Centenary of anarchist police murders marked

Three policemen murdered by a gang of eastern European anarchists during a botched burglary were remembered on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy yesterday.

Under grey skies and drizzle the first memorial to the officers was unveiled near the scene of the killings at Houndsditch in the City of London.

City of London Police Commissioner Mike Bowron paid tribute to the bravery of the men, noting that the centenary was particularly poignant in the light of the stabbing of two policemen at a bus stop in Ealing, west London, on Wednesday.

Sergeant Robert Bentley, 36, Sergeant Charles Tucker, 46, and Pc Walter Choat, 34, were shot dead on December 16 1910 by a gang of largely Latvian revolutionaries attempting to break into a Houndsditch jewellers.

Two other officers were crippled for life in the incident, which led two-and-a-half weeks later to the famous Siege of Sidney Street on January 3 1911.

Unveiling a plaque on a wall in Cutler Street, behind Houndsditch, commemorating the policemen who died, Mr Bowron said: "They were no different from the constables you see around you today – ordinary men and women doing a most extraordinary job.

"They are members of the police family. We are a very close family and we shall never forget them."

The commissioner, who was on his final day of duty before leaving City of London Police to become Jersey's chief of police, admitted the memorial was "long overdue".

The moving ceremony was also attended by Lord Mayor of London Michael Bear and descendants of the three officers.