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The National Police Memorial

Seated at Cambridge Green, on the corner of The Mall and Horse Guards Road, directly outside the Old Admiralty Building.

Seated at Cambridge Green, on the corner of The Mall and Horse Guards Road, directly outside the Old Admiralty Building. The site had previously been occupied by an air shaft on the Bakerloo Line of the London Underground.

The National Police Memorial consists of two distinct parts; a black granite clad tablet with a glass cabinet containing a book listing the names of every British police officer killed during arrests or as a result of criminal acts. Alongside that is the tall slender glass pillar emerging from a pool. The glowing light is to echo the blue lamp that once burned outside every police station. The two objects stand on a floor of Portland stone.

The National Police Memorial

The National Police Memorial. Credit: Hazel Baker

 

What is the Police Memorial Trust?

The Police Memorial Trust was formed on the 3 May 1984 by Film Producer Michael Winner who was deeply moved by the death of police officer Yvonne Fletcher in St. James’s Square, He wrote a letter to The Times published on 21 April 1984, suggesting that a memorial be erected.

He wrote ”It would serve to indicate that not everyone in this country takes seeming pleasure in attacking the Police in the execution of their difficult duties, but that most of us regard their conduct and bravery, under a whole series of endless and varied provocations, as demonstrably noble and worthy of our thanks.”

Donations started pouring in from members of the public, members of the Cabinet, MPs. members of the House of Lords, film stars, institutions and many of the biggest businesses in the UK. Michael Winner then realised more than letter writing ought to be done, and so the Police Memorial Trust was formed. The Police Memorial Trust’s first memorial was to Yvonne Fletcher. It was unveiled in St. James’s Square on 1 February 1985.There were a number of obstacles which were needed to be overcome for the memorial to be built. One of those was the location. In Oct 2002 the National Police Memorial was granted planning permission after a 10 yr campaign.

 

The National Police Memorial was designed by Foster & Partners and was unveiled 26 April 2005.

In June 2006 the memorial was awarded the RIBA and Structural Steel Design Award.

Despite concerns over the potential cost, construction of the Memorial eventually came in at £400,000 under budget, part of the reason was due to a number of the contractors concerned carried out their work free of charge.

Hazel Baker is a qualified CIGA Tour Guide who delivers guided walks and private tours in London. View all of Hazel’s walking tours.

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June 10, 2021
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