TRAGIC police officer Andrew Harper will be laid to rest today after being killed in the line of duty just weeks after getting married.
The hero cop was allegedly dragged to his death by a burglary getaway van in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on August 15.
He had married his sweetheart Lissie just one month before his death and was days away from jetting off to Australia for their honeymoon.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend his funeral today with mourners gathering in Oxford as the 28-year-old makes his final journey.
PC Harper will be buried following a service at 11am at Christ Church Cathedral as flags fly at half-mast across Thames Valley Police’s area.
Craig O’Leary, chairman of the force’s federation for rank-and-file officers, called PC Harper a “hero” ahead of today’s private service.
He added: “It is our sad duty today to pay our last respects to him and support his wife Lissie, his family and his friends at his funeral.
“Police officers go to work each and every day to fight crime and protect the public.
“Sadly on very rare occasions a colleague makes the ultimate sacrifice. We will ensure that heroism is never forgotten.”
Road closures are in place in parts of Oxford city centre between 8am and 12.30pm – with the public invited to pay their respects along the processional route.
PC Harper’s family has requested that no flowers are brought to the cathedral, procession or thrown at the cortege.
Instead, they have asked for donations to be made to the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham, or the Blue Cross re-homing centre in Lewknor.
PC Harper was the first policeman to be killed since PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death during the Westminster terror attack in 2017.
‘MY DARLING BOY’
The cop, who joined the force as a special constable in 2010, worked for the Roads Policing Proactive Unit.
He had sent bride Lissie a touching message when they married, which said: “Life is slippery. Here, take my hand.”
Following her husband’s death, she shared a heartbreaking tribute to him, calling him “my darling boy”.
She wrote: “Anyone who was lucky enough to meet you, whether they knew you as Andrew, Andy, Uncle Mann, Harps or PC Harper…to everyone you are a hero.
“You had the best sense of humour and never took life too seriously. You treasured every moment and always had a smile on your face.”
Grieving Lissie went on to praise her husband who “wanted to keep everyone safe” and “went the extra mile”.
She said: “The lights have dimmed on all of our lives now that you are no longer here, but it’s no surprise that even when you’re gone, you’re still keeping us all going, knowing that you would tell us to carry on and stay strong.
“I can’t begin to imagine a life without your silly jokes, size 14 feet, large appetite, big hugs, Sunday roasts, and never faltering positive attitude.
“You kept me going if I was down and took care of us all until the last.”
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Three teens last month appeared in court charged with PC Harper’s murder and conspiracy to steal a quad bike.
Henry Long, 18, and two 17-year-old’s who can’t be identified, were remanded in custody.
Thomas King, 21, has also been charged with conspiracy to steal a quad bike and has been released on conditional bail.
Jed Foster, 20, had been charged with murder but prosecutors at the Old Bailey revealed they were no longer pursuing the case against him.