Lest we forget, Ben Fund joins Force in remembering fallen heroes
An updated Roll of Honour was unveiled on Monday evening (19 September) to mark the deaths of over a hundred West Midlands Police officers who died in service.
Families from across the country were tracked down and joined the Chief, Police Crime Commissioner and police colleagues at the Lord Knight’s Suite to see the new Roll of Honour and to watch a special video presentation remembering their loved ones.
Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman gave a moving account of his own personal loss. On 27 June 1966 his father, PC Kerim Blakeman, a serving officer with Birmingham City Police, collapsed and died pushing a van which was causing an obstruction. He was 35 and died before his wife, who was pregnant at the time, gave birth to his second son, Kerry.
Kerry went on to explain the tremendous support WMP Benevolent Fund offered his Mum after his father’s death. He spoke warmly of the Fund and recalled fond memories of being taken to police family gatherings organised by the Benevolent Fund where copious amounts of jelly and ice cream were consumed by him and his older brother.
The evening came to a close with a fitting bugle call of the Last Post.
The Roll of Honour will now move to its new home at the Police Training Centre at Tally Ho! and a special digital version will be displayed in the main reception area of the newly refurbished Police Headquarters, Lloyd House.
Roz Payne, Fund secretary, who attended the evening said, “The Fund was honoured to support such an important event and after hearing Kerry share his personal experiences of the Benevolent Fund it shows just how important our work is.”