Live updates

Wreaths laid at remembrance service for police officers

Wreaths have been laid at a remembrance service for police officers who have died in the line of duty at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

families laying wreaths
Families of officers who died in the line of duty arrive to lay flowers at a special service to remember them Credit: ITV News / Phil Brewster
warwickshire police wreath
A wreath laid by Warwickshire Police in remembrance of former colleagues Credit: ITV News / Phil Brewster
leicestershire police wreath
Leicestershire Police wreath laid at service to remember police officers who've died in the line of duty Credit: ITV News / Phil Brewster
west midlands police wreath
West Midlands Police remember former colleagues who've died Credit: ITV News / Phil Brewster

Police remembered at National Memorial Arboretum

wreath
Wreaths sent by various police forces for the COPS Unity Tour service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Credit: ITV News / Phil Brewster

Around 80 cyclists and 20 support staff have arrived at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, after setting off from the Mall in London on Friday, to remember police officers who have died in the execution of their duties across the country.

The riders are made up of police officers from across the UK and family members who have lost loved ones.

The arrival coincides with the annual remembrance service organised by Care of Police Survivors (COPS).

Each cyclist completed the ride in memory of a fallen police officer and is raising money on behalf of UK Care of Police Survivors which supports families after the death of an officer.

Advertisement

Hundreds pay respects at National Memorial Arboretum

Hundreds of people attended a ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire today.

The names of those who have been killed in recent conflicts are carved on the wall around the memorial.

Chuck Hall, a veteran of 20 years service, said:

I've come from Derby today but actually I've come from Canada, to Derby, for today... I've come to remember my buddies... I served 20 years.

Bert Hayward served in Korea and said:

I come here three, four, five times a year to pay my respects for those that have gone and those that are still serving.

A motorcycle group called Ride To The Wall has raised more than £300,000 to help with the upkeep of the arboretum which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Soldier's mother: Arboretum closure would break hearts

A woman who lost her son in Basra says the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is too important a place to get rid of, and it would break her heart if it closed.

Carol Jones was instrumental in getting the Basra Memorial moved from Iraq to the Arboretum. She says she prefers to go to the memorial in Staffordshire than to her son John's grave.

Advertisement

MP: Memorial Arboretum cuts an 'embarrassment'

A Staffordshire MP has criticised a decision by the Ministry of Defence to cut funding to the National Memorial Arboretum, calling it an "embarrassment".

While the MoD says it extended funding which was due to be cut altogether last year, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant argues that it's still not enough. He says the Arboretum gets a fraction of the funding given to other memorials - despite attracting much higher visitor numbers.

MP slams cuts to National Memorial Arboretum

General view of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire Credit: ITV News Central

There are calls for the government to re-think its decision to cut funding for the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The MP for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant, has called the removal of the grant a national disgrace, saying:

> "This is an embarrassment and a national disgrace. I shall work with the NMA to pile the pressure on the Ministry of Defence into supplying adequate funding... The National Memorial Arboretum and the Armed Forces Memorial are an iconic centre for national remembrance."

The arboretum contains the National Armed Forces Memorial dedicated to the 16,000 servicemen and women who have died since the Second World War.

New steam engine 'blessed' at Arboretum

The 'blessing' ceremony Credit: ITV News Central

'The Unknown Warrior', an LMS Patriot class steam locomotive under construction as a memorial to the fallen, has been 'blessed' at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Members of the Army, Navy and RAF were present, alongside the company behind the engine, organisers of the Warley National Model Railway exhibition, and rail enthusiasts from the general public.

The locomotive in front of the memorial Credit: ITV News Central

'The Unknown Warrior' arrives in the Midlands

A steam locomotive, mostly built in the Midlands, has arrived at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to be dedicated.

The engine, named 'The Unknown Warrior', has still not been completed, but it has travelled on a lorry from Wales, where it was assembled.

'The Unknown Warrior' arriving at the ceremony Credit: ITV News Central

The locomotive is to be the only LMS Patriot class engine in existence, after none of the originals was saved.

It is now to travel to Birmingham's NEC, to take centre stage at this weekend's Warley National Model Railway Exhibition.

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories