Almost 60 years on, Kenneth Nash still misses his uncle Allen.
Sergeant Allen William Nash, aged 40, was killed in the line of duty by a gun-wielding offender at Primbee in 1956.
Sgt Nash was one of eight officers stationed in the Lake Illawarra local area command who were recognised with memorial plaques on a wall of honour outside Lake Illawarra police station on Monday, as part of Police Remembrance Day commemorations.
Dozens of current and retired officers, families, friends, politicians, councillors and members of the public gathered at Oak Flats for a ceremony to unveil the memorial wall, and honour past and present officers.
Kenneth Nash travelled from Brisbane for the ceremony, laying a wreath below his uncle’s name.
‘‘We came to Port Kembla some time ago to see where he was, and they had a plaque on the wall at the station,’’ Mr Nash said.
‘‘They called us and asked if we could come for the ceremony.’’
On August 16, 1956, Sgt Nash, stationed at Port Kembla, responded to shots fired at a Primbee house.
Finding a man on the verandah, Sgt Nash attempted to speak to the man but was shot through the abdomen, the bullet piercing his spine and paralysing his right arm.
Sgt Nash then shot the offender with his left hand. He died not long after.
Sgt Nash was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry, the Peter Mitchell Trophy, and the George Lewis Trophy.
‘‘He wasn’t even supposed to be on duty that day, he was covering for someone else,’’ Mr Nash said.
‘‘Having a recognition like this, it’s everything for us. He had a lot of siblings but only one or two are left. This plaque means people won’t forget about him.’’
Mr Nash carries with him a cigarette case Sgt Nash had in his jacket on the day he died, and counts a cutlery set sent to his uncle by Queen Elizabeth herself as a prized family heirloom.
Since 1862, more than 250 NSW Police officers have died in the line of duty.