We will remember them – South Wales Police holds annual remembrance service to honour the fallen
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South Wales Police paid tribute to the fallen today with its annual multifaith remembrance service.
The moving service was held at police headquarters in Bridgend, led by Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan and officiated by Police Chaplain, Rev. Robert Coyne.
They were joined by Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael, colleagues and loved ones of some of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country, whether on the battlefield or while in public service duties.
Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said:
“Today, like many tens of thousands of people across the UK, we think of those who have seen, and indeed, are still seeing conflict around the world. We all too often see these awful events unfolding on our television screens and on social media. This serves to remind us of their far-reaching consequences and the tragic loss of life.
“This is such a poignant occasion, and it is right that we continue to show our respect and gratitude for those who have fallen in service, not only here, but across the country. It is ceremonies such as this that bring together our communities, to show our humanity and to strengthen our cohesion in times of turmoil and unrest.
“The sacrifice that members of our military, the police service and indeed our colleagues across all emergency and public services made to keep our communities safe demonstrates their enormous courage, their dedication, and their loyalty to service.
“They will never be forgotten.”
Among those remembered during the service were a father and son who never knew each other but whose lives and ultimate sacrifice were mirrored.
Herbert Sidney Bennett's name can be found on the Cardiff City Police Memorial Plaque at Cardiff Bay Police Station. He was born in 1919 to Herbert senior and Gertrude Bennett.
Herbert Senior served as a Lieutenant with the South Wales Borders during the First World War when he was fatally wounded in France – just weeks before Armistice.
His son went on to join Cardiff City Police in 1938, where he served as city constable.
During the Second World War, he served in Bomber Command of the Royal Air Force.
On December 2, 1943, he was a Flight Sergeant and the bomb aimer on a Lancaster aircraft when it was shot down over Germany during a raid on Berlin. Six members of the crew, including Herbert, were killed. There was just one survivor who was captured and became a prisoner of war.
As they were separated by war in life, father and son now rest far from each other, in graves cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Germany and in France.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said:
“In our Services of Remembrance we explain why we are there with the words ‘lest we forget’ and it is important for this to be about individual men and women whose lives were cut short through the brutality and tragedy of war.
“Still, today, many people, including in communities across South Wales, are affected by conflicts around the world, and we join them in hoping and praying for peace on all fronts and an end to their suffering.
“Ceremonies such as this bring people together as we remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the interests of those they left behind.
“This day of reflection reminds us of the precious relationships that we have with our loved ones, colleagues and friends.
“We remember those from South Wales Police who have died in the line of duty, and we think of their families. Today is an act of remembrance but a moment of celebration too, of their lives and service to the communities of South Wales.”