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Plaque commemorates police offer killed while on duty

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A plaque has been unveiled at Wigan North Western station, commemorating a police officer who was killed in the line of duty 126 years ago.

Detective Sergeant Robert Kidd, an officer of the London and North Western Railway Police, was murdered while attending an incident at Wigan North Western station, following a spate of thefts from goods wagons, on 29 September 1895.

Detective Sergeant Robert Kidd was murdered while chasing thieves on 29 September 1895.

The 37-year-old married father of seven children aged under 12 was, along with his colleague DC William Osbourne, patrolling the railway sidings when they saw a man crouched in the shadows behaving suspiciously. As they approached, he ran off and DC Osbourne gave chase, eventually catching him.

He staggered to the sidings where he found DS Kidd lying on the ground with nine knife wounds to his face and neck.

He attempted to carry his fallen colleague but collapsed unconscious by his side after raising the alarm from a nearby signal box.

At the unveiling of the blue plaque, chief superintendent Glen Alderson of the British Transport Police was joined by Avanti West Coast representatives and British Transport Police History Group Chairman Phillip Trendall.

The ceremony was followed by a memorial and laying of a wreath at DS Kidd’s graveside in Salford where family members of the officer’s descendants were also present.

Chief Supt Glen Alderson, BTP.

Chief Supt Glen Alderson said: “DS Kidd paid the ultimate price for upholding the law. Despite the passage of time, it is with both sadness and respect that we pay tribute to his memory and the plaque will now serve as a reminder to generations to come of the service and sacrifice he gave.”

BTP History Group chairman Philip Trendall added: “Robert Kidd gave his life in the course of doing his duty in a dark and lonely place and the History Group is honoured to be able to finally recognise the dedication and sacrifice that he made.”

The ceremony had originally been planned to take place last year on the 125th anniversary of DS Kidd’s death but was postponed due to Covid 19 restrictions.

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