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Police in Grays raise £9000 by walking over 71km in memory of officer

The team raised more than £9,000 (credit: Essex Police)

Six police officers in Grays have raised more than £9,000 in memory of a colleague by walking over 71 kilometres.

The group walked from Southend Police Station to Chelmsford to raise money for the family of PC Ewan Smith, 36, who died unexpectedly in March last year.

Ewan, who was an officer at Grays Police Station, had taken the day off work after initially having a headache.

He later suffered a sudden seizure and was rushed to hospital.

The officer was found to have a brain tumour and never recovered consciousness following the seizure. He died three days later.

Ewan left behind wife, Natalie, their sons, Austin, and twins Fletcher and Franklin who were aged five and one at the time.

Colleagues, Detective Sergeant Charlie Cronin, PC Andy Gore, PC Dave Roberts, DC Karen Bryant, PC Charlotte Vale and PC Wendy Wray, set off from Southend Police Station at 7pm on Saturday, 1 May.

The group completed the 71.449 kilometre walk, in tribute of Ewan’s police collar number 71449, in 19 hours.

After starting in Ewan’s hometown, Southend, the team passed through Hadleigh, Benfleet, Pitsea and Stanford-le-hope to reach Grays Police Station where they had worked alongside the officer.

They arrived at their halfway point during the early hours of Sunday, 2 May. 

The group then walked to Orsett and Billericay as they made their way towards Chelmsford.

A mile before the finish line the officers were joined by Ewan’s wife and three sons, who walked the final part of the team’s journey with them to finish at Essex Police headquarters.

Ewan left behind wife, Natalie, their sons, Austin, and twins Fletcher and Franklin

Detective Sergeant Charlie Cronin said: “We have been completely overcome by everyone’s generous donations.” 

“We never envisaged we’d raise this much money and we would like to thank every single person who has donated to our cause.

“We can’t begin to express just how overwhelmed we were by everyone’s kindness and couldn’t believe that we even had donations from people who didn’t know us or Ewan.

“We know nothing we do can ever make up for loosing Ewan, but we hope that we can make Natalie, the boys and Ewan’s parents and three sisters, feel a little better on Ewan’s behalf.”

On hearing about what Ewan’s colleagues were planning in memory of her late husband, Ewan’s wife, Natalie, said:

“I am so touched by the thought Charlie and the team have put in to this and I know that Ewan would have loved the idea.

“Incorporating Ewan’s police collar number and the areas where he lived and worked in the walk makes it very personal and special.

“It wasn’t until Charlie sent me the Just Giving link, that I realised the team were raising money for us. I was completely shocked and overwhelmed. I can never begin to thank everyone for their thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity.

“We have been left devastated by Ewan’s death and miss him every day.

“It’s nice to know that we’re not alone in remembering him and have the continued support of his friends and colleagues from Essex Police”

Anyone wishing to donate can do via the Just Giving page.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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