Funeral held for 'thoughtful and caring' police sergeant who died in the line of duty
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The funeral service for Sergeant Graham Saville, the Nottinghamshire officer who died in the line of duty, was held this afternoon (Monday 23 October).
Hundreds of friends and colleagues joined Graham’s family to remember the fallen officer, who died on 29 August.
The service, which took place at Southwell Minster, was led by Major Pamela Ralph-Barratt of the Salvation Army, assisted by the Revd Paul Rattigan.
Graham died after being hit by a train as he tried to help a distressed man in Balderton, near Newark, on 24 August.
The 46-year-old father-of-two died five days later in hospital.
Today’s funeral service included a procession from The Burgage to the Minster, where a Guard of Honour comprising more than 50 of Graham’s policing colleagues formed as the hearse arrived at the cathedral church.
Opening the service, Major Pamela Ralph-Barratt described Graham as “one of a kind” who was "thoughtful and caring".
“He was a team player and an amazing role model. He was respected and always gave people credit when credit was due.”
Moving tributes were also given during the service by members of Graham’s family, as well as PC Matthew Pugsley, who worked alongside Graham at Radford Road Police Station.
Ahead of today’s funeral, Graham’s family said they’d been deeply touched by the messages of support they’ve received since his passing.
“At this tragic time it’s very difficult to find the right words to express the sadness and loss that we feel as a family.
“Graham had a gentle character and genuinely cared. He was dependable, respected, compassionate, supportive, with a quirky sense of humour. These qualities made him an excellent police officer, but also a great person to have in your life in whatever form that took.
“He would never have thought of himself as being brave or a hero, he was a policeman who just got on with what needed to be done and very much loved his job and the challenges he faced every day. He never questioned becoming a police officer and having the opportunity to make a real difference.
“We have been deeply touched by the outpouring of messages of respect and support for Graham and humbled by the generosity of the general public.
“We would like to express our thanks to all of the critical care team at the Queen’s Medical Centre, his colleagues, the ambulance crew that attended and the policing family for their kind support and all they have done for Graham.
“Graham leaves behind a void that can never be filled, but we are immensely proud of everything he has done both personally and professionally. He’ll be in all of our hearts forever and never forgotten.”
Among those in attendance at today’s funeral were many of Graham’s colleagues at Nottinghamshire Police, including response officers at Radford Road and Newark police stations where he worked.
Chief Constable Kate Meynell said the number of officers at the funeral was testament to how well-liked and respected Graham was among his colleagues.
“This has been an extremely difficult time and I would like to thank everyone who came to Southwell Minster today to pay their respects to Graham.
“The loss of such a popular and well-respected colleague has affected all of us, especially those closest to him, and I’d like to share my gratitude and admiration for the incredible strength and resilience officers and police staff have shown over the past couple of months.
“I am also proud of how many colleagues have come together today to stand in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder, in remembering Graham.
“He was an exceptional police officer and we will continue to honour his memory as we work to keep our communities safe.
“As a force we will continue to support Graham’s family and work closely with them to ensure that Graham, his service and sacrifice is never forgotten.”
Graham had started as a response sergeant based at Newark Police Station just a short time before his death.
He started his career with the Metropolitan Police in 2013, before transferring to Nottinghamshire Police in February 2017. The majority of his time at the force was spent as a response officer at Radford Road Police Station.
He was a family man who enjoyed spending quality time with his two young children, wife, and two dogs. He enjoyed mountain biking, running, and coaching his son’s football team.
If you would like to download some of the images taken from the funeral, see below.