A brand new memorial to honour the lives of all those who have served the police with Hampshire Constabulary has been unveiled at the Force’s Support and Training Headquarters.
The garden, which features a Hampshire rose sculpted fountain, prairie-style planting and seating areas, was officially opened during a special ceremony on Thursday, 23 May by Lady Avril Hoddinott, the widow of former Chief Constable Sir John Hoddinott.
The project to bring this idea to reality began in 2015 and was led by a steering group consisting of Constabulary officers and staff, the families of officers and staff who have lost their lives, the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner, Sparsholt College, the Southampton Police Club Trust Fund, the Police Federation and Unison. The garden has been funded by Hampshire Constabulary, the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Southampton Police Club Trust Fund
Garden design students from Sparsholt College in Winchester were invited to present concepts to Hampshire Constabulary as part of their academic studies.
Three finalists were considered by a group of judges including Hampshire Constabulary Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane, Sparsholt College lecturer Chris Prior, and Detective Superintendent Paul Barton, representing the Southampton Police Club Trust Fund.
The winner was a design created by former Sparsholt College student Chris Hull who now owns and runs his own landscape design company.
Chris Hull's design was favoured because it felt welcoming and joyful with a blend of private space. The judges liked the inclusion of a cover in case of any inclement weather, the keen lines in the central part of the design, its scale, and the concept of water.
The memorial is situated in the grounds of Victoria House at Hampshire Constabulary’s Southern Support and Training Headquarters where it enhances an existing memorial garden.
Inspector Sarah Clapham, who led the project, said: “The garden looks fantastic! I’m immensely proud to have been involved in bringing Chris’s winning design to life, and to have been able to give officers, staff and families a fitting place for remembering friends and loved ones. I would like to thank the members of the Steering Group for their hard work and support since we began the project in 2015.”
Michael Lane, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I was delighted to be at the unveiling of the memorial that marks the service and sacrifice of our colleagues.
“Their family and descendants expressed a desire for a more private space and in response I am pleased that the new memorial garden is so fitting and a peaceful tribute that provides space for reflection and commemorates all the officers and staff of Hampshire Constabulary who have lost their lives.
“It is important to me that we recognise those people that run towards danger to protect us, and those that support our police service in everything they do. I am very proud to have played my role in selecting the design and providing funding to make this project a reality.”
Reverend Dom Jones, Force Chaplain said: ““I was honoured and proud to have conducted a service of blessing and dedication for our memorial garden; this space which has been slowly in the making over the years, has now become a place of beauty, peace and remembrance. This land, which has, since 1990, provided a home for the Hampshire Constabulary can offer us a place to remember our fallen and be a place of rest, reflection and remembering.”