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Memorial unveiled to murdered Romford Pc

PUBLISHED: 17:30 26 September 2016

A memorial plaque to murdered Pc George Gutteridge was unveiled at the St Mary the Virgin Church, Stapleford Abbotts, on Saturday.

A memorial plaque to murdered Pc George Gutteridge was unveiled at the St Mary the Virgin Church, Stapleford Abbotts, on Saturday.

Archant

A long-awaited memorial plaque to a Pc murdered in the line of duty 89 years ago today was finally unveiled this weekend.

A memorial plaque to murdered Pc George Gutteridge was unveiled at the St Mary the Virgin Church, Stapleford Abbotts, on Saturday. A memorial plaque to murdered Pc George Gutteridge was unveiled at the St Mary the Virgin Church, Stapleford Abbotts, on Saturday.

Pc George Gutteridge was murdered while on duty on a road between Stapleford Abbotts and Romford on September 26 1927 in a brutal shooting that rocked the nation.

Two men were hanged for the killing, but due to funding difficulties in the late 1920s a memorial plaque was never erected at his local church in Stapleford Abbotts.

On Saturday, however, that oversight was finally corrected when former police inspector Martyn Lockwood, who has written a book on Pc Gutteridge’s murder, unveiled a plaque at St Mary the Virgin church, in Church Lane, Stapleford Abbotts.

Now hanging on the north wall under a picture of the policeman, it reads: “In memory of Pc George William Gutteridge, murdered on 27th September 1927 whilst on duty upholding the law and protecting the community of Stapleford Abbotts.”

A memorial plaque to murdered Pc George Gutteridge was unveiled at the St Mary the Virgin Church, Stapleford Abbotts, on Saturday. A memorial plaque to murdered Pc George Gutteridge was unveiled at the St Mary the Virgin Church, Stapleford Abbotts, on Saturday.

Historian Bernard Mullin has worked tirelessly to make sure Pc Gutteridge’s life is remembered, and in the moments before the plaque’s official unveiling spoke to those assembled at the church, including those members of the Gutteridge family alive today.

He said: “I have a personal stake in this, my mother lived in Stapleford Abbotts, and Pc Gutteridge was protecting her on the day that he died. I would like to thank him for his service to the entire community.

“It’s been a long road getting to this point and it couldn’t have happened without the support of the whole community, the church, the Recorder and the family of George Gutteridge.”

Speaking after the unveiling ceremony, which also featured a prayer from Rev Roger Gayler, Mr Mullin revealed how proud he was to have played a part in ensuring the story of Pc George Gutteridge will forever be commemorated.

He said: “It’s a fantastic relief to know that it’s up securely now and that the unveiling has gone well.

“I was quite nervous getting up to speak, but fortunately it went well. There’s been a great turnout and I’m very thankful to both the people of Stapleford Abbotts and to the representatives of the different police forces who have given us their time today.”

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