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Former police officers killed in Second World War bombing raids over Norwich remembered in ceremony at Bethel Street Police Station

PUBLISHED: 15:35 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:38 29 March 2017

Aftermath of the air raid in Norwich, 1942. An Anderson shelter standing intact amid a scene of debris in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk Police Archive

Aftermath of the air raid in Norwich, 1942. An Anderson shelter standing intact amid a scene of debris in Norwich. Photo: Norfolk Police Archive

Norfolk Police Archive

Four former Norwich policemen who were killed during Second World War bombing raids have been remembered as part of a poignant memorial service in the city.

Sgt Neil Williams, centre, gives the history of the Norwich city policemen killed during the bombing of the city in World War Two at the memorial ceremony at the Bethel Street police station. With him are Special Chief Constable Angela Gant, and Rev Christopher Wood, police chaplain.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Sgt Neil Williams, centre, gives the history of the Norwich city policemen killed during the bombing of the city in World War Two at the memorial ceremony at the Bethel Street police station. With him are Special Chief Constable Angela Gant, and Rev Christopher Wood, police chaplain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The names of Arthur Pennymore, Sam Bussey, Arthur Wilby and George Smith have been inscribed on a memorial plaque which has been unveiled in front of family, friends and invited guests at Bethel Street Police Station.

The service held at noon today in Norwich took place at the same time as one in Great Yarmouth which together commemorated the lives of a total of 12 police officers, police war reserve officers and special constabulary reserve officers who died more than 75 years ago.

Reverend Christopher Wood, police chaplain, who led the Norwich service, said: “We are here today to remember those officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the course of their duties during World War Two.

“Today you will hear their stories and we will commemorate their bravery and sacrifice.

Brothers Ronald left, and Ken Smith, sons of George Gammon Smith, one of the Norwich city policemen killed during the bombing of the city in World War Two, at the memorial ceremony at Bethel Street police station, in front of the memorial plaque. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Brothers Ronald left, and Ken Smith, sons of George Gammon Smith, one of the Norwich city policemen killed during the bombing of the city in World War Two, at the memorial ceremony at Bethel Street police station, in front of the memorial plaque. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We are joined by members of the special constabulary and by regular officers because, after all, we are all part of the same policing family.”

Sergeant Neil Williams gave a talk about the officers whose lives were lost in the city before Inspector Nick Paling laid a poppy wreath under the plaque in remembrance to the officers.

Those remembered in Norwich were:

• Arthur Pennymore, 55, of Bracondale, who was a Norwich City police officer who died on December 2 1940 when an enemy plane dropped a stick of bombs on three cottages and blew out the windows of a pub. He was hit by shell splinters from one of the bombs.

Members of the families of the Norwich city policemen killed during the bombing of the city in World War Two at the memorial ceremony at Bethel Street police station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Members of the families of the Norwich city policemen killed during the bombing of the city in World War Two at the memorial ceremony at Bethel Street police station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

• Arthur Wilby, 35, a constable in the Police War Reserve, died on June 27 1942 at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital after being injured when a bomb fell near St Mark’s Church during a raid on the city which lasted just an hour. His wife Kate was also injured and died on the same day.

• George Smith, 43, of Patteson Road, was killed on September 5 1942 when a single raider dropped a number of high-explosive bombs on either side of Magdalen Street.

• Sam Bussey, 33, who died on April 28 1942 while fighting fires in Oak Street following a raid. He transferred to Norwich City Police to the National Fire Service.

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