New memorial to honour members of North Yorkshire’s police and fire services
An obelisk in memory of all fallen officers, staff and volunteers from both services is now the centrepiece of the rejuvenated memorial garden and was unveiled at the annual memorial service which took place on Sunday 20 October 2019.
The obelisk was funded by some of the proceeds from the sale of “AJ1”, the registration number of the first ever police vehicle in North Yorkshire, which was sold at auction earlier this year.
It has taken the place of the historic memorial stones on the advice of a stone mason who recommended placing the stones undercover to prevent deterioration. The original stones will remain on display but kept safely out of the elements.
In addition to the installation of the obelisk, the memorial garden also received a make-over thanks to Northdale Horticulture, a local, work-based training centre for adults with learning or physical disabilities, who carried out the landscaping work free of charge and also donated materials for the garden.
Plants and hedges were also donated by Sam Turners in Northallerton and Hills Plant Centre in Stokesley, and gravel for the work was donated by J T Atkinson Builders Merchants. Officers, staff and volunteers also gave their time to help with the rejuvenation of the garden.
The memorial service was held by the force’s volunteer chaplain, the Reverend Philip Rogerson and lay minister, Julia Jones, and attended by officers, staff, volunteers, the families of deceased members of North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner also attended the poignant service. She said:
“Today is an important day. We are together remembering the selfless police officers and firefighters who have put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and keep us safe.
“It is very hard to find the right words, especially surrounded by the friends, families and colleagues of those who have lost loved ones, but I thank them on behalf of us all in North Yorkshire and York.
“We also have a new memorial as a permanent symbol of the sacrifice they have made. The garden has been redesigned to create a space for remembrance and reflection in our quieter moments, every day of the year. These improvements have been funded from the sale of the heritage number plate AJ1, which seems fitting.
“Finally, this is my last memorial service as North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and I’d like to express my sincerest thanks to the firefighters and officers who have and continue to act selflessly on all our behalf’s.”
Chief Constable Lisa Winward added:
“My thanks go to all the organisations that have donated their time and materials to enable us to provide a fitting tribute to our fallen staff and volunteers and a place for quiet reflection.
“We’re also honoured to stand alongside our North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service colleagues now that the garden serves as a joint memorial to both emergency services.
“Every day police and fire and rescue officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect our communities. Sadly, some pay the ultimate sacrifice. We must never forget them, or the dangers, past and present that they confront every time they put on their uniform.”
Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie said
“Many thanks to everyone who created this joint memorial garden. It’s a fitting tribute to fire service and police colleagues who have died during the course of their work and importantly provides a quiet space for us all alongside their family and friends”
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently relocating to Alverton Court as part of the North Yorkshire Enable project which aims to allow both services to share core functions to help cut costs and pave the way for greater collaboration.