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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Queen's bravery award for Cumbrian police officer Bill Barker

A policeman swept to his death while stopping traffic crossing a stricken bridge was today posthumously awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.

Bill Barker photo
PC Bill Barker

PC Bill Barker, who was 44, died after Northside Bridge in Workington collapsed during the catastrophic floods of November 2009.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “I am pleased that we are today able to show our appreciation and gratitude to the family of PC Barker for his act of selfless bravery.

"He was well aware of the danger he faced that morning but he carried out his duty with determination and courage. He showed the best attributes of British police officers in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

“I have spoken to Mrs Barker and personally expressed my thanks for her husband’s sacrifice and I hope this award adds to the legacy he has left her and their children.”

Cumbria police's Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: “We are extremely proud that PC Bill Barker has been honoured in this way by the Queen. The award recognises the bravery and sacrifice he showed on that tragic day in November 2009.

“Cumbria Constabulary lost a dedicated and committed officer, who spent 25 years of his life serving the communities of Cumbria. He was a wonderful police officer and a real family man. He was incredibly committed to his many roles throughout his career and was admired for his willingness to help others.

"Bill died helping others but he was clearly more than just a police officer - he was a dedicated husband, father and friend and the honour which has been bestowed on him by the Queen will add to the legacy and his memory.”

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