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"Our lives and hearts have been torn apart"

Pc Andrew Harper's family members leave heartfelt tributes to him

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886632

"You will always be our hero"

THE devastated family of Pc Andrew Harper have said their "lives and hearts have been torn apart" by his death.

Pc Harper was killed while attending reports of a burglary in Bradfield Southend on Thursday, August 15.

The 28-year-old officer married his childhood sweetheart, Lissie, just 28 days before his death and the pair should be on their honeymoon now.

However, his new wife and family now have to come to terms with life without him.

Today, members of his family have paid tribute to their "hero".

Tribute from Pc Harper's brother, Sean:

To my dear brother and best friend,

It saddens me that I have to tell you how much you meant to me in this way, but I just hope that you knew all along. 

You were there for me from the start, back when we were two scruffy kids discovering what it means to grow up. I always looked up to you, and you shaped me into who I am today. It's no coincidence that every one of your interests quickly became mine.

You were there for me when I needed you, or when I just wanted to spend time with you, and you always had my back.

Anyone who knew you will agree that the tributes and kind words being left by so many, which we are so grateful for, are not being said only now that you have left us,

I think you really were too good to be true.

I'm praying that one day I am going to wake up and see you, that I will hear your voice and you will tell me you are alright. I will tell you that you are the best brother and will ask if I ever told you that I love you.

It was only weeks ago that I was writing your Best Man's speech, but I am so grateful that we were all able to spend the perfect day together, as you married the love of your life, my new sister.

I have so much to thank you for, more than I could ever put into words, and I just hope that you can see how much you are loved by everyone around you.

You were the funniest, bravest, most compassionate person I've ever known, and it is such an honour and a privilege to be able to call you my big brother.

I take solace in how much you have brought us all together so strongly, and I thank you again for the wonderful family you introduced us to, who I will forever more call my own family.

One day we'll walk Ralph again, and then you can make the beef nachos whilst I get the PS1 ready.

We all love you so much, I promise you will never be forgotten, and I promise that I will do my best to try to make you as proud of me as I am of you.

You will always be our hero, my brother and best friend. I miss you big guy.

Your little bro,

Sean

Tribute from Debbie and Phil, Pc Harper's mother and stepfather:

Before I begin to pay tribute to Andrew, I have to give heartfelt thanks and my love to all police officers, paramedics, past and present up and down the country and particularly those closely related to Andrew's support.

The minutes silences, flags at half mast etc., really helps us even though nothing can remove our pain. So many are suffering with us and beside us.

The general public's response and outpouring of love through all avenues and from up and down the country and across the world is treasured and is soothing us and helping us to keep faith in the human race where we could otherwise lose it.

An example of this is the two officers who drove down from Scotland, laid their flowers and drove straight back.

So appreciated. I also need to say thank you so much for the huge love and support of my perfect friends helping us through these first dark days.

I love you all x

Going on to my dearest and desperately missed Andrew, our lives and hearts have been torn apart, to be taken from us all and his childhood sweetheart Lissie and her lovely family who have been his closest family of late.

Always such a generous heart and humorous side Andrew looked out for his brother Sean totally, they are unbelievably close, and have done so many things together such as visiting the Cairngorms on a Winter Climbing course or very recently rollerblading in their size 14's laughing at each other when they fall over.

As a boy Andrew was always the most balanced, calm, caring, loving, but hilariously funny character. Imitating scenes from films or practical jokes such as putting some chilli in a chocolate eclair sweet and giving it to me when driving! This formed the pattern even as a man. Everything he did was with a smile. WeirdIy I cannot even remember a time he was angry or in a bad mood. My step-daughter Amelia adores him as she does Sean, and we will be lost without him. 

"We are devastated and bereft but as Andrew always lived, with dignity, honour and calmness we intend to grieve in this way. A big part of me has gone with you, I cannot imagine our lives going forward but we will do so with Andrew in our hearts. 

RIP My Andrew. Mum x

As a step-dad I have known Andrew for the last 13 years, and I have seen him grow from a 15-year-old, rosy cheeked lad to a 28-year-old strapping man, of which I am very proud and honoured to call him Andrew, my step-son.

You have made me very proud over the years how you have handled everything. Lots of love, Phil. x

Tribute from Pc Harper's sister, Aimee:

To my big brother,

It’s difficult to think about writing a tribute before understanding that you’re gone.

It’s so hard to imagine because you were so full of life, I’m still expecting you to turn up, raid the fridge (true Harper) run around with the dogs and tire us all out before leaving. Always a whirlwind. 

You were there since the moment I was born, there for all the games, films, fights, hormones and caravan holidays… and I was so looking forward to coming home from Greece and getting to see more of you.

It takes my breath away every time the realisation sets in that I never get to see you again. But we were so so lucky to all be together for the wedding which was perfect, you always brought us together. 

You really were so passionate about your job, I think we all can’t help but wish you were a little less brave so then we could still have you here, but you were a protector at heart.

You looked out for us all and I took it for granted that I always had you at the end of my phone if I was in trouble. 

I will miss you annoying me, commandeering the front room to play games with Sean all day, stealing my food, judgemental eye rolls when I have another glass of wine or taking the mick out of me for being ditsy. It’s what made you my big brother. 

Your sense of humour never changed, never failed to make us laugh even at your own expense. I can see why you’ve gained such an amazing reputation within the police and it seems to have spread across the world. The overwhelming support we have received has helped us through that bit more, I’m truly grateful. 

My very big brother, I miss you. 

Love Aimee

Left to right: Pc Harper's sister, Aimee, father Phil, wife Lissie, Pc Harper, stepmother Karen and brother Sean

Tribute from Phil and Karen, Pc Harper's father and stepmother:

On the 15th of August 2019 our planet lost a very special person, in our eyes and many others, a hero, if not a superhero. You were more incredible than Mr. Incredible, more super than Superman, but most importantly you were our beloved son.

All that we can think now is how deeply we miss you, a loss we will carry for the rest of our lives. When you passed, we lost a part of our hearts that can’t be replaced.

Your wife Lissie, brother Sean, sister Aimee, and step-mum Karen (my wonderful wife, who played such a large part in your life) are so very dearly missing you Andrew, as are the rest of your families and all of your friends who ever knew you.

You had time for everyone, time to listen to them, bringing comfort and calmness wherever you went. You would always put yourself forward to look after the people around you, and would always see the good in others.

You always made us laugh, always bringing tears of happiness to our eyes.

You would take control of the barbecue at family gatherings, making sure that everyone else was well fed, whilst devoting your time with a genuine interest to find out how everyone was.

There was no challenge too great or task too small. You loved your sister and brother, and you would always come over to spend time with us all, whether that meant playing around in the garden with the dogs, or inside on the Playstation, or watching a film.

We all had the most wonderful day at the most perfect wedding and I must thank Simon and Julie and everyone else that helped prepare for this perfect day.

I’m so sorry that you didn’t get to enjoy your honeymoon, but I am so happy that you managed to spend a few days after the wedding in Cornwall with Gran and Grandpa, a place that you loved, where we all share so many happy memories.

You loved your job so much, we knew that there was always a risk to you, but it was something you had always wanted to do and we were so privileged to meet some of your great colleagues.

Some of those colleagues you had sadly lost in recent times, and we all knew they took their toll on you. When your dear friend Simon Caddy passed, we wept together at the enormous loss.

Although Andrew was the strongest man we knew, he was also a big softy with a huge heart. Rest in peace my son, you have made us so proud of you and we will always love and miss you.

Dad and Karen

Tribute from Pc Harper's sister-in-law, Kate:

Andrew,

There are no words to say that truly justify how great you were. Your friendship, support, dedication and love made you the best brother-in-law, friend and police officer.

We made so many memories which I will treasure forever.

Your humour, strength and bravery will live on in us because you brought out the best in everyone and of every situation.

I'm immensely proud to have called you my friend and my family.

I'll miss our adventures, night shift chats and you fixing things! But mostly I'll miss laughing with you and all the silly things you did to make us all smile.

Thank you for being such an amazing friend and uncle to Ellie, she absolutely idolises you, and will always remember your adventures, and being on top of your shoulders.

I know you'll watch over us, as you did every day.

Rest up guy.

Kate

Kate (left), Andrew, Lissie

Tribute from Gran and Grandpa:

A Tribute to a Fine Young Policeman.

Andrew always wanted to be a policeman, unfortunately at the time he first started work, the police force were not recruiting, so rather reluctantly, he had to take on other jobs – he became a Roofer for a short time after which he worked for BT installing fibre optic cables and equipment.

Alongside this, he had seized his first opportunity to join the police as an unpaid Special Constable.

His dream came true when he was offered a job with the Thames Valley Police. He undertook (and enjoyed) lots of training in various aspects of police work and later became a fully-fledged PC.

Andrew loved his work – he always wanted to become a good policeman and to serve his community to the best of his ability.

He had a lovely personality – gentle, kind, caring and always smiling. All of us in his close-knit family are devastated by recent events – we all loved him dearly and miss him terribly, he has left a void in this family that will never be filled. The pain suffered by his new, lovely wife Lissie and the rest of us is immeasurable. The world is a poorer place without him.

Tribute from Nan and Bubba:

Our Grandson Andrew was the finest and generous of all men you could ever have met. Always ready to help anyone with a broad smile, we have a photo of when he was only a few hours old, which we will treasure forever.

He will be loved and never forgotten in all of our hearts and we are so glad to have been his grandparents, and treasure the nick-name he gave his Grandad, which everyone we now know has adopted, thanks to him.

Bubba

I just loved Andrew and I am so very proud of him, he was such a lovely person, and we shall so miss him forever.

Nan

Tribute from Julie, Simon and Jake, Pc Harper's parents-in-law and brother-in-law:

Andrew was a kind, thoughtful and wonderfully caring lovely man.

He had only become our son-in-law a few weeks ago, but he has been a part of our family for many years and we loved him like a son.

He touched the lives of so many people - family, friends, work colleagues and members of the public, who he did his upmost to serve and protect.

None of us can fully take in the enormity of the sense of loss that Andrew's death has caused us. Everyone who ever had the privilege to meet Andrew felt that little bit better that he had been a part of their lives.

He absolutely loved his job as a policeman and was so excited and proud when he recently joined the Roads Policing Proactive Unit. 

Andrew has left behind a huge loving family and friends, but most of all his best friend and new wife Lissie, who he adored.

We will never come to terms with this unimaginable loss and we are relying on the justice system to bring the people responsible to justice.

We would like to thank every single person for the kindness, support and generosity that has come from all over the world, during this extremely difficult time.

We would now ask that we are all given some privacy to be left alone so that we can begin to grieve for Andrew.

Our lives will never be the same without you Andrew, thank you for giving us so many memories that we will treasure forever.

Love from Julie, Simon and Jake xx

Pc Harper with his father-in-law, Simon

 
PC Harper with his mother-in-law, Julie

Pc Harper with his brother-in-law, Jake

Tribute from Mum's family:

Andrew was one of the most uplifting people from baby to grown adult, who met one of the loveliest people, Lissie, at a young age, and together they grew into a fairytale. We had the pleasure of seeing them grow together.

Andrew was always smiling and never had a down face, the way that he walked into a room and changed it with his rosy cheeks, standing tall.

We will miss you Andrew with all our hearts, you’re a light in a dark room. And you will never be forgotten. Until we see you again.

Dale, Paul, Rebecca, Martin, Martina, James, Adam, Annabel, Ellie, we all will miss you..... xxx

Tribute from Dad's family:

You were a gentle giant with a wonderful calming presence, always smiling, you made us feel safe. You were lovable and kind, with a warm heart.

You totally inspired your cousins to experience new things and your enthusiasm was contagious. We all miss you.

Mark, Sharon, Pete, Paula, Jeanne, Jack, Ellen, Adam and Lucy x

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