Tributes paid to murdered Gorleston PC

RELATIVES and descendants of murdered Gorleston police officer Charles Alger gathered in bright sunshine yesterday to pay their respects to him, 100 years to the day of his brutal death.

RELATIVES and descendants of murdered Gorleston police officer Charles Alger gathered in bright sunshine yesterday to pay their respects to him, 100 years to the day of his brutal death.

From the triplet great-great grand children of PC Alger to his modern day counterparts at Yarmouth police station, the final moments of the 37-year-old officer were shared and remembered at emotional scenes in Gorleston cemetery.

PC 37 Alger was killed on August 18, 1909 after he was blasted to death with a shotgun wielded by ratcatcher Thomas Allen. He had been responding to a report of a violent disturbance in St Andrew's Road.

The father of four is the only Norfolk police officer to be murdered while on duty at the time.


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For Det Con Paul Rawling, the remembrance service held personal significance as he had a direct link to his predecessor, having also worn the number 37 badge number.

Det Con Rawling said: “It is important to remember the sacrifice police officers make in the cause of their duty. It brings home to you just how dangerous the job can be.”

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PC Alger died in hospital on the same day that he was shot in the neck by Allen. The force of the blast blew off his number badge.

Allen, a known thief and poacher, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death but was then committed to a mental asylum after being declared insane. He died in 1920.

During the short service yesterday, organised by Norfolk police, three of PC Alger's great-great grand-children, nine-year-old triplets Abbey, Carolyn and Ellie Craggs, placed a tribute of giant daffodils in his memory.

Their mother Rachael, from Somerset, said: “I think it is really nice the police are commemorating him. He was obviously a very brave man. It was a tragic event for him to die so young. My children know all about him and are proud of him.”

Three of PC Alger's grandchildren also attended: David Alger, from Bradwell, Kathleen Alger, of Gorle-ston and Dorothy Winter, from Norwich.

The service was conducted by the Norfolk police chaplain, the Rev Irene Knowles, and the head of Yarmouth police, Supt Jim Somerton, laid a wreath on behalf of his force. It read: “A brave and courageous officer remembered and never forgotten by officers.”

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