Abigail can wear her dad’s medal with pride

Happy family: David Kelsey with his wife Lindsay and Abigail.
Happy family: David Kelsey with his wife Lindsay and Abigail.

LITTLE Abigail Kelsey proudly shows off the medal her daddy will never get to wear.

The six-year-old’s father, Dave Kelsey, was a prison officer who tragically lost his life during a walking holiday in the Lake District more than three years ago.

But Dave, who served at HMP Moorland, was still entitled to a new long service and good conduct medal being issued by the Prison Service.

This week it was presented to his widow, Lindsay Kelsey, and their daughter at a ceremony with other officers at the prison.

Dave, who was 54, was with two other prison officers known as The Walking Gang when he fell 200ft and shattered every bone in his body.

The tragedy occurred just a few weeks before the Moorends couple’s fifth wedding anniversary.

Dave was said to have been an experienced fell walker but toppled backwards going up a steep incline and may have lost his footing because of the slippery conditions while it was raining.

Mrs Kelsey, aged 37, said Abi was “very, very proud” to be presented with her daddy’s posthumously awarded medal for long service and good conduct.

“She had already received a letter from the Queen regarding it. Abi had a huge smile on her face as she was the last person to be presented with it.

“It was announced by Governor Rob Kellett who said, ‘We have a medal here for Officer Dave Kelsey, who is sadly not with us any more. His medal will be collected by his daughter Abigail’.

“She received a huge amount of applause and it was commented on that she behaved beautifully,” said Mrs Kelsey, who also works at Moorland.

At the time of her husband’s death she paid tribute to Moorland staff for their support after her loss, and six colleagues wore full dress uniform to carry his coffin.

Only those who have served more than 20 years with the Prison Service are eligible to receive the new medal.