A salute to fallen officers

BUNDABERG man George Irwin fought back tears yesterday as he remembered his son Constable Brett Irwin, who was killed while on duty in 2007.

Mr Irwin, and Const Irwin's brother Malcolm Irwin, were joined by hundreds of others who paid their respects to the fallen members of the thin blue line, at a Police Remembrance Day service at the Bundaberg Uniting Church yesterday morning.

Const Irwin was shot as he tried to issue an arrest warrant in the Brisbane suburb Keperra, on July 18, 2007.

“It's good to come here and see that people remember him, and the other police officers who have passed away,” Malcolm Irwin said.

“It was a very moving service.”

Constable Irwin was one of 137 police officers honoured at the service - along with Constable Thomas Dedman from Childers.

Const Dedman was a Queensland Police officer for six years in Brisbane and Childers before he enlisted in the Australian Army on July 21, 1915.

The 34-year-old served with the 12th Battalion Australian Infantry for just over 12 months before he was killed in Pozieres, France, in July 1916.

The Queensland Police officer was appointed Corporal when he arrived in Egypt and was selected to join the 12th Battalion which was a combination of experienced soldiers from Gallipoli and fresh reinforcements.

In early July 1916, Const Dedman moved to the Somme in the area of Sausage Valley at Contalmaison, France.

He was killed on July 23 or 24 in battle at Pozieres.

Constable Dedman was one of 30 Queensland Police officers to die during World War I.

At the time Queensland Police officers were not required to resign from their position before they enlisted and were considered to be on active duty.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said the day was the most important on the police calendar as police paid tribute to the 137 Queensland officers who had lost their lives in the line of duty.

“We are blessed, fortunate and grateful here in Queensland that this year we did not have any Queensland police officers killed in the execution of their duty,” Mr Atkinson said at a service in Brisbane.

“Today we thank, we recognise, we remember, we express our gratitude to those who have given their lives providing for that safety and security and for providing for the quality of life we have.

“On behalf of all of you, I thank them.”

The Bundaberg service was led by Reverend Ray Nutley, with readings by Inspector Kev Guteridge, Detective Sergeant Mary Waugh, Pastor Al Loder and others.

Floral tributes were laid and candles lit to remember officers who have died in the line of duty during the past year.

The names of the fallen included New Zealand's Senior Constable Leonard Snee who was also killed by a gunman, and nine officers working in Fiji.

A lone bugler played The Requiescant, which was written by a Victorian police officer in 1987.

Today we thank, we recognise, we remember Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson

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