The new National Police Memorial has been unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen after a decade-long campaign by film director Michael Winner. The memorial, designed by Foster and Partners, takes the form of a black granite clad tablet with a glass chamber set into its face containing a book listing the names of every British policeman and policewoman killed in the course of duty.
Alongside, a tall slender pillar of glass emerges from a reflecting pool, glowing to echo the blue lamp that once burned outside every police station. The two objects stand on a floor of Portland stone, forming an austere and contemplative composition.
Sited at Cambridge Green at the junction of the Mall and Horse Guards Road the memorial setting regenerates and brings dignity to a long neglected corner of this important route between Trafalgar Square and Westminster through Horseguards and St James' Park.
Lord Foster said " It is a huge privilege to have been part of the realisation of this memorial. I hope its simplicity will bring dignity to this forgotten corner and create an appropriate setting along this heritage route."
The realisation of the memorial follows a lengthy campaign by the film director Michael Winner, who founded the Police Memorial Trust after the death of PC Yvonne Fletcher during the siege of the Libyan Embassy in 1984. He said "I was absolutely determined that the police have this memorial. They are fighting a war and, unlike the other services, their war has no beginning and no end."
Carved into the black granite memorial above the glass chamber is the Metropolitan Police crest with the inscription "Police Memorial Trust". The other three sides of the enclosure are covered almost entirely in creeper to blend in with the adjacent creeper covered citadel. The pages of the Book of Remembrance listing the names of fallen officers will be turned every two weeks, when new names will be on display. Officers who have recently been killed will have their names presented on a page of their own.
The wall of stacked low-iron annealed glass sheets is secured with stainless steel ties and lit at night by blue filtered fibre optic cables fitted into its base creating a soft blue glow. A water feature flows around the perimeter, gently falling into a narrow weir around the glass wall. The two objects thus provide a degree of shelter so that those visiting the memorial may do so in an appropriate setting for contemplation.
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