Remembering my father

The below piece was wrote by Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman:

The 27th June 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of my father Pc 256 Kerim “Kerry” Blakeman.

On Monday 27th June 1966 Dad was posted to M28 from Duke Street & was sent to Minstead Road, Gravelly Hill at 0657hrs where a Commer van had rolled into the main road and was obstructing traffic. Dad pushed the van out of the way and collapsed having suffered a massive heart attack. He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital, he was just 35.

My two brothers Steve & John were aged 13 and 9. Sadly I never knew my father, my mother June was pregnant with me at the time of his death.

When I was born I was named Kerry after my late father.

My family were given my father’s police file, which has given us a great insight into his police career.

Kerim joined Birmingham City Police in December 1951 and attended Police Training College. On leaving police training the Commandant wrote “Pc Blakeman is a very smart tall young man, he has excellent bearing, he has the makings of an excellent police officer”

Kerim was posted to Steelhouse Lane Police Station in 1952 and earned £400 per annum!

He spent the majority of his first 10 years patrolling in what we would know as a response officer in today’s modern era of policing.

In 1962 Dad featured in a Birmingham City Police recruitment brochure when the below picture was taken in Corporation Street.

Blakeman

November 1963 saw my Dad being part of a police escort helping to smuggle The Beatles into the Birmingham Hippodrome. Dad was featured in the below iconic picture and is stood behind Paul McCartney.

Blakeman 2My Dad had always wanted to be part of “Traffic Patrols” and in June 1964 he became a grade 1 advanced driver and was posted to Traffic.

I have many fond memories of Christmas parties at Tally Ho courtesy of The Police Benevolent fund and also being visited by traffic officers who were friends with my Dad and helped to support my late mother.

My brother John joined West Midlands Police in 1975 and I suppose it was inevitable I too would join which I did in 1988.

I was humbled when the force unveiled their Roll of Honour in January 2013 remembering all those officers who have died or been killed on duty.

Blakeman 3

I was delighted to be appointed Chief Inspector in charge of Force Traffic in 2013, something I’m sure Dad would have been very proud of (and also as a Grade 1 advanced driver!) It was rather spooky that the Traffic car I took out on patrol on my very first day featured Dad’s initials “KHB.”

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