THE father of a Saddleworth officer murdered in the line of duty took part in a ceremony to mark the construction of a new national police memorial.
Nicola Hughes, a former Saddleworth School pupil from Diggle, was shot alongside colleague Fiona Bone in September 2012.The unarmed officers were killed by career criminal, Dale Cregan, while attending a house in Hattersley.
Eight years on Nicola’s dad, Bryn, and Fiona’s father, Paul Bone, were invited to cut the first piece of earth for a £4.5 million project at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The UK Police Memorial will commemorate about 1,400 police officers and police staff killed on duty across the UK since the formation of the Bow Street Runners in 1749.
Construction work will be completed by the end of the year before being dedicated and open to the public by the Spring of 2021.After the ceremony Mr Hughes said: “It was a pleasure to break the ground for the new police memorial.
“It means so much to the memories of not only my daughter but to the hundreds of police officers who have been killed on duty protecting the public.”
Chair of Trustees, Sir Hugh Orde said: “The National Memorial Arboretum is the place where all our services are remembered throughout the year.
“Yet there is no fitting tribute here that honours those brave men and women from our Police service who have given their lives to protect us all.
“A tribute that is in keeping with the scale of loss that our Police service has suffered over the years. This is the day that we change that.
“When we set out on this ambitious project in 2015 we had no idea how challenging it would be.
“Along the way we have overcome many hurdles and setbacks. But after five years of determination, amazing support and dedicated fundraising we have finally reached the position where construction of the new UK Police Memorial can start.”
The new UK Police Memorial has been designed by Walter Jack. It has been created for both personal acts of reflection by family and friends and major ceremonial events, with lawn space for 1,500 people.
Sir Hugh added: “The last few months have demonstrated to us all that we live in an uncertain world.
“Yet something we can be certain of, is that everyday police officers will go out to patrol our cities, towns and villages, not knowing the dangers that they are likely to face or confront.
“Sadly, there are some that won’t return home at the end of their shift. Their courage and sacrifice will now be commemorated and remembered forever here at the National Memorial Arboretum.”
Find out further details by visiting: www.ukpolicememorial.org
• The lives of Nicola and Fiona are also commemorated at the National Police Memorial in London. It lists every officer killed in the course of duty in the UK.
The memorial takes the form of a black granite clad tablet with glass chamber containing a book listing the names of those killed, the pages of which are turned every day by the Police Memorial Trust.
Nicola’s father Bryn has previously written ‘An Extraordinary Sacrifice’, a book which charts his daughter’s life from the joy of her birth to the terrible circumstances of her death. He also set up the