NORTH Wales Police has marked the centenary of the end of the First World War with a small service.

This took place outside its headquarters in Colwyn Bay yesterday (Friday, November 9).

Police officers, staff and volunteers gathered outside the building to pay their respects with a two-minute silence, and to also remember the 14 police officers from North Wales who lost their lives during the Great War.

Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “As we mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which marked the beginning of the end of the First World War, it is important that we all take time to come together and remember the great sacrifices made by the many people who gave their lives.

“We also pay our respects to the police officers who left our Welsh communities to protect our country, so we could live our lives freely.

"By reflecting on the sacrifices of the fallen, and the great privileges that we enjoy today, we honour and pay tribute to their bravery, commitment and dedication.

"By remembering the fallen today, they will all live on forever.”

Of the 104 police officers from North Wales who fought during the First World War, 14 were not to survive.

These included PC 19 Thomas Charles Orris, who was based at Bangor and received a telegram from London on August 4, 1914.

The message would have been addressed to L/Cpl T C Orris followed by the word ‘Mobilise’ and signed by the ‘Officer Commanding 2nd Bn. Gernadier Guards’.

PC Orris had only joined the police three months before, having been a soldier for several years.

Still being a reservist, he was the first police officer from North Wales to go off to war.

He may have believed, as many others did, that the war would be finished by Christmas but sadly, PC Orris was killed only four months later in France, aged 27, without seeing his next Christmas.

In 1914, the area now covered by North Wales Police was served by five separate constabularies - Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Meirionneth.

In total, 104 officers from across the five constabularies served during the war.

Many of these young men would never have left North Wales previously and tragically some were not to see home again.

As with any war, there are examples of heroism and devotion to duty, such as PC 77 Llywelyn Edwards, stationed at Coedpoeth, who was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty under fire.

Sgt Oliver Cromwell Davies, stationed at Blaenau Ffestiniog, was awarded the Belgian Croix-de-Guerre and Meritorious Service Medal for devotion to duty in the field.

PC Albert Jones, stationed at Mold, was killed within weeks of the outbreak of war at Ypres.

His name is recorded on the famous Menin Gate.

Conversely, PC Reginald Pierce from Wrexham, serving with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, was killed the day before the war ended, on November 10, 1918.

PCs Harold Davies, David Jones and Robert Jones died soon after the war from their wounds or related illnesses.

PCs Richard Morris of Bangor, William Pritchard of Blaenau Ffestiniog and John Lewis Thomas of Llandudno, all serving with the Welsh Guards, were killed within days of each other at the Battle of the Somme in September 1916.

Their graves are unmarked, but their names are engraved on the vast Thiepval Memorial in France.

Some 72,000 names are recorded on that monument, but poignantly the names of these three men are commemorated on the same stone panel close to each other.

Chief Constable Foulkes added: “Of the 90 officers who survived the war, each one re-joined their respective constabularies after returning home, which is a testament to their strength of character and their sense of duty.

"And whilst we rightly honour those who fell in the service of their country, we should not forget the scars, both seen and unseen, that those survivors carried with them for the rest of their service and the rest of their lives.”

During the ceremony, 10-year-old Xander Johnson, of Rhos Street School in Ruthin, played a moving rendition of The Last Post and the names of the 14 police officers from North Wales were read out.

The 14 police officers from North Wales who died for their country:

- PC 8 Albert Jones stationed at Mold. Killed in action, aged 22 at Ypres.

- PC 19 Thomas Charles Orris, stationed at Bangor. Died, aged 27 of wounds received in action.

- PC 74 John Gregson Jones, stationed at Connah’s Quay. Killed in action, aged 25 at Ypres.

- PC 32 Robert John Hughes stationed at Shotton. Killed in action, aged 29.

- PC 84 John Lewis Thomas stationed at Llandudno. Killed in action, aged 22 at Somme Valley.

- PC 90 Richard Morris stationed at Bangor. Killed in action at Somme Valley.

- PC 27 William Pritchard stationed at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Killed in action, aged 24 at Somme Valley.

- PC 79 John Henry Williams stationed at Llangollen. Killed in action, aged 29 at the Somme.

- PC 39 Steven Evans stationed at Llandudno. Killed in action, aged 30 at Somme Valley.

- PC 51 Robert O Roberts stationed at Conwy. Killed in action aged 25 at Cambrai.

- PC 82 Robert Jones, stationed at Caernarfon. Died, aged 25 of illness contracted whilst on active service in France and Flanders.

- PC 33 David L. Jones, stationed at Penmaenmawr. Died, aged 30, of wounds received in action.

- PC 74 Harold William Davies, stationed at Connah’s Quay. Died aged 25 of influenza whilst serving in the army.

- PC 55 Reginald Pierce stationed at Wrexham. Killed in action, aged 33, on the penultimate day of the war, November 10, 1918.