Funeral held for hero police sergeant Graham Saville who died after being hit by a train as he helped to save man in distress
- 50 colleagues formed guard of honour as coffin carried into Southwell Minster
- Hundreds of mourners attended service to pay respects to father-of-two
Hundreds of mourners on Monday attended the funeral of hero police sergeant Graham Saville who was killed after being hit by train as he helped to save a man in distress.
More than 50 of his colleagues formed a guard of honour and bowed their heads as the Nottinghamshire Police sergeant’s coffin was carried into Southwell Minster, in Nottinghamshire.
The 46-year-old married father-of-two died at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre on August 29, five days after being hit by a train in Balderton, near Newark-on-Trent, in what was described as ‘the epitome of policing bravery’ by giving his life in the line of duty.
His coffin was draped in Nottinghamshire Police’s light blue flag with his police helmet and a wreath placed atop with a card which read: ‘Dearest Daddy. You will be in our hearts forever.’
Mourners could be seen lining the streets as officers walked together behind his hearse during a procession from The Burgage as it made its way to the cathedral church.
Nottingham Police sergeant Graham Saville died aged 46 in hospital, five days after he was hit by a train while trying to save a man in distress in Balderton, Newark-on-Trent
Some 50 police colleagues formed a guard of honour and bowed their heads as his coffin was carried into Southwell Minster
Mourners could be seen lining the streets as officers walked together behind his hearse during the procession from The Burgage to the cathedral church
Sgt Saville was the uncle of Premier League star and Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall who was left devastated by his death. A Just Giving page set up in Sgt Saville’s memory has raised more than £150,000.
READ MORE: Premier League football star Joe Worrall is ‘devastated’ as his hero police sergeant uncle Graham Saville dies after being hit by train while trying to save distressed man
The service was led by Major Pamela Ralph-Barratt of the Salvation Army and assisted by the Rev Paul Rattigan.
In a statement released by police ahead of the funeral, his family said: ‘At this tragic time it’s very difficult to find the right words to express the sadness and loss that we feel as a family.
‘Graham had a gentle character and genuinely cared. He was dependable, respected, compassionate and supportive, with a quirky sense of humour.
‘These qualities made him an excellent police officer, but also a great person to have in your life in whatever form that took.
‘He would never have thought of himself as being brave or a hero, he was a policeman who just got on with what needed to be done and very much loved his job and the challenges he faced every day.
‘He never questioned becoming a police officer and having the opportunity to make a real difference.
In a statement released by police ahead of the funeral, his family described him as having a gentle character and genuinely cared (Pictured: Colleagues for guard of honour outside Southwell Minster)
His coffin was draped in Nottinghamshire Police’s light blue flag. The service was led by Major Pamela Ralph-Barratt of the Salvation Army and assisted by the Rev Paul Rattigan
His police helmet and wreath was placed atop his coffin with a card which read: ‘Dearest Daddy. You will be in our hearts forever’
He began his policing career with the Metropolitan Police in 2013, before joining Nottinghamshire Police in 2017
Sergeant Saville was a response officer based at Newark Police Station in Nottinghamshire
Sergeant Graham Saville, 46, is pictured with his wife Joanne and their two children
‘We have been deeply touched by the outpouring of messages of respect and support for Graham, and humbled by the generosity of the general public.
READ MORE: Hero police Sergeant who was hit by a train while trying to save a distressed man on the tracks has died: Tributes are paid to ‘brave and selfless’ officer who was a ‘hugely respected and popular colleague’
‘We would like to express our thanks to all of the critical care team at the Queen’s Medical Centre, his colleagues, the ambulance crew that attended and the policing family for their kind support and all they have done for Graham.
‘Graham leaves behind a void that can never be filled, but we are immensely proud of everything he has done both personally and professionally. He’ll be in all of our hearts forever and never forgotten.’
Sgt Saville leaves behind a wife and two young children, he enjoyed mountain biking, running and coaching his son’s football team, the force said.
He started a role as a response sergeant based at Newark police station a short time before his death.
He began his policing career with the Metropolitan Police in 2013, before joining Nottinghamshire Police in 2017, spending most of his time with the force at the Radford Road police station.
Opening the service, Major Ralph-Barratt described Sgt Saville as ‘one of a kind’ and ‘thoughtful and caring’.
She said: ‘He was a team player and an amazing role model.
‘He was respected and always gave people credit when credit was due.’
Nottingham Forest held a minute’s silence in memory of Sgt Saville ahead of their Carabao Cup matchg against a Burney a day after his death
The police sergeant’s nephew Joe Worral, 26, who plays centre-back for Nottingham Forest, was left devastated by his hero uncle’s death
A note in memory of Sergeant Saville outside Newark police station in Nottinghamshire sending ‘thoughts and prayers’ to his family, friends, and colleagues
A man leaves floral tributes outside Newark Police station on August 30 after it was announced Sgt Saville had died
Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: ‘The loss of such a popular and well-respected colleague has affected all of us, especially those closest to him.
‘I’d like to share my gratitude and admiration for the incredible strength and resilience officers and police staff have shown over the past couple of months.
READ MORE: Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper pays emotional tribute to captain Joe Worrall following a family tragedy
‘I am also proud of how many colleagues have come together today to stand in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder, in remembering Graham.’
An inquest into Sgt Saville’s death was opened and adjourned in September, with a full hearing date still to be scheduled.
Nottingham Forest held a minute of applause for the Sergeant, ahead of their match against Burnley in the Carabao Cup a day after his death.
The policeman’s nephew, Worrall, 26, was not seen on the pitch but was pictured in the stands of the grounds.
Nottinghamshire Police flew its flags at half-mast, as further tributes flooded in from his local MP, the Policing Minister and the Home Secretary Suella Braverman offered her ‘deepest condolences’.
Friends posted on Facebook, with one saying: ‘Truly awful news to hear about our friend Graham Saville. Many good times had with this hero. Rest well mate.’
Another added: ‘There are very few people in the world that deserve the phrase ‘couldn’t have happened to a nicer person’ but you are one of them.
‘You were one of the nicest people and paid the ultimate price. RIP and thoughts with your family mate.’
Police officers stand at Bulpit Lane level crossing in Balderton, Nottinghamshire, on August 25
Police and railway workers near the scene in Balderton, near Newark-on-Trent, on August 25
Also paying their respects to Sergeant Saville was Chief Constable Kate Meynell, who said: ‘Today is a day of mourning for the entire police family.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak joined the tributes to Sergeant Saville’s ‘bravery’ and posted on X, previously known as Twitter: ‘I’m saddened to learn of the passing of Sergeant Saville. It is a testament to his bravery that he died in the line of duty and a terrible reminder of the work the police do every day to keep us safe.
‘My thoughts are with his family, friends and the whole of Nottinghamshire Police Force.’
The man on the railway lines, 29, sustained severe electricity-inflicted burns.
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