David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Memorial Service For Tragic Officer

The life of Police Constable David Rathband will be celebrated at Newcastle Cathedral with friends, family and the public to pay tribute.

A Memorial service dedicated to the life of PC David Rathband is to be open to the public, it has been confirmed.

PC Rathband (44) was found hanged at his home in Blyth, Northumberland on February 29, his inquest heard.

A memorial service organised by his family is to be held in St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle on Saturday March 10 - open to “all who want to say farewell”, his brother Darren has said.

The Cathedral has prepared for as many as 800 people to attend the service at 12pm and outside seating will also be provided if necessary.

PC Rathband, who was shot and blinded by Raoul Moat in 2010, will then be buried in his home town of Stafford on March 17.

The Very Reverend Christopher Dalliston, who is presiding, said friends of the family are to deliver eulogies, and the story of PC Rathband’s life was also set to be read out.

He said: “It is very public and a well known story – people have a large amount of respect and sympathy for David Rathband and I think we will have a lot of people turn up.”

He added that the service was being organised by PC Rathband’s brother, Darren and father, Keith.

Northumbria Police has also announced its own memorial service for PC Rathband at a date yet to be confirmed. It said: “On behalf of his widow Kath and their children, all his colleagues will be invited to attend.”

This is set to take place in the week beginning March 18.

Article Courtesy of - Nic Brunetti - www.PoliceOracle.Com

Addendum following today's Memorial Service:

Pc Rathband's children Mia, 13, and Ashley, 19, were at the cathedral, along with actor Tim Healy, Northumbria Police chief constable Sue Sim, police minister Nick Herbert, members of the emergency services, and hundreds of members of the North East public who took the Midlander to their hearts.

He was shot and blinded while unarmed in his patrol car in July 2010 by gunman Raoul Moat.

He was found hanging at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on February 29.

Six pallbearers from the police, fire and ambulance service carried his coffin through the cathedral.

In a heart-breaking speech, his twin said: "I have lost half of me.

"You don't get over it, you just get through it.

"Every day grief puts on a new face.

"My brother said to me 'you're a good brother', I say to my brother 'you're a great brother'.

"It is time to take my brother home."

PC David Rathband's Blue Lamp Foundation was established by him to raise funds for those members of all the Emergency Services injured in the line of duty as a result of a criminal act.

David ran, together with his guide Steve White, in last year's London Marathon on the 17th April, 2011, in aid of his Foundation. He completed this arduous task in a magnificent 6 hours and 49minutes. A giant of a man!

Registered charity number 1138319. He set a target of £10,000 and money raised so far amounts to £18,541.97 (185%) . On JustGiving since Oct 2010.

You can still donate at www.justgiving.com/pc-david-rathband