Appeal for relatives of fallen police to attend service

Pictures of three police officers, PCs Barrett, Wells and Archer Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Some of the officers were pictured in an earlier police publication about deaths in service

Relatives of police officers who fell victim to the likes of a 111-year-old mystery drowning and a Victorian murder are being sought.

Families of six Leicestershire officers who died on duty are wanted for a special ceremony.

Two other officers involved died in road crashes and the sixth died of a heart attack at a funeral.

Current officers and staff will cycle to a service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on 30 July.

Up to 30 cyclists will wear a bracelet bearing the name of a fallen officer and this will be presented to relatives at the ceremony.

Image copyright Mat Fascione
Image caption The canal where PC Wells was found retained its Victorian atmosphere into the 21st Century

PC Thomas George Barrett, 36, was found beaten to death in a ditch on 16 August 1886, in Breedon-on-the-Hill.

PC William Henry Wells, 31, was found in the Leicester (now Grand Union) canal on 21 November 1906.

He had been seen just hours earlier walking towards the canal, which was not part of his beat.

It was never established what he was doing there or even whether a crime had taken place.

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Riders will wear bracelets marked with the names of fallen officers

Det Con Edwin Trump, 26, was killed on 20 November 1940 by a direct hit on his incident post during an air raid.

Sgt Thomas Biggins, 51, died on 9 June 1879 after suffering heart failure during a police funeral.

PC John Percy Newell, 28, was killed on 27 January 1956 in a motorcycle accident.

PC Nicolas Edward M. Archer, 28, died on 22 April 1984, when he was hit by a car while escorting a large crowd at night.

Dominique Allen, who is behind the appeal, said: "Some of the officers died a long time ago so tracing relatives may be hard but we would really like to find as many as we can."

The cyclists will leave Force Headquarters in Enderby on 28 July and cycle the 180 miles to the arboretum in aid of the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity.

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