Tributes to 'inspirational' officer

A 48-YEAR-OLD East Anglian police officer who died of liver cancer was a “loving, joking” film buff, his wife said.Pc Howard Rich, from Great Horkesley, died at Colchester General Hospital last Saturday just weeks after being told he had an incurable cancer.

A 48-YEAR-OLD East Anglian police officer who died of liver cancer was a “loving, joking” film buff, his wife said.

Pc Howard Rich, from Great Horkesley, died at Colchester General Hospital last Saturday just weeks after being told he had an incurable cancer.

He was just about to celebrate 25 years public service, which included five with the military police, before becoming a civilian officer.

His wife Jeanna said: “He was my world - it feels like someone has burst my bubble.

“He organised everything for me - he was my life and strength and it's going to be very hard.

“I've just been sorting out some papers and found he's prepared everything. He was worried about how I'd cope after he died, so organised all the finances and everything like that.”

Most Read

Married for nine years, they had been together as partners for 18.

Pc Rich was a “whiz” with computers, his wife said and loved anything to do with technology.

“He had more than a 1,000 DVDs and kept this database of actors. Every time he watched a film - westerns and karate ones were his favourites - he'd go and add the actors names to the database,” said.

Close friend and British Transport Police colleague Pc Rosie Brignell, 40, said he was an “inspiration”.

He was not only well known to commuters for his work at his base at Ipswich station, but also respected throughout East Anglia for his work, which included a stint in the fraud squad.

As godfather to Mr Brignell's nine-year-old daughter, he was “extremely caring”.

Mr Brignell said: “He was just normal. He was always on the end of practical jokes and had this great sense of humour - I miss him.

“When I first joined the force in 1990, he was the first person I met and he helped to tutor me.

“When he found out about the cancer, he took it unbelievably well. He didn't panic and just threw himself into organising things - he was going to go on holiday with Jeanna soon.

“Although it was a shock, he never felt sorry for himself and didn't look ill.”

Mr Rich's full ceremonial funeral will take place Great Horkseley Church tomorrow at 3pm.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter