MEMORIALS have been held for PC Andrew Harper ahead of the first anniversary of his death today.

Thames Valley Police officers gathered yesterday for a series of events to mark PC Harper’s death on August 15 last year.

The 28-year-old officer was dragged to his death after he was caught in a crane strap as he tried to stop three thieves fleeing when they stole a quad bike.

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At Newbury Police Station 20 officers gathered at a time outside for two socially distanced memorials with both uniformed and non-uniformed staff attending.

 

Simultaneous services were also held in Abingdon – where his base was, and at the force training centre in Sulhamstead – close to where he was killed.

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At the memorial in Newbury Inspector Al Hawkett led the tributes.

He told the officers: “We have all been deeply affected by Andrew’s death, whether we knew him personally or not.

“The senseless loss of a colleague is hard enough, but being newly married made his death all the more heartbreaking.

“Andrew was a brave young police officer, killed whilst doing the job he loved.”

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Mr Hawkett said there would be ‘no sense of closure’ for the officer’s family and friends, adding: “Andrew’s tragic death is something that will stay with us all forever.”

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The senior officer later read out a poem written by PC Harper’s widow Lissie, before he placed a wreath at the base of a half-mast flag outside the station.

Read more: Lissie launches 'Andrew's Law campaign' 

In the poem Mrs Harper described her husband as a ‘kind and strong without venom or greed’ and said she was lucky to be his wife.

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It said: “The whole world knows your name and the life that was taken.

“Yet its me that feels the pain every time I awaken.

“The friendliest giant, you became known to all.

“Many hearts were broken when they heard of your fall.”

It continued: “They will remember you now, so honest and true.

“King among men, forever dressed in blue.

“You’re a hero now my boy don’t you see.

“The truth is my love, you always were to me, Lissie.”

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PC Harper's police funeral - as it happened.

Reverend Chris Maguire also gave a tribute to the officer.

He said: “Andrew, we remember you in the stories and laughter, the secrets of friendship that we treasure, in the risk of vulnerability, encouragement and the support you offered, we remember you.

“In the depths of our sharing, in our struggling, our caring, our living. We will always remember you.

“As we pause today to remember Andrew, we give thanks for his service and deeply saddened that he lost his life while protecting others.”

In addition to the memorials, officers across the TVP region held a minute’s silence at 11o’clock in his memory.

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