FIVE serving Essex Police officers have pledged to walk 71.449 kilometres in 24 hours in memory of their friend and colleague, PC Ewan Smith.
In March 2020, PC Ewan Smith died unexpectedly at the age of only 36. He had been unable to attend work due to a headache. Later that day he suffered a sudden seizure and was rushed to hospital. Tragically, Ewan was found to have a brain tumour, he never recovered consciousness following the seizure and 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. Along with Natalie and the boys, Ewan’s parents and three sisters have been left heartbroken by his death.
Almost a year on and his team mates; Detective Sergeant Charlie Cronin, PC Andy Gore, PC Dave Roberts, DC Karen Bryant and PC Charlotte Vale will be walking more than 70 kilometres in 24 hours to raise funds for Ewan’s family. In fact the team will be walking exactly 71.449 kilometres, in honour of Ewan’s police collar number 71449.
“Ewan’s death came as a complete shock to us all”
said DS Charlie Cronin, who is the team’s sergeant at Grays.
“He was a fit and healthy young man, who had even recently taken part in a charity boxing event, which he had to do a lot of training for.
“We’ve been wanting to do something as a team to honour Ewan’s memory, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, we weren’t able to attend his funeral or arrange anything special at the time.
“None of us are athletes, but we wanted to do something that would be a challenge and somehow involve Ewan, which is why we chose this walk with a distance that reflected his police collar number. And to ensure it was a proper challenge, we set ourselves a time limit of 24-hours.”
At the beginning of May, Covid-19 regulations permitting, the five officers will begin their walk in Ewan’s home town, Southend, walking to Grays Police Station, where they worked together, and then heading to Chelmsford, where Ewan served as a police officer, finishing their challenge at Essex Police Headquarters.
The team have so far raised more £4000 for Ewan’s family, having originally set out to raise £2500.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity that everyone has shown us”
said PC Andy Gore, who worked alongside Ewan.
“Ewan’s family have not only had to deal with this tragic loss, but had to do so at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the introduction of a national lockdown, something that none of us had ever experienced.
“This is why we wanted to raise money for Ewan’s family.
“Nothing we can do will ever make up for them loosing Ewan, but if we can make them feel a little better on behalf of Ewan, then we will do all we can.”
Incorporating all the training the five officers will have done and the walk itself, the team will have walked a collective of approximately 2200 kilometres for Ewan, which is the equivalent distance from Essex Police Headquarters to Athens in Greece, as the crow flies.
“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”
If you would like to donate please go to the team’s Just Giving page.