News, Views and Comments

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Medal Presentation

Jim Rentell QPM

Retired PC, and BTPHG member, Jim Rentell received his Queen’s Police Medal yesterday (07/02/2019) at Buckingham Palace. The award was presented by HRH Prince Charles.

Congratulations from all of the History Group.

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Addendum:
In an earlier ceremony, Ben Clifford, Chief Officer of BTP’s Special Constabulary, and fellow BTPHG member, was presented with his British Empire Medal at the Tower of London on 16th November 2018, by Her Majesty’s representative, Ken Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London.

See also: Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018

PC Leon McLeod to run London Marathon

PC Leon McLeod

Pc Leon McLeod, who received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal as a result of his actions during the London Bridge terrorist attack in 2017, is competing in this year’s London Marathon. He is running on behalf of PTSD999, an organisation dedicated to assisting those affected by Post Traumatic Stress in the Emergency Services and Military.

“On Saturday 3rd June 2017 my life and career changed in a way I could never have prepared for.

While on a foot patrol with my colleague, we stepped into a situation that I can hardly find the right words to explain as the atrocities of the London Bridge and Borough Market attack began to unfold.

Although I didn’t sustain the physical injuries or worse that so many others unfortunately did, the events have no doubt left their mark.

I know for certain that many of my colleagues and fellow members of the blue light family that responded to calls for assistance have been affected, but while this event was above and beyond the norm, emergency services personnel are faced with traumatic events on a daily basis all over the country. The atrocities at Grenfell and the terror attacks in London and Manchester in 2017 only serve to highlight this.

We’re only human, but yet we all come back in day after day to do it all again never knowing what’s around the corner.

Clearly though there’s only so much a person can take, and it seems that only recently attention has really been paid to mental health and wellbeing. No matter how big or small, things will always leave a mark.

So where am I going with this? Well I have been fortunate enough to secure a spot in the 2019 London Marathon and knew from the start that I wanted to run for someone that really meant something to me and to hopefully make a difference to people.”

Leon McLeod

Those wishing to donate to Leon’s fund raising efforts can go to his Just Giving page.

 

Links:

BTP officers honoured for heroic actions during London Bridge terrorist attack

Gallantry Roll of Honour Plaque

Honours, Medals and Decorations table

 

Annual General Meeting 2019

Our 2019 Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday 25th March.

Members have been circulated with details of the venue in the latest edition of History Lines.

A buffet will be provided free of charge. All members are welcome but you do need to let Bill Rogerson know at least two weeks beforehand so that food can be ordered appropriately.

Members should receive a copy of the Year Book in the post before the AGM.

Please note, the AGM will not be the day before the NARBTPO AGM this year.

This is the one opportunity in the year when group members have the chance to meet up and chat historically, topically or just plain sociably.

Hope to see you there.

Photo Gallery

One of our most popular features is the Photo Gallery. You can go to it from the link on the ‘Pages’ menu to the right of this screen.

And it’s nice to see that it can inspire some creativity, such as this tweet from the BTP Firearms Unit. Social media has been abuzz with the 10 Year Challenge of late, so they thought they would better that and have a One Hundred Year Challenge. You can our original picture in the Vehicles gallery.

You can follow the BTP Firearms Unit on Twitter at @BTPFirearmsUnit, and thanks to them for crediting us in their tweet.

And while we are on the subject of photos, BTPHG member Phil Trendall found this photo recently. It depicts a LMS police sports day.

Phil says: “This was taken from a postcard. The inscription reads ‘Police Wives on the Bottle, 1937. The wives of policemen of the LMS Railway are seen feeding their husbands from baby bottles during a novelty race at the sports meeting at Wembley’.  Things have changed a lot since 1937, not least the definition of having fun!”

 

Embed from Getty Images

You can see other photos of officers letting their hair down in the Sports & Social gallery.

Seven BTP colleagues honoured by The Queen in New Year celebrations

Seven British Transport Police (BTP) officers and staff have been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen as part of the New Year’s Honours.

The seven colleagues, who collectively contributed more than 100 years to policing, have been honoured for distinguished service, outstanding influence on policing or for acts of extreme bravery.

The Honours, Decorations & Medals table has been updated accordingly.

 

PC Jessica Bullough (Q.P.M.), said: “I feel very honoured receiving this QPM following the awful attack at the Arena, it is a real privilege. Every officer who attended that night should be proud of what they did to help those caught up in the worst possible situation imaginable. I’ll be receiving the medal on behalf of myself and all the first responders from BTP who rushed to the Arena that night, everybody went above and beyond their duties to help those in need.”

PCSO Jon Morrey (B.E.M), said: “I’m completely flabbergasted – it was a real surprise. When I told the Mrs she started crying down the phone. Receiving my commendation from the Chief was amazing – this is just out of this world. None of us expected anything and this is just above and beyond. I feel very humbled.”

PC Mark Renshaw (B.E.M), said: “It is overwhelming to receive this honour from Her Majesty, it really does mean the world to me. When the explosion happened at the Arena, my first and only thought was to help as many people as possible amongst scenes of chaos. I never expected to be honoured for my actions, so this has come as such as surprise.”

Lewis Brown (B.E.M), said: “It is a great and unexpected honour to receive this award. It is a proud moment for myself, my family and on behalf of the British Transport Police. I believe the response from all my colleagues, emergency services and Arena staff on that night was exemplary. I am very grateful to be receiving a British Empire Medal.”

PC Jessica Bullough, PC Mark Renshaw*, PCSO Jon Morrey and PCSO Lewis Brown, were each on duty at Manchester Victoria station on 22 May last year when the blast at the Arena happened. On hearing screams, all four ran towards danger and to scenes of devastation, they were the first emergency service personnel on scene. Throughout the tragedy, the team of four worked heroically in getting the injured to safety and calling for backup. They’ve each been recognised for exemplary levels of bravery.

Dick Gill (M.B.E.), said: “It came as a great surprise to receive this MBE and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who were involved in my nomination. Having served the BTP diligently as a police officer and later a police staff for 41 years I feel greatly honoured to have received this prestigious recognition.”
Richard (Dick) Gill is another BTP veteran, having worked for the Force for 42 years as a police officer and more recently as a member of police staff. Throughout his career he has been a pioneer for racial diversity, challenging prejudice in the policing sector and cultivating exclusivity in all areas.  Richard has also worked hard on tackling crime head on and was commended in 1992 for his work in cutting robberies on the London Underground.

William Bryden (O.B.E.), said “When I first heard I was going to be awarded an OBE I didn’t really react – I had nothing to compare it to. It was only a few days later when I started thinking about all the other people who have been awarded one in the past that the enormity really hit me. I joined BTP in 2004 with the goal of helping to build and develop the Scenes of Crime team and have had the privilege to work with some truly fantastic people who are an absolute credit to the organisation.”
William Bryden has worked in policing for more than 40 years and with BTP since 2004 in a variety of roles, but has specialised in forensic recovery, in particular disaster victim identification. William has worked on a number of high-profile incidents during his years of service, including the Potters Bar train crash, Boxing Day Tsunami, Hillsborough disaster, the terrorist attacks at London Bridge and Manchester Arena and the Grenfell Tower fire. He is recognised for the passion, dedication and professional he has shown during his years of service.

Alan Smith (B.E.M.), said: “I feel very honoured and humbled to have been nominated for this award. I truly enjoyed my time in BTP but I very much doubt my efforts would have been worthy of this nomination if it wasn’t for the guidance, support and encouragement from every officer, both Specials and Regulars that I had the privilege to  work alongside.
As a Special Police Sergeant, Alan Smith volunteered his time to support and protect passengers and railway staff on the south-east London and Kent rail network. Alan has contributed more than 3,100 during his years of service. He is a tenacious crime fighter and is dedicated to keeping people safe and reassuring the travelling public. Alan is highly respected amongst his colleagues and is always willing to volunteer his spare time, a true role model  for BTP’s special constabulary.

Chief Constable Paul Crowther, said: “What a truly outstanding achievement to see seven members of British Transport Police recognised by Her Majesty as part of her New Year’s Honours. Each colleague has showcased the very best in British policing, serving their communities to the very highest standard. They should each be very proud.

“Whether it is recognition for distinguished service, or for acts of heroism, this group of seven officers and staff have showcased that they are true public servants. They’ve each gone above and beyond to keep Britain’s railway safe and to help people at extremely dark moments in our history. I am extremely proud of each and every one of them and am delighted that they have been recognised in the New Year Honours.”

*Mark Renshaw was a PCSO at the time of the incident. He has since become a PC.

Sources:
BTP website
New Year’s Honours list 2019

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at the BTPHG 🎄

Gallantry Roll of Honour Plaque

PC Wayne Marques and PC Leon McLeod

Today (05/12/2018) at BTP Force Headquarters, the Gallantry Roll of Honour plaque was unveiled with two additional names inscribed. PC Wayne Marques and PC Leon McLeod had their names added following their heroic actions during the London Bridge terrorist attack.

In attendance were Rail Minister Andrew Jones and HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Windsor.

CC Paul Crowther, Sir Tom Windsor, PC Leon McLeod, PC Wayne Marques and Andrew Jones.

See also: Officers receive their medals

 

Sources: Twitter / @BTPolFed and @BTP

Facebook / BTP Federation

 

 

Display Cabinet

BTPHG Display Cabinet

As mentioned in an earlier post, the History Group now has a permanent display in the reception area of Force HQ. It will house artefacts, photos and documents from our archives and will be a showcase of the Group’s work in preserving BTP’s history. The displays will be refreshed periodically with different memorabilia.

We have also been promised other locations for similar displays. So it’s all very positive news for the Group.

Thanks to John Owen, Ed Thompson and Viv Head for putting this project together. And to the BTP for providing the cabinet and support for making it possible.

In Remembrance 1914 - 1918

During the last four years the BTP History Group have been marking the Centenary of the Great War and remembering those who were killed and injured during the conflict. In particular, our thoughts were with those members of the constituent police forces that now make up the British Transport Police.

Our monthly newsletter – History Lines, has published details of the officers who died in each corresponding month one hundred years before. And these details have also been shown on our Facebook page. Details are also on our WWI Roll of Honour.

As we approach Remembrance Day 2018, marking the war’s end, we publish five photographs that have been chosen to mark the occasion for presentation in our display cabinet at the BTP Headquarters.

Thanks to Viv Head for preparing these images and captions.

Also see Letter to an Unknown Soldier 

First police dog on scene of Manchester Arena attack to be honoured

PD Mojo with his medal (Image: Julian Brown / PDSA)

The British Transport Police Dog who was first on the scene following the devastating terror attack on Manchester Arena, is to be honoured by leading vet charity PDSA.
Police Dog (PD) Mojo will receive the PDSA Order of Merit at a ceremony later this month, for his devotion to duty under the most horrendous circumstances, on 22 May 2017.

Mojo’s former handler and now owner, PC Phil Healy, was joined by PDSA Director of Fundraising, Nigel Spencer, to announce his forthcoming award. Discussing Mojo’s award, Nigel said: ‘Mojo’s actions on that fateful night enabled the emergency services to carry out their vital work, by helping to search and clear the area of potential secondary devices. Mojo worked tirelessly under conditions he’d never experienced before. For that devotion to duty and service to society, PDSA is honoured to recognise him.”

Source: PDSA

Earlier this year PC Healey and PD Mojo were awarded the Police Dog Team Operational or Humanitarian Action of the Year Award.

Also see our Police Dogs page.