Monday 11 March 2024

Death of Police Widow: Audrey Ledger

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the death of Police widow, Audrey Ledger, who died at her Bishop Auckland home on Friday 1st March 2024, aged 91 years.

Audrey is the widow of retired Police Sergeant 551 Daniel (Danny) Whitfield Ledger, who retired from Durham Constabulary in October 1990 and died in January 2009.

Audrey was born in Crook, the only girl of three children. Due to her father’s work, the family moved to Sacriston and attended Durham Girls Grammar School. Sadly, at the age of 14 years, Audrey’s mother passed away, followed by her father six months later.

This resulted in the children being separated and going to live with different families,Audrey moving to Tanfield Lea where she joined the choir of the local Methodist Chapel.

Danny was a choirboy at the same Chapel and on seeing Audrey he told a friend that he was going to marry her.

Danny performed his National Service in the RAF from 1952-54, and in addition to an administrative role, he trained up to Senior Aircraftsman.

In 1955 Danny kept to his word and he and Audrey were married. In 1957 Danny joined Durham County Constabulary, leaving in 1965, when the couple and their two daughters emigrated, to pursue a life in Australia.

Between 1966-68, Danny worked for the Melbourne Harbour Trust, where, after training he became a diver and a licensed motor boatman, he also trained in Fire Fighting and Emergency Operations. Audrey worked as School Secretary at Melbourne’s Methodist Ladies College.

Audrey was somewhat homesick and in 1969 the family moved back to the North East of England, where Danny resumed service with the Durham force and was later promoted to the rank of Sergeant. His police service began at Hebburn, then Chopwell where he rode a police motorcycle, then after the family’s return from Australia, he was posted to

Bishop Auckland, where he was involved with the Divisional firearms officers. He was also an instructor at Harperley Hall for a time and sang in the Durham Constabulary Male Voice Choir for many years; he finally retired in 1990.

Upon their return to England, Audrey took up employment as a Laboratory Assistant at King James Grammar School in Bishop Auckland. However, after learning of her employment status in Melbourne, she was offered the job of School Secretary, a position she held until her retirement in 1992.

She was a very active person and was a committee member of King James Sports Centre, and for many years was on the committee of Bishop Auckland Women’s Institute.

Danny had been a NARPO member and on the committee of the Durham Branch for at least 10 years, with he and Audrey taking an active interest in NARPO. After Danny’s death, Audrey continued her membership and was elected on to the committee in 2010, stepping down in 2024 due to her failing health. For many years she has supported the branch, attending the majority of meetings and social gatherings.

Audrey had a real love for books, poetry and crafts, particularly embroidery and knitting; she had knitted items for Premature Baby Units at the Hospital and ‘Trauma Teddies’ for the Police.

Audrey is survived by daughter Christine and son-in-law David, daughter Gillian, grandchildren Nicola, Alison, Richard and Rachel, and great grandchildren Jake, Emily and Erin.

A funeral service is to be held at 3.30pm Friday 22nd March 2024 at Wear Valley Crematorium, Coundon, Bishop Auckland DL14 8PE.

Family flowers only, donations in lieu to Great North Air Ambulance.

Our thoughts are with Audrey’s family and friends at this sad time.

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