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Overlooked Britain: In memoriam WPC Yvonne Fletcher

Regulars | By Lucinda Lambton

There is an exquisite pleasure – or, in this case, pain – to come upon a sight so out of context that it cannot be true. You reason that it must be an illusion but, nevertheless, there it is, perforce infusing you with incredulous magic.  Such was the case in St Leonard’s Church at Semley in Wiltshire, originally dating from the 1000s and largely rebuilt in the mid to late 1800s. There I was, amidst particularly beautiful countryside on the Dorset border, when, in the Lady Chapel, I suddenly saw a gigantic, stained glass window of three lights, swirled about by paintings of semi-abstract flowers, along with others of almost botanic clarity, surrounding words that were startlingly unexpected: WPC YVONNE FLETCHER 1958-1984 KILLED ON DUTY ST JAMES’S SQUARE LONDON. In their picturesque centre is a ‘METROPOLITAN EIIR POLICE’ badge of a star topped by a crown. WPC Fletcher was shot...

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