Publishers address

Scarthin Books, The Promenade, Scarthin, Cromford, Derbyshire, England DE4 3QF

Police Dog Rudi

Police Dog Rudi
Ready for action

Friday, November 24, 2006

UKAEA Constabulary

Police dogs at Dounreay 1958, no further details

Lieut-Colonel Edwin Hautenville Richardson

The man who intoduced dogs to the British Police Forces

Police Dogs and their Training

Extract from Police Dogs and their Training by Reginald Arundel, Ex-Superintentdent, Yorkshire, W.R. Constabulary third edition 1933

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

British Transport Commission Police

Photograph from the 1950's. Titled as (British Transport Commission Police) Railway Police dog Raj training at King's Cross goods yard, handler not known.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

1950's Police Dog and Handler

No further details known of this dog and handler

Salford City Police

Photographs taken of Salford City Police 1950's details not known

Hull Police

With thanks again to Alan Pickles, Ex Bradford City
The "criminal" is Charlie Martinson, who was eventually Sergeant i/c Dog Section.

Liverpool City Police

Photographs taken in the 1950's details not known.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Dog Rex 111

Taken from the book 'My Dog Rex' written by Pc Arthur Holman, Metropolitan Police and published in 1957. Rex later starring inthe film 'Police Dog' (made in 1955)
credited cast:
Joan Rice.... Pat Lewis
Tim Turner.... Frank Mason
Sandra Dorne.... Blonde
Charles Victor.... Sergeant
Nora Gordon.... Mrs. Lewis
Cecil Brock

John Le Mesurier.... Inspector
James Gilbert.... Ken Lade

Christopher Lee.... Johnny, a con
When his colleague is killed during a chase in Kentish Town, London bobby Frank volunteers to become a dog-handler. Rex, his new companion, starts to take over his home life more than expected, to the irritation of girl-friend Pat. Frank just hopes the killer will re-appear.
Filmed in black and white.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Injured on duty

News extract from September 2004

Man jailed for knocking down Pc
Paul Squires and Bruce
Pc Squires and his dog were injured
A man who ran over a police dog handler, flipping him "like a rag doll" and ending his 30-year career, has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

John Marshall, 29, was trying to flee from police when he struck three officers and another man with his car in Newark, Nottinghamshire, in May.

Dog handler Pc Paul Squires was left with horrific leg injuries.

Marshall admitted two counts of actual bodily harm one of grievous bodily harm with intent to resist arrest.

Pc Squire's German shepherd, Bruce, suffered a gashed leg and has also not worked since.

Judge Michael Pert, sentencing Marshall at Nottingham Crown Court, told him: "You decided in the driving seat of that car to use it as a weapon and you have wounded three police officers and a friend and one of those police officers you have maimed.

"You have ended his career and you have ruined his prospects of finding suitable alternative employment when he left the police force."

Marshall, of Churchill Drive in Newark, was banned from driving at the time of the offences.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Extract from 'With Courage and Trust (Specialist Search Dogs)

UK Police Dog History
Specialist Search Dogs

Police Dog 'Ping'

Pc Albert Blake with Police Dog 'Ping', Metropolitan Police 1947

First days with a new dog


The following is a record of my initial meeting and Training Course with Laser. It shows that even after having had the experience two Police dogs, a full time training course and expert tuition, dog training is not easy.

Date: 26.6.86

Name of dog: Jason

Date of birth: Not known - believed 13 months

Colour: Black and sable.

Condition: Poor

Gift dog from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

So was the description of a dog brought to the kennels as potential Police Dog material.

Having rejected a previous dog, 'Falco', I was now on the lookout for another dog for the impending course, only 6 weeks away.

Including Jason, three 'gift dogs' were available at this time, The other two did not appeal to me and looking at the new dog, Jason, my immediate reaction was, "Who the hell brought this in?".

The dog was cowering in the back of the kennel run. Emaciated to a degree I had never seen before, so much so that he looked more like a greyhound than a German Shepherd. With long legs, a long neck and all his ribs showing with a coat looking as though he had never had a brush or comb through it from the time of birth. All handlers who had seen him had given the same reaction. He was nick-named 'G.Raffe'. The dog, cowering in the far corner of the kennel, spitting and snarling at me through the wire, looked rather startled as I opened the gate. After spending some time sitting in the kennel I eventually won his confidence and he came to me.

From that moment I could sense the dog had character and looking at his visible skeleton I could visualise what he would look like with more meat and muscle.

Standing 28" at the shoulder, he started to win me over.

Still doing operational patrols with 'Ryan', I took the dog out with me and by the end of that shift he showed he could travel well and had also barked at strangers. I made it my job to look after the dog, now 'Laser', from that time onwards. That was, until the next day, when I was told the dog was to be returned to its previous owners due to his condition. Pleading for him to be given a chance, I was told he would be kept providing I could put weight on him and show he was worth the trouble.

Owing to his condition, no way did I dare take him home, Diane had already seen him in the kennels and took an instant dislike, due to his looks.

A week later, a bout of dysentery cleared and looking a little better, he started a nights week with myself and 'Ryan'. He was introduced to home during the daylight hours, making it easier for the transition and no sleepless nights for myself or the neighbours because of a howling dog, or so I thought!! Ryan was being left at the kennels and Laser, affectionately known by all as 'the hatrack' was settling down at home. At 4am, one morning, in an effort to make it easier for me to look after two dogs, I dropped Laser off at home, in the kennel. Before reaching the van Laser began making such a noise that I had to run back and take him with me.

'Laser' was a very apt name due his rangy build and his lightening reactions.

I had taken him into the Police Station but he was soon to show his wariness of strangers, readily barking and showing all his teeth. I had no doubt that given the slightest opportunity he would have bitten. He was, in my opinion, becoming a one man dog. He also proved to be exceptionally clean in the kennel, the complete opposite to Ryan. He also helped with the washing, endearing himself to Diane, by his antics of running away with things from the wash basket and jumping up at washing hanging on the line. His character was developing all the time, but not so his body. Still extremely thin, we had taken to giving him up to 6 meals a day.

Going out one evening we left Laser locked in the kennel but on our return 11/2 hours later I found him playing on the garden. On examination of the kennel I found a gaping hole in the chain link meshing of the door. The kennel was clean but there was a large mound on the lawn. Cleaning this mess up and repairing the door, Laser was put away. However, at 4.30am the following morning I heard an unusual noise outside. Taking a look, I saw Laser, once more, playing on the lawn and having emptied the dustbin. Another large pile on the lawn and a gaping hole in the kennel door showed just how clean Laser intended to be.

Taking a holiday, leaving Ryan and Laser in the Police Kennels, I returned, with only 4 days to go to the start of the course, to find Laser lame on his right hind leg. He had also bitten one handler on the hand and not allowed any others near him, except Dan Wallace (Dan had an affinity with dogs and all of my dogs had a liking for him). Such were Lasers' actions of retreating into his kennel barking and snarling that at the twelfth hour there was talk amongst the training staff of him being finished due to a 'suspect temperament'.

I collected Laser from the kennels and concerned for his lameness took him to the Vets. First diagnosis was that a major leg muscle had been torn and the dog would be lame for life. Painkilling tablets were given but on returning home I was convinced any injury was confined to his foot. A further diagnosis, after x-ray on the foot the following day confirmed there was no injury to the muscle or bone structure, but there was bruising. During this time, feeling amongst the training staff was such that Laser was to be finished. However, I was promised a start,

The short time I had been handling Laser we had already achieved respect for each other. He readily accepted me and was more than willing to learn. Adopting the principle of teaching nothing by compulsion, I showed him what I wanted, asked him to do it and he did it. This was easy, too easy!. Laser showed an intelligence greater than that of my other dogs', or was it that I had now developed a rapport in the art of training and found it easier to put across. I concluded it was a bit of both.

With some excitement my 3rd Initial Police Dog Training Course started on Monday 1st September 1986.

There were 4 teams, including myself.

The day started with a five mile walk, but due to Laser's recent injury we were excused boots. Occupying our time on the training field, until the return of the others, I practised the 'retrieve', at this stage 'Laser's only poor exercise.


Tracking - wondered how Laser would take to the harness - no need to worry, harnessed up as though he'd being doing it all his life.

100 yard track laid, using 'squeaky toy' aid, over short grass, no wind with very light rainfall. Allowed full length of tracking line, he took to it like a duck to water. For the first experience of his tracking ability I was over the moon. Once again I had a dog which would put his nose down and track. This exercise x3 then back to the training ground for criminal work. Laser already had an undeserved reputation because of his kennel antics i.e.. untrustworthy and biting through fear. Standing in a circle all the dogs were baited and allowed to bite a loose arm pad. Laser was going forward all the time, readily bit the pad and came off when told. The dogs were subsequently put in the down, finishing this exercise with Bob Vaughan, the instructor, making a point of going to each dog and giving a fuss. Showing the dogs had 'switched off'.

After the first day Laser had put all his critics in their place. I hoped!!


A testing day for criminal work.

Laser started by taking the sleeve without hesitation and using a full mouth. No baiting needed. Owing to the nature of the 'take', it followed that a short run would be all right. This gave the same result. Steve acting as criminal the exercise became a 30 yard straight chase. Laser with no hesitation took the arm, in full flight, taking Steve to the ground. The was more than 'Ryan' had done during the full time I had handled him. A later run gave the same result.

On being given the pad to tease the rather backward Jet, I made a mistake. I hadn't made sure that all the handlers had full control of their dogs. As I began, swinging a free pad, I heard a shout and turned and saw Sabre coming at me at full speed. I could clearly see the dog was intent on biting something and just managed to push the pad in his open mouth. A lesson learned!!

At the end of day 2 I could now see that Laser would undoubtedly make a good man-working dog. Comparing him with Rudi and Ryan, the main thing that Rudi and Laser had in common was their indifference to other dogs. Ryan was very much into other dogs, although not to the distraction of his tracking. Rudi would, if at close quarters, be aggressive towards other dogs whereas Laser will move away, not wishing their company or a fight. Both these dogs preferred human companionship. (A thought to ponder when choosing a dog for manwork, in the future).


Progressing well.

Laser chasing 20 yards, off the lead and with full bite.


All dogs put to the gun - no problems.


A distinct drop in standard of heelwork by Laser - could this be due to 'criminal work'?. Excellent progress in tracking. Laser was tracking even before we got to the start, nose down on hard surface, a 'Scooby Do' action, nose and forelegs on the floor, behind in the air.

Now getting very possessive with retrieve article, from one extreme to the other.

Second week

Laser showed the first signs of stress on the 'training field', whilst being handled off the lead he ran off and then just wanted to play, or so it seemed. The training Sergeant, John Towlson, came to me at which Laser ran to him aggressively, standing out and barking, within an inch of biting him!. This had not happened before and why did it have to happen to the Sergeant.

Every exercise, apart from heelwork, was progressing too well. Something was bound to happen soon and it did! On the Thursday morning everything was going well until I tried a simple 'recall' exercise off the lead. Laser ran in the opposite direction to me and wouldn't come back for 10 minutes. No compulsion had been used and I could only put it down to the stress of training. Could it be his previous life coming through, he was adopting 'If I don't like it, I'll run off' attitude.

Whilst in the training van Laser, in his cage, kept showing aggression towards Steve. Bob in an effort to overcome the problem opened the cage door and made of fuss of Laser, inviting Steve to do the same. I was looking on all the time, Laser was well behaved and accepted Steve but as I turned my head away, loosing eye contact, Laser growled and bit Steve on the hand.

Third week

I again experienced Laser's reaction to stress. Whilst performing heelwork off the lead he broke away and ran out of sight. It took me 15 minutes to find him and when I did he reacted as though nothing had happened and greeted me with wagging tail. From the circumstances, on calling him as he initially broke away, I was sure that he was reacting to his previous life. Laser showed and increasing dislike for Steve (cause unknown)

Fourth week

A startling result on the first day. I had previously been having trouble with Laser retrieving a wooden dumbbell, but when I threw it, this day, he ran out picked it up, brought it back and sat in front, faultless! Once more on the training ground Laser showed apprehension to heelwork, but this time stopped with me. He showed the whites of his eyes each time I went to put the check around his neck. Was this the trigger?!

Tracking and criminal work progressing very well, he is now hurting through the leather protection pad.

Fifth week

Now using food as an incentive for Laser to stay with me whilst doing obedience heelwork.

We all had a discussion over the fact that if a dog had respect for his handler, he would not chase and bite his handler (neither Rudi or Ryan ever bit me, padded or otherwise).

All dogs were then put through the chase with Bob handling. Laser latched onto my right arm, although, from all accounts he did not make his normal determined chase. So much for that idea!, and I don't think it helped me the next day. Laser started playing about and wouldn't sit when told to, I pulled him into the sit using the lead at which he bit me nicely (although not too hard) on the left thigh. Apart from that, everything went well for the rest of the week.

Sixth week

It started again Monday afternoon, Laser didn't like heelwork and was going to have nothing to do with it. The first opportunity, without warning, he broke from my side and ran off. Getting him back, after a few minutes, I put this down to the Monday blues, as everything else went like clockwork, he loved searching, tracking and biting!

Tuesday, Bob was away and Sergeant Tindall took over the course. After tracking at Hucknall airfield the Sgt decided to see how good the heelwork was. Not wishing to disclose any problems, I kept quiet. "Leads and chains off", was the command followed by, "Forward". Laser hung back and as I turned to him he took off at speed, ignoring my shouts and not looking back. He disappeared out of sight. After searching for half an hour without any sighting, we decided to make a group search before making it official and declaring over the radio that a dog was loose. The Sgt found the dog half a mile away, at the edge of an industrial estate, but Laser would not respond to him and made off again. I went to the estate with the van and sat there with the rear cage doors open. Within seconds Laser appeared and dived into an empty cage. What was I going to do?. The Inspector and Sgt. tried to make the decision for me. They wanted rid of Laser. But why, he was such a good tracker and criminal work dog. I was given a further reprieve, but this problem had to be sorted. The rest of the week went without a hitch and Laser really excelled in tracking. He proved he was now the equal of my previous two dogs in this exercise

Seventh week

The second day, whilst holding Laser, I dropped to the ground with excruciating pain in my right calf muscle. I had torn the muscle, although I had to spend three days in hospital until it was diagnosed. They initially thought I had thrombosis. I rejoined the course on the ninth week.

Ninth week No problems.

Tenth week

The pressure was now on, as the end of course tests were now looming. I was still hitting the old problem. Laser was quite happy doing heelwork, but once I removed the check chain he would freeze, then off he would go again. My only answer, at this time, was to have a pocket full of cooked meat.

The end of course tests came with only one hitch. The heelwork was poor and everyone wondered why Laser, instead of having his head next to my left knee had his nose stuck in my left trouser pocket,

Laser subsequently represented the Police at Regional Police Dog Trials and Civilian Working Trials. His ability as a working Police Dog was never in doubt.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Police Dog Refresher Courses

Uk Police Dog History
Nottinghamshire No 3 Regional Police Dog Training School Refresher Courses

Canal Street station diary

UK Police Dog History - Nottinghamshire
Extract from the Police Station diary dated June 1920

Monday, November 06, 2006

Police Dog Register

Copy of registration card
UK Police Dog History - Nottinghamshire

National Police Dog Trials

National Police Dog Trials winners 1963 - 1994
UK Police Dog History

1995PC MatthewsonRussNorthumbria
1996PC MatthewsonRussNorthumbria
1997PC MatthewsonRussNorthumbria
1998PS PooleDaxAvon and Somerset
1999PC LloydEricAvon and Somerset
2000PC RootsMetpol Davington StennaMetropolitan


2002PC ToddGeorgeCity of London
2003APS ConnerSabreStrathclyde
2004PC SelfTazSuffolk
2005PC EcclesDeePSNI
2006PC LaughtonGedMerseyside

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Extract from 'With Courage and Trust' (The first Police Dogs in England)

UK Police Dog History

Home Office Instructors Courses

A barn door from 10 yards, just about.

Now was the course tiring or boring? or just the M25

UK Police Dog History

Extract from 'With Courage and Trust' (Mainly Bloodhounds)

A day just hanging around with Sid Dernley

A visit to Sid Dernley, an afternoon spent showing us the ropes! His book 'The Hangmans Tale' is an excellent read.
ISBN 0-7090-3836-4

An interesting note:
Calculations were always made to determine the 'drop' required and according to Sid I would have automatically received a 'reprieve' owing to the fact that anyone over a certain weight the drop would have caused decapitation. By virtue of this, ever in fear of hanging, I have kept up with good hearty meals.
Sid never had bad dreams and believed in what he did. My only promise was that I would never take anyone to see him who was anti-hanging. Amongst his treasured possessions were a spyhole taken from a condemned cell, a noose and a model gallows.
He was a gentleman! Died 1 November 1994

Friday, November 03, 2006

Visitors to the Dog Section

UK Police Dog History - Nottinghamshire

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Undercover Police Dog?

P.c. Taff Sydenham

Taff with Police Dog Wotan



Taff Sydenham

You’ve heard about the villains

Who roamed the old Wild West.

You’ve heard about their marksmanship

Twas shooting at its best.

There were heroes, there were villains

Whose lives were short and sweet.

But none could match the swiftness

Of a Dobe, called ‘Piddling Pete’.

A hero or a villain,

Call him what you wish.

His organ was his pistol

His ammunition, guess (his piss).

His accuracy uncanny,

His movement swift and neat,

He could hit a poodle in the eye

At a range of twenty feet.

Now life had been hard for Pete.

He’d never known his Dad

And every morsel he devoured

He fought for all he had.

He roamed around ol’ London

Until his feet were raw.

Fighting for his existence

And always evading the Law.

From Wembley down to Clapham

He roamed around quite free

‘Til captured down in Streatham

And taken to Battersea.

The kennel staff were wary

When Pete was around

And when they dared approach him

They wouldn’t make a sound.

For Pete was a crafty devil

And easily upset

And he’d cock his leg up

And squirt his deadly jet.

His aim was swift and deadly

No-one quite knew why.

Then a poor old kennel man

Would get one in the eye

Things became quite serious

Behind the Dogs’ Home door

And the kennel staff all threatened

To pack their bags and go.

The Super’, he was livid,

“I’ll cure the dirty sod!”

He then went out into the yard

With a lead and a four foot rod.

But Pete saw him coming,

Twas a matter of life or death

So he drank 2 pints of water

And then he held his breath.

The Super, looked around the yard,

His face was red with rage.

When suddenly Pete appeared

From behind a clump of sage.

“I’ve got you”, cried the Super’,

With his rod held high.

But Pete, he beat him to the draw

With a jet straight in his eye.

The Super’ toppled over

And lay prone upon the grass.

Then Pete trundled over

And bit him on the ass.

The Dogs’ Home staff just cringed with fright

Behind the office door.

They could see the poor Super’

Motionless on the floor.

Pete was strutting round him

At an aimless pace

And every time the Super’ moved

He’d piss right in his face.

The staff by now, were quite aware

That Pete was getting madder

And watched Pete run to the trough

To refill his empty bladder.

Back to the Super’ then he’d go

Other dogs he would ignore.

Then he’d piss all over the Super’

Lying helpless on the floor.

One of the first search dogs
UK Police Dog History

P.c. Ged Walker

15 November 2006

A Vandal has been jailed for wrecking a hero police officer's memorial.

Sean Topham, 21, chipped out PC Ged Walker's name and damaged the base of the memorial on January 17.


Nottingham ground to a halt yesterday lunchtime as hundreds of police officers and members of the public lined city centre streets to pay tribute at the funeral of Notts dog handler PC Ged Walker. It was a day of tears and reflection - and a focus on the problems of policing today. ANIL DAWAR and SIMON ATKINSON report

In a eulogy broadcast to crowds stationed outside the packed St Barnabas' Cathedral, one of PC Walker's closest colleagues said the public were losing faith that criminals would be punished.

PC Tim Partington said: "Ged believed his job was to protect the decent majority. But like many of us he no longer believed he could make a difference.

"He was disappointed by limitations placed on police forces by the Government, people who make excuses for criminal behaviour and a judicial system that follows that.

"Ged was a victim of those policies.

"Tracy, Rebecca and Matthew [PC Walker's wife and children] will be victims for the rest of their lives."

The 700-strong contingent listened silently as PC Partington's words echoed round the cathedral.

"The public have lost their confidence in the traditional authorities of law and order," he continued. "This dented Ged's confidence in his ability to make a difference to other people's lives."

Despite his disillusionment, PC Walker died because he was a conscientious officer, he said.

He suffered serious head injuries tackling an alleged car thief in Bulwell on January 7. He died in Queen's Medical Centre a day later. A man has been charged with his murder.

PC Partington added: "He took a course of action without regard for his own safety. That led to his death."

The officer asked that the family of PC Walker be remembered in the thoughts and prayers of everyone.

He said that following the policeman's death, he hoped the forces of law and order would be supported by the Government and judiciary.

"I do not want to think my friend has died in vain," he said.

The Reverend Chris Lewis, a former Notts police constable and friend of PC Walker, took the service.

He said: "When a police officer is killed in the course of his duty most decent people are outraged. The full weight of the law must be brought to bear on anyone who injures or kills police in the course of their duty."

All of the eulogies and tributes remembered PC Walker as a loyal, honest and courageous friend.

One moving tribute came from Superintendent Phil Oddie, a close friend and PC Walker's senior officer. He talked of the constable's work in the dog handling section, saying: "He was such an important member of this close-knit, hard working team and they are devastated at his loss.

He added: "It is to his very great credit that he remained operational for over 24 years and it is tragic that such an officer should have his life taken whilst working to make the streets safer for local people.

"Ged was a great officer and behind him was a great family. Words cannot bring comfort to that family. We cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering that has been inflicted on them."

DC Ian Fellows met PC Walker 27 years ago when they were police cadets together.

He said: "He was always there for me during difficult times but we also experienced some tremendous times together.

"He was a genuine man, he was a loyal man and friend. He was an inspiration and there to help.

"He made a difference to people's lives. He was strong, tenacious and courageous. It was those qualities that ultimately cost him his life.

"The people paying the price for Ged Walker's death are his family. They have had the lives they led stolen from them."

Crowds had gathered on the streets around Nottingham Castle from 11am - more than two hours before the funeral procession began.

There was little chatter among the crowds as police constables, many wearing medals earned for their service to the force, walked in double file to begin lining the pathways.

At the haunting sound of the Highland pipers warming up for the procession, Maureen Webster joined three colleagues from Sparrow Bagley estate agents, preparing for the cortege to file past.

"We've come out of respect and are definitely surprised by the number of officers around," she said. "They are making a big thing of it and rightly so. I hope it's some comfort for his wife and children to know that so many people care. It always takes a tragedy to draw people together."

Stephan Metraux, 33, who was in the city for just one day during a holiday from Switzerland. said: "The police look magnificent. You would think it was a royal funeral or something like that."

His wife, Marie Sylvie, added: "It takes your breath away."

Graham and Christine Wilkinson live on Hempshill Vale in Bulwell, close to where the incident which killed PC Walker took place.

Mrs Wilkinson, who was close to tears as police horses led the funeral procession from the gates of the castle, said: "We feel so sorry it has come to this.

"The fact it happened on our own doorstep makes it harder. Mr Wilkinson said: "It shows that the police are there if things do happen. He was doing his job and he did it to the end."

Among the mourners lining the route were members of PC Walker's family including Valerie Walker, whose husband is a cousin of the dead officer's mother and father.

She watched the procession pass along Maid Marian's Way close to the junction with Friar Lane with her son Stephen and daughter Susan Constable .

She said: "A lot of the family, including my husband, have gone to the cathedral but they won't have seen all of this from there.

"It was something to be seen because hopefully we are not going to see its kind ever again. It was very touching to see that so many people thought to come."

By the Playhouse, the reflection in the Sky Mirror was a sea of black and silver - as the five-wide line of officers snaked from the door of the cathedral, down Derby Road and along North Circus Street.

At 1.51pm, as the pall bearers lifted PC Walker's coffin from the Silver Spirit Rolls Royce, there was a rare hush over Derby Road.

With traffic stopped, just a solitary mobile phone ring and a sob permeated the silence, before the strains of the organ inside the cathedral began to echo around the road.

Looking on, besides the hundreds of well-wishers on this stretch of the route, were two of the police dogs the officer had trained, Kai and Bart with their handlers PC Steve Abbott and Sgt Charlie Warner.

Inside the hearse PC Walker's coffin - draped in the sky blue cloth - was surrounded by several bouquets including flowers from Home Secretary David Blunkett which read simply: "With deepest condolences."

Chief Constable Steve Green wrote: "In deepest sympathy. A great loss", while colleagues from the police dog section paid tribute to "an excellent dog handler and friend".

More informal heartfelt messages included "Goodbye Gez. We had some good times" from friends, and others from his sporting associations, from Pelican Colts under-13s and all at Kimberley KMWFC.

But perhaps most touching was that from his family which read simply: "With memories of a loving son and brother."

Nancy Foot, of Arnold, watched the coffin being carried into the cathedral from her vantage point on Derby Road, beneath a Union Jack being flown outside the Strathdon Hotel at half mast.

Mrs Foot, 80 said: "I"m glad they stopped the traffic because you could hear the organ so clearly. It was a rare moment of calm.

She added: "It has been beautifully organised. The dogs were wonderful and I think it was wonderful to bring them. The whole procession was extremely respectful for a man who did a good job and was cruelly killed."

Lynne Fletcher, a 44-year-old teacher from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, is a close friend of PC Walker's wife.

She said: "The last thing he said to me was 'There are those of us that do, and those of us that don't.' His death is a very fitting reminder of that."

She added: "People's attention needs to be drawn to the fact that the police are out there protecting us all the time. The turnout shows that people do genuinely care. It's as though we have lost one of our own."

News extract

PC Ged Walker, 42, was murdered by drug addict David Parfitt in 2003 while he was under the supervision of Nottinghamshire probation service after being freed on early release.

UK Police Dog History - Nottinghamshire