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19 May 2017

Equine student proud to be groom during event to honour WW1 hero

An equine student took part in a North Somerset event honouring the work of a World War 1 hero.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary officially opened The Wilfred Fuller VC Operational Training Centre in Clevedon on Friday 5th May, commemorating the police officer who, in 1915, whilst serving as a lance corporal in the First Battalion Grenadier Guards demonstrated outstanding bravery.

During a battle in France, he pursued an enemy group along the trenches, defeated them and single-handedly captured 50 people.

PC 141 Fuller, who died in 1947, is the only person from the Avon and Somerset police force to have been awarded the Victoria Cross and one of just seven in the whole of Great Britain and the Commonwealth to be bestowed the honour.

Alanna Stanley, a Level 3 Equine Management student from the Lackham campus was proud to be a part of the day, which saw demonstrations from the force’s horse and dog units, grooming for Major Puckey, riding Audrey and Jerry Watkins riding Archie.

The 17-year-old from Trowbridge said: “It was a great honour to represent the college and a very interesting day learning about the tack and equipment used on horses during the war.

“It was very authentic and a wonderful way to remember PC Fuller.

“I was amazed at the behaviour of the horses whilst the band was playing.”

Equine lecturer Dawn Parker Watkins said it was a wonderful opportunity for Alanna.

She said: “This private event saw Alanna working hard to turn the horses out to meet high industry expectations, whilst working with specialized military tack and equipment.

"She performed under strict deadlines and pressure to ensure this element of the event ran smoothly and on time.”

HRH Princess Anne unveiled a plaque to officially open the building and took part in a naming ceremony of a new police horse - called Wilfred.

She was greeted on arrival by the Grenadier Guards and a WW1 bi-plane fly-over.

The new centre will be a regional hub for Avon and Somerset to train its officers and staff to the highest standard and work collaboratively with the fire and rescue and ambulance services.