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Walter Jack's £4m police memorial plans revealed

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Walter Jack Studio has unveiled its competition-winning proposal for a new £4 million memorial to fallen police officers in Staffordshire

The UK Police Memorial commission – won following a two-stage interview process last year – will create a permanent monument to around 1,400 officers killed serving the country. Individual brass plaques inscribed with the name a fallen officer will also be given to their families.

Expected to complete in late 2018, the installation is planned for a prominent site within the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire. Around £2.5 million has already been raised towards the project’s £4 millon overall cost.

The scheme was announced on Nick Ferrari’s LBC breakfast show last month shortly after PC Keith Palmer died protecting the Palace of Westminster from a terrorist attack.

The announcement came a year after Glenn Howells Architects completed a new £15.7 million remembrance centre at the 60 hectare site.

Designer’s view

The memorial was for the bereaved, for the police family and for the public. But I wanted it to feel especially personal to bereaved families. That was the spur. The tall doorway is about the places we flee from, as the police rush in. The tall brass screen supported within the doorway faces due south and the hundreds of leaf-shaped apertures, representing sacrifice and absence, are gilded on their internal edges- so that the paved space beyond is lit ‘by gilded absence’.

The cutting of the apertures will, of course, yield the same number of brasses. These will be inscribed with the name of a fallen officer and given to the families. So these mini-memorials will be part of the larger memorial, but they will live with families up-and-down the country. I hope this will make our memorial personal to families of those who have lost their lives in Police service.

Beyond the doorway the paved space contains walls inscribed with the names of the 1,400 or so officers whose lives were lost. The large lawned garden is designed for a gathering of 1,500 people, but it is protected by a grassed bank and a ring of trees to form a quiet and contemplative space within the larger landscape of the National Memorial Arboretum.

UK Police Memorial by Walter Jack Studio

UK Police Memorial by Walter Jack Studio

UK Police Memorial by Walter Jack Studio

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Chris Rogers

    A good cause of course but bit confusing as there's already a National Police Memorial, built by Foster and Partners in association with Per Arnoldi in 2004-5 and located on The Mall in London. It emerged from a joint effort by the Police Roll of Honour Trust, founded by retired Lancashire Police Sergeant Anthony Rae, and Michael Winner’s Police Memorial Trust.

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