OFFICERS from Thames Valley Police have gathered for a memorial to PC Andrew Harper ahead of the first anniversary of his death on Saturday.

Around 20 officers gathered at Newbury police station in Berkshire for one of several services being held on Friday.

READ ALSO: PC Andrew Harper: memorials to take place to mark first anniversary of officer's death.

Simultaneous services are also being held in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, and Abingdon, Oxfordshire, where he was based.

Due to social distancing requirements, the memorials will be repeated to allow more officers to pay their respects.

Addressing the gathered officers at Newbury police station, Inspector Al Hawkett said: "We gather here today, as we did a year ago, to remember PC Andrew Harper, who gave his life on behalf of others."

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Mr Hawkett said PC Harper's death had affected the whole force and the wider policing family over the past year.

He added: "Andrew was a brave young police officer, killed whilst doing the job that he loved.

"He was a good man who believed in policing.

"His dedication to protect the public from harm is testament to his courage and professionalism."

He told the officers: "We have all been deeply affected by Andrew's death, whether we knew him personally or not.

"The senseless loss of a colleague is hard enough, but being newly married, made his death all the more heart-breaking."

Mr Hawkett said there would be "no sense of closure" for the officer's family and friends.

He added: "Andrew's tragic death is something that will stay with all of us forever."

The senior officer later read out a poem written by PC Harper's widow Lissie, before he placed a wreath at the base of a half-mast flag outside of the station.

In the poem Mrs Harper described her husband as "kind and strong without venom or greed" and said she was lucky to be his wife.

It continued: "They will remember you now, so honest and true.

"King among men, forever dressed in blue.

"You're a hero now my boy don't you see.

"The truth is my love, you always were to me, Lissie."

In addition to the memorials, officers across the Thames Valley region held a minute's silence around 11 o'clock in memory of Pc Harper.

Three teenagers, Henry Long, 19, and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were recently sentenced for the newlywed's manslaughter.