AHEAD of PC Andrew Harper's funeral the head of the Thames Valley Police Federation has said the force would 'ensure his heroism is never forgotten'.

The 28-year-old, who was based at Abingdon station and grew up in Wallingford, was killed in August while responding to reports of a burglary.

Craig O’Leary said the officer had 'loved' his job, adding: "It is our sad duty today to pay our last respects to him and support his wife Lissie, his family and his friends at his funeral.

"Police officers go to work each and every day to fight crime and protect the public.

ALSO READ: Family say no flowers at PC Andrew Harper's funeral

“Sadly on very rare occasions a colleague makes the ultimate sacrifice. We will ensure that heroism is never forgotten."

Mr O'Leary said PC Harper was a hero, loved by his family, friends and colleagues.

He continued: “It goes without saying that this has been a terribly tough time for Andrew’s colleagues and the whole force – having to carry on policing the Thames Valley area while mourning the death of a colleague.

“This has really hit us all hard and shocked everyone in the whole police service. But we are supporting each other as best we can.”

ALSO READ: Police announce road closures for PC Harper's funeral

He said the support from police and the public across the UK had been 'overwhelming', adding: “On behalf of all my colleagues in Thames Valley Police, I’d like to express my gratitude for that continuing support, the donations to Andrew’s Memorial Fund and the many messages of condolence. It means a lot to us and it means a lot to Andrew’s family.”

A procession will makes its way this morning through St Aldate’s towards Christ Church Cathedral, where a private funeral for the PC will be held at 11am.

Thames Valley Police have also asked, on behalf of the family, for members of the public and mourners not to bring flowers to the city centre or cathedral.

Instead, donations can be made to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, near Thame, or Blue Cross in Burford.