Memorial unveiled for Topsham PCSO
A MEMORIAL to commemorate the life of a fallen soldier and Topsham police community support officer has been unveiled. The plaque, to commemorate 29-year-old Mark Marshall, was unveiled in Countess Wear last week. Mark, a member of the Territorial Army, w
A MEMORIAL to commemorate the life of a fallen soldier and Topsham police community support officer has been unveiled.
The plaque, to commemorate 29-year-old Mark Marshall, was unveiled in Countess Wear last week.
Mark, a member of the Territorial Army, was killed by an explosion on patrol in Afghanistan last February.
Members of his family and former work colleagues, including Percy Giles, Topsham's current police community support officer, were present for the memorial ceremony.
Mr Giles said: "I was touched by how many members of the community came to the unveiling of the plaque which reflects the work that Mark did in the area.
"It was a fitting tribute to my good friend and colleague."
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Mark joined the police force in 2006. He served in Exeter within the Priory and latterly with the Countess Wear and Topsham neighbourhood policing teams.
Jo Tennant, Devon district commander chief superintendant, said Mark was one of the force's most experienced PCSOs and would be hugely missed.
"His work with young people was very much appreciated by all those he came into contact with.
"He had the ability to motivate and inspire youngsters and he really enjoyed his work with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. Mark was a great character and an important part of our team."
Brent Davison, Exeter neighbourhood inspector, said: "Mark was an absolute gentleman who always surpassed expectations.
"He was an excellent PCSO and would have made a superb police officer which he aspired to. Mark was always smiling and particularly enjoyed helping young people.
"I remember being present at a Duke Of Edinburgh awards ceremony, where the recipients were young people from his patch who Mark and his colleagues had mentored.
"He made such a difference to those young people and his legacy will go on with them.
"He will be very sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him."
Police officers who knew Mark have also put a plaque up at Heavitree Road police station and there are plans for a bench to be installed at the King George V playing fields.
The serviceman was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was on a routine foot patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan.