Tyne & Wear

New memorial to Alnwick police officer killed in 1875

Headstone of Sgt John Hately Image copyright Police Memorial
Image caption Campaigners raised £3,000 for the new headstone

A memorial stone to a police officer killed in a Northumberland riot more than 140 years ago has been renewed.

Sgt John Hately, 38, was struck by a stone during a disturbance in Alnwick in March 1875 and died at the scene.

Colleagues from the then Northumberland County Constabulary raised cash for a headstone at Alnwick Cemetery.

Over the years it became eroded due to the weather, and was unreadable. Now it has been replaced and rededicated after a fundraising campaign.

Reports at the time said Sgt Hately and several other officers had been surrounded outside the Angel Inn pub while trying to take a man into custody.

Sgt Hately was struck by a stone thrown from the crowd and later died. A subsequent post mortem examination said he died from heart failure.

'Fantastic support'

A group of retired Northumbria Police officers sought help from various organisations including the Police Roll of Honour Trust, Police Federation and the National Association of Retired Police Officers, to raise £3,000 to replace the headstone.

It has now been rededicated, with current chief constable Winton Keenen saying those who had died protecting others should be remembered.

He said: "It is an honour to be able to pay my respects to Sgt John Hately and I'm privileged to say I serve with many great officers, staff and volunteers who, like him, put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities."

David Acheson, Roll of Honour Trust secretary, said: "We are proud to have led the restoration of Sgt Hately's gravestone.

"Honouring our fallen colleagues, regardless of how long ago they may have died, is of critical importance to us.

"The support of local retired officers, the Northumbria Police Federation and indeed Northumbria Police has been fantastic and we're very grateful."

Bob Watson, secretary of the Northumbria Branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, added: "No matter how long ago he died, John Hately is still one of the 'Police Family', and deserves the honour shown from serving, retired officers and the public alike."

Sgt Hately left a widow and eight young children.

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