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A Police memorial in memory of PC Bill Barker was unveiled by the Chief Constable, Lord Lieutenant and PC Barkers’ family Invited guests attended the ceremony this morning (29 June 2012) at the Curwen Park grounds, Workington, where Lord Lieutenant presented Mrs Barker with the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery and a memorial was unveiled in PC Barker’s memory.
PC Barker died on 20 November 2009 when Northside Bridge collapsed following flooding in West Cumbria.
Hazel Barker, PC Barker’s wife said: “Simon, Melissa, Daniel and Emma-Louise and I are very humbled by this wonderful tribute to Bill for their recognition of Bill's bravery and sacrifice.
“There are so many people who have helped to carry us through tragedy and the support we have received is immense. Memorials such as this can never compensate the family's for their loss but, rightfully, recognises the bravery and commitment to duty of officer's who, when other's run in the opposite direction from danger they step forward.
“We are, of course, extremely proud that Bill has been honoured in this way by The Queen. Bill was extremely honoured and privileged to serve in the police and his sacrifice and bravery being recognised in this way is extremely humbling. We, as a family, feel it is right and fitting that we accept the award not only on behalf of Bill but also for all officers who have tragically given their lives during the execution of theirduties.
Lord Lieutenant Sir James Cropper said: “It is my privilege to be able to present to Mrs Barker on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen her Commendation for Bravery to recognise her Husband’s outstanding bravery and sacrifice serving our community in Cumbria.
Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: “The Police Memorial to PC Bill Barker is a tribute to him and the bravery and sacrifice he made in November 2009. He was a dedicated and committed officer who was a great loss to Cumbria Constabulary.
“Today is about the celebration of his life and of the work that Bill carried out for his community. Many of his family, friends and colleagues will be present and have come to share in the celebration as we remember a fellow officer whose brave actions undoubtedly saved the lives of others on that day in question.
“The tribute to him in Curwen Park, which is a central place in Workington, will enable everyone to remember the wonderful and dedicated officer that we all lost on that tragic day and the honour bestowed upon him by the Queen will add to the legacy and to his memory.”