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Family members and police chiefs pay their respects at special service for Romford Pc murdered 90 years ago

PUBLISHED: 12:15 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:33 28 September 2017

Left to right: (Great Grandson) Mark Alexander, Bernard Mullin, (grandson) Brian and Val Alexander. Photo: Melissa Page

Left to right: (Great Grandson) Mark Alexander, Bernard Mullin, (grandson) Brian and Val Alexander. Photo: Melissa Page

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The sacrifice of a police officer brutally murdered while on duty 90 years ago this week was commemorated with two separate services at the weekend.

Pc George Gutteridge was murdered while on duty on a road between Stapleford Abbotts and Romford on September 27 1927 in a brutal shooting that rocked the nation.

National reporters descended on the small rural village, and countless column inches were devoted to the callous murder of a man who was working to protect the public.

Two men were hanged for the killing, but due to funding difficulties in the late 1920s a memorial plaque was not erected at his local church in Stapleford Abbotts – until last year.

On Saturday, a small group including members of Pc Gutteridge’s family gathered at St Mary the Virgin church, in Church Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, to once again pay their respects to his memory.

Small gathering to mark the 90th Anniversary of PC Gutteridge's death. Photo: Melissa PageSmall gathering to mark the 90th Anniversary of PC Gutteridge's death. Photo: Melissa Page

Prayers were read by Rev Canon Roger Gayler as the congregation, which included representatives from a number of police forces such as Essex Police’s Epping Forest and Brentwood district commander Ch Insp Lewis Basford, honoured Pc Gutteridge’s sacrifice.

Historian Bernard Mullin, who played a pivotal role in getting the memorial plaque erected last year, told the Recorder the celebration was “an appropriate and valuable opportunity” to acknowledge Pc Gutteridge’s sacrifice.

He said: “It was a really great day actually – I think we managed to capture the same gravity as the unveiling of the plaque a year ago and I was really pleased by the turn-out.

“The vicar spoke to me afterwards and said it was a pleasure to have so many people attend such a small service.

Small gathering to mark the 90th Anniversary of PC Gutteridge's death.
The memorial plaque in the church. Photo: Melissa PageSmall gathering to mark the 90th Anniversary of PC Gutteridge's death. The memorial plaque in the church. Photo: Melissa Page

“Obviously this one was a bit special, as it’s been ninety years – some people were talking to me about doing it every year but I’m not too sure about that yet.”

After the church service, a procession was held from St Mary the Virgin to the small roadside monument that marks the spot Pc Gutteridge lost his life.

There, another brief service was held, and a representative from the National Association of Retired Police Office laid a wreath in honour of the tragic event that took place there 90 years before.


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