Lissie Harper and her brother, Jake Beckett, has led over 5,000 motorcyclists in a ‘ride of respect’ (scroll down for video) that was arranged by Sian Sloper via a Facebook Group that now has over 10,000 members.
PC Andrew Harper, 28, tragically died as he responded to reports of a burglary in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on 15 August.
His teenage sweetheart and much-loved wife Lissie – followed closely by other family members – led the vast convoy on a 15-mile route from RAF Benson to Abingdon Airfield in Oxfordshire.
Lissie was the passenger on her husband’s motorcycle (nearest to the camera) , which was ridden by her brother Jake Beckett
Sian Sloper said that she was “overwhelmed” by the support shown for the event.
Mark Taylor, who took part in the ride said:
“This is aimed at each and every person that lined the route today.
“Today was an emotional day for all involved, I think. I was doing ok until the first big group of people waving and clapping at Crowmarsh roundabout, the same was repeated at every spot where you all came out to support us.
“I’m a 51yr old that isn’t easily moved emotionally, but all you that came out to support us by waving and clapping put tears to my eyes.
Sian Sloper said she decided to organise the ride “to do something nice and bring the community together”
“I think I can safely say a lot of us taking part in the ride were moved by your support.
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all that lined the route today.
“You all made the ride even more poignant for us, and I’m sure PC Harpers family that were leading the field were as moved by you guys as they were by us behind on the ride.
Nikki Hamilton, who works at RAF Benson, said:
“Our airfield seems much bigger again now, and a lot quieter…
“Thank you, everyone, who came, followed the rules, paid their respects and made it such an incredible event to be a part of.
“It’s definitely not something we will forget, and we will be making sure it’s in the Benson history books.
PC Andrew Harper
Well done Sian, Francesco, Sadie, Colin and the hundreds of others who made it all possible”.
Meanwhile, Mark Beattie summed up the feelings of many when he said:
“Well, I swore I wouldn’t cry…no way….big tough ex Cop Geordie like me….no way.
“That was until the three things following happened…
“1….The amazing people of Oxfordshire who took the ride to their own hearts despite the inconvenience it must have caused them. Starting with the residents of the Base to those in the villages and on road junctions and finally riding through Abingdon. It was breathtaking. Pc Harper must have been wonderfully respected.
“2…Riding past a pub, there was a group of blokes in their 40s/50s drinking and waving outside a pub. One of them in a red top was literally in tears watching us pass.
“And the big one…
“3… Under the road bridge over the A34 as we left Abingdon was a Police Patrol car with three officers all kitted up and they clapped us by.
“I’m assuming they may even have been colleagues of Pc Harper.
“That did it…….tears
“Ps…..thanks you to everyone who helped organise this amazing day and I hope Andrew’s wife, family and friends draw some comfort from it”.