IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Alfred’s great sacrifice: Plaque for hero police officer

16 June, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Relatives of PC Alfred Smith joined serving police officers at the unveiling

A HERO police officer who gave his life to save more than 150 women and children during a First World War bombing raid was commemorated in a plaque unveiling on Tuesday.

Relatives of PC Alfred Smith and serving police officers gathered to pay their respects to the officer who was on duty during the first daylight bombing raid to hit London in 1917.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the day he died, a memorial service took place alongside the unveiling led by Camden and Islington’s Superintendent Nicholas Davies and the Senior Chaplain of the Metropolitan Police Service, Jonathan Osborne.

Robert Jeffries, PC Smith’s great-nephew, with the plaque

PC Smith heard the German Gotha G.V aircraft approaching and warned panicking factory workers in Central Street, Finsbury, to stay inside. He died when a bomb exploded a few feet away from him. The 37-year-old had a wife and a three-year-old son.

The raid on June 13 killed a total of 162 people.

“The plaque is well deserved and marks an extreme act of bravery,” said Robert Jeffries, 63, PC Smith’s great-nephew and a retired police officer.

“He did what’s in the news now, policemen running towards danger, and he wouldn’t have had time to know what hit him.”

More than 12,000 votes were cast in a ballot to decide who should receive an Islington People’s Plaque last year.

Film-maker Derek Jarman and the Finsbury Park Empire music hall will also be commemorated with a green plaque by the Town Hall later this year.

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