“Cycling 180 miles at your age?”

Posted on May 18, 2016 | Category :Uncategorized | Comments Off

Simon Cole


In July, together with over 30 other colleagues from Leicestershire Police and many hundreds more nationally, I will be cycling 180 miles for the Care of Police Survivors Trust (COPS).    Care of Police Survivors supports the families of officers who have been killed on duty.  Sadly they are a charity who have had to do their work here in Leicestershire supporting families of colleagues who have fallen whilst serving their communities
Each rider is asked to ride bearing a wrist band with the name of a fallen colleague.  This year I shall be wearing the name of Temporary Sergeant Cyril Thoroughgood.   Cyril originally joined the Metropolitan Police before serving in Leicester where he was a regular sight on the beat in Syston.  He was a member of Syston Rugby Club, playing for them in the pack at lock forward.
In the 1950s Cyprus was a country experiencing unrest and a British policing detachment was deployed.  Cyril, a member of what was then the Leicester and Rutland Constabulary, volunteered to go with the policing mission.  On 28th September 1956 Cyril was in plain clothes with colleagues from Herefordshire and Worcestershire Police forces at the junction of Ledra Street and Alexander the Great Street in Nicosia.  Three members of a local terrorist group trailed the English police officers before shooting them from behind in a rapid volley of shots.  The Cyprus Mail reported the silence being broken by eight or nine shots fired in quick succession.  The reporter saw two men lying on the ground and a third leaning on the wall with a revolver in his hand.  The gunmen disappeared.  There is a particularly moving photograph of the officers lying dying in the street.  Cyril died of his injuries and was buried in Wayne’s Keep Military Cemetery in Cyprus.  In 1957 a local Cypriot man stood trial but was acquitted due to “procedural inadequacies”.  In 1961 he admitted in a newspaper article that he had murdered the officers.
Cyril’s story is a remarkable one.  A Syston rugby player, a local Police Officer, a peace keeper, shot dead by terrorists in Cyprus whilst doing his bit to keep people safe.
If you go to Syston Rugby Club today you can still see Cyril’s picture proudly adorns the wall of the clubhouse.  When I mentioned to their Chairman that I was doing the ride wearing Cyril’s name he, literally, put his hand into the club’s coffers and made a donation.  If you felt that you wanted to do the same then here is the link to enable you to do so;

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