Memorial to murdered PC who 'set standard for modern policing'

Assistant Chief Con David Hartley beside the memorialAssistant Chief Con David Hartley beside the memorial
Assistant Chief Con David Hartley beside the memorial
A POLICE officer shot and killed in the line of duty more than a century ago has had a memorial stone commemorating his life unveiled in his former "patch".

PC John Kew died after being shot by Frederick Backhouse one half of the notorious Backhouse Brothers, who lived on PC Kew’s patch in Swinton.

The brothers had reportedly been threatening people in the local area with a revolver and PC Kew went to their house to search them.

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He was shot on July 10, 1900, and died a day later from his injuries, aged 29 – the last officer murdered on duty in South Yorkshire.

His sacrifice was commemorated with the unveiling of a memorial stone in Kew Court by The Police Memorial Trust, which was founded by the late film director Michael Winner after the tragic death of PC Yvonne Fletcher in St James’ Square in London in 1984.

Since Mr Winner’s death, his wife Geraldine has continued his work as chair of the trust and  over the past 39 years  55 memorials have been erected to remember police officers killed in the line of duty.

Mrs Winner, who gave a speech prior to unveiling the memorial, said: “The Police Memorial Trust are honoured to place our memorial to the service, bravery and sacrifice of police constable John Kew here in South Yorkshire.

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“It is absolutely right that the landscape of Swinton should change just a little – it is a fitting place for those who live, work or visit the memorial to remember the officer for generations to come.”

South Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Con David Hartley also paid tribute to the late officer, noting how he “set the standard for modern day policing” with his sacrifice.

ACC Hartley, who laid a wreath at the memorial on behalf of South Yorkshire Police, said: “This memorial stone serves as a constant reminder of PC Kew’s sacrifice and it will allow us to remember and commemorate his courage as a serving police officer in protecting the people of this county.

“His bravery and service will never be forgotten.”

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