First Female Mounted Police Officer In The UK Granted Dying Wish

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 10 Mar 2021 18:03
Mounted Unit - NSW Police Force/Facebook

A former mounted police officer has been granted her dying wish by the New South Wales Police Force, Australia.

75-year-old Rita Meredith is believed to have been the first female mounted police officer in the UK, having joined the force in her 20s.


Now living in Australia, Rita is receiving palliative care and sadly isn’t expected to leave the facility. With this in mind, she requested to see and smell a horse for one last time.

New South Wales (NSW) Police Force officers Graham and Nicole paid Rita a visit along with their noble steeds Hollywood and Don, which apparently ‘made Rita’s day’.

Emily Sykes/Facebook

Rita’s daughter-in-law Emily Sykes took to Facebook to tell people about the heart-warming moment and thanked NSW Police for their kindness. Since writing the post yesterday, March 9, nearly 9,000 people have liked it.


Emily wrote, ‘I’m just writing to say a HUGE thank you to the mounted unit of the NSW police force. My mother in law Rita Meredith nee Browning is currently quite unwell and is not expected to return home. She is spending her days at the hospice at Calvary mater in Newcastle being very well looked after. Her main wish before she passed was to smell/see a horse for one more time.’

She continued:

When Rita was in her early 20’s she was a police officer in the UK. After 2 years of service she decided to try the mounted police. She was the first female mounted police officer in the UK (possibly the world?). A pretty special feat for a very special lady. She has done plenty of other extraordinary things in her life, but these days are always looked back at fondly and some of the best she recalls.

Emily Sykes/Facebook

Emily went on to explain that it was a friend of Rita’s who contacted NSW Police about granting her dying wish, and that the officers and their horses travelled more than 100 miles from Redfern, Sydney, to Newcastle to see her.

Further recalling the events, she said, ‘Police officers Graham and Nicole were accompanied by the very handsome Hollywood and Don and they sure made Rita’s day (and all the staff that were awestruck!) They were amazingly patient, answered all our questions and let Rita (and the rest of us) pat them and feed them apples. There were plenty of tears shed and beautiful memories made.’

Emily concluded the post by thanking the police again for visiting Rita and described them as granting her dying wish with ‘such professionalism, respect and grace’.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Animals, Australia, horses, Life, Now


Emily Sykes/Facebook and 1 other
  1. Emily Sykes/Facebook


  2. Daily Mail

    The most moving story you'll read this week: Dying woman who was the first female mounted police officer in the world is granted her final wish