
The names of 116 men and women
who have died in service have been added, with entries dating all the way back to
the 19th century.
A socially distanced unveiling
ceremony held Friday was attended by senior representatives of both services,
as well as family members and civic dignitaries. This included chaplains from
both the fire and police who gave dedications at the service.
Chief Fire Officer John Buckley
said: “It is very humbling to be able to represent the Service and to honour
those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of others. Thankfully, it
is rare for a firefighter to lose their life in the line of duty, but when they
do, it is devastating for their families, friends, colleagues and wider
emergency service family.
“It is hoped that this memorial
garden will provide some comfort to families and friends and serve as a fitting
tribute to their dedication and courage, ensuring that their sacrifice will
never be forgotten.”
Chief Constable Craig Guildford
added: “This memorial is a poignant and permanent reminder of the risks faced
by police officers and firefighters every time they go to work in the service
of the public.
“Its position at the centre of
the new joint headquarters is appropriate not only because it reminds us of a
joint history of service and sacrifice; but also, because it will serve as a
daily reminder to staff of both organisations that our work is ultimately about
the same thing – putting ourselves in harm’s way in order to keep the public
Professor Dame Elizabeth Fradd,
High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, attended the event as a representative of The
Queen. She said: “I am delighted to have been invited to the opening of
this memorial garden. I hope it will provide a place of peace and reflection
for our busy police and fire service staff.
“Over recent months they have had
to find additional personal strengths and skills to manage situations in even
more complex circumstances than usual. I am extremely grateful to them all, as
I know the public are too.”
They include PC Robert Stamford,
who died on 21 January 1850 as he was escorting an escaped prisoner, and
Firefighter Clifford Fardon, who was killed by a bomb as crews and pumps from
Nottingham rushed to support colleagues in Coventry during the devastating air
raid on 14 November 1940.
Other names include PC
Christopher McDonald, who was murdered in May 1978 after chasing a suspected
burglar, PC Ged Walker, who was fatally injured on 7 January 2003 as he
attempted to arrest a suspect, and Firefighter James Quickenden, who died on 22
March 1999 after collapsing during a training exercise.
PC Walker’s widow Tracy Walker
said: “This memorial garden is something I have wanted to see for a long time
and I am delighted that it has now been completed. Its position at the centre
of the new joint headquarters is appropriate because I know it will be seen by
so many staff and visitors in the years to come. It is also fitting that it
remembers all those members of the police family who have died in service, as
well as on active duty.
“I really want the garden to
become a place of reflection and learning for future generations of employees
from both organisations who will take time to look at the names on the plaques
and remember them through private thoughts or discussion between other
colleagues. Each plaque will generate a memory for someone who visits and a
permanent reminder for future generations.”