The music playing is one of Lee's favorites R Kelly "The Worlds Greatest"
Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier
Drummer Lee Riggers Rigby
2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
(attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team at the Tower of London Fusiliers Regimental Headquarters).
brutally murdered on the streets of Woolwich London
22nd May 2013
with kind permission from Rebecca Rigby and Lynn Rigby
Lee Rigby memorial goes on display in Middleton
Lee Rigby's widow Rebecca laid flowers at the memorial along with their four-year-old son, Jack
A memorial to murdered soldier Lee Rigby has been unveiled in his home town in Greater Manchester.
The 25-year-old fusilier was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in London on 22 May 2013 by Islamist extremists.
His four-year-old son, Jack, was among those at the private ceremony in Middleton Memorial Gardens earlier.
He laid a floral tribute with his mother Rebecca. Its message read: "Me and Mummy Miss and Love You lots and lots. Jack xxx."
Also attending the dedication service for the bronze drum and plaque were Lee Rigby's mother Lyn, step father Ian and father Philip McClure.
The memorial symbolises the service of the drummer and machine gunner who served with the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Col Mike Glover, regimental secretary of the Lancashire Fusiliers, told the ceremony the soldier's death sent "shockwaves through the country."
"The afternoon of May 22 2013 Fusilier Lee Rigby... paid the ultimate sacrifice when the horror of the battlefield was brought to the streets of Woolwich," he said.
"That day will forever be embedded in
our nation's history and for many here today it will remain forever
in our hearts.
Other service personnel from the borough who lose their lives will also be honoured with a memorial wall in the gardens.
Councillor Peter Williams, deputy leader of Rochdale Council, said: "It is very important that we honour him in a respectful way. We're very proud of him."
Welcoming the memorial, Fusilier Rigby's mother, Lyn, said: "It will be a lovely tribute to Lee who put his life on the line every day to serve his country."
His father, Philip McClure, added: "I am still coming to terms with what happened. Lee will never be forgotten and this memorial is keeping his memory alive in his hometown."
Website Condolence Book for Lee
Lee Riggers Rigby
His first posting was as a machine gunner in Cyprus where the battalion was serving as the resident infantry battalion in Dhekelia. Having performed a plethora of tasks while in Cyprus, he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow, West London. Here, Drummer Rigby stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Battalions public duties commitment. He was an integral member of the Corps of Drums throughout the Battalions time on public duties, the highlight of which was being a part of the Household Divisions Beating the Retreat a real honour for a line infantry Corps of Drums.
In April 2009, Drummer Rigby deployed on Operations for the first time to Helmand province, Afghanistan, where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab. On returning to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the Battalion to Celle, Germany, to be held at a state of high readiness for contingency operations as part of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group.
In 2011, Drummer Rigby took up a Recruiting post in London where he also assisted with duties at Regimental Headquarters in the Tower of London.
An extremely popular and witty soldier, Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers. He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan.
A loving father to his
son Jack, aged 2 years, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
The Regiments thoughts and prayers are with his family during this
extremely difficult time. Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor MBE, Commanding Officer Second Fusiliers, said:
Drummer Lee Rigby was a dedicated and professional soldier. He was a real character within the Second Fusiliers. Larger than life, he was at the heart of our Corps of Drums. An experienced and talented side drummer and machine gunner, he was a true warrior and served with distinction in Afghanistan, Germany and Cyprus. His ability, talent and personality made him a natural choice to work in the recruiting group. He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Second Fusiliers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time. Once a Fusilier, Always a Fusilier.
Captain Alan Williamson, Adjutant Second Fusiliers (and Drummer Rigbys Platoon Commander 2010-2011), said:
Drummer Rigby or Riggers
as he was known within the Platoon was a cheeky and humorous man, always
there with a joke to brighten the mood, he was an extremely popular member
of the Fire Support Group (FSG). An excellent side drummer and highly
competent machine gunner, he was always there to help out the younger
members of the FSG whenever possible. His loss will be felt across the
Battalion but this is nothing compared to how his family must be feeling
at this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with them. Once a
Fusilier, always a Fusilier.
Riggers is what every battalion needs. He was one of the Battalions great characters always smiling and always ready to brighten the mood with his fellow Fusiliers. He was an excellent drummer and well respected within the Drums platoon. He was easily identified whilst on parade by the huge smile on his face and how proud he was to be a member of the Drums. He would always stop for a chat just to tell me Manchester United would win the league again. My thoughts are with his family and they will always be part of the Fusilier family. Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier.
Sergeant Barry Ward, Drum Major Second Fusiliers, said:
Drummer Rigby was a loving father, with a very bubbly character. He was an excellent Drummer, loved his job and was a highly popular member of the Platoon. He had served in Afghanistan as an FSG Operator and was very diligent in his work. He was always around when needed and will be sorely missed by all members of the Second Fusiliers Corps of Drums. Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier.
Fusilier Lee James Rigby, or 'Riggers' to his friends in the Army, was an extremely popular soldier. A larger than life personality, he loved to perform and belonged in the Second Fusilier's Corps of Drums. He was truly charismatic. To be with Lee was to be where it was most fun - the centre of good times and much mischief. People quickly fell under his spell. Whether it was in work or off duty, at a ceremonial engagement or on operations, Lee just knew how to lighten the mood. He could brighten a room within moments, and, by all accounts, clear a dance floor in seconds if a Whitney Houston track was playing! Lee had a natural swagger and the confidence of someone truly comfortable in their own skin. He was always happy. His smile was infectious, as was his enthusiasm for soldiering and his passion for life.
Lee joined the Army in 2006 on his third attempt. It was his lifelong ambition to be a soldier. As a boy, this led him to join the local Army Cadets, which he loved. The entry tests to the Regular Army were therefore not going to defeat him from realising this aim. This was an early indication of how doggedly determined he was when he set his mind to something.
Following his basic infantry training in Catterick, Lee volunteered to be a member of the Corps of Drums of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. I think this surprised his fellow Fusiliers and his family, as Lee had no musical background - a well known passion for Westlife and other Boy Bands - but no real musical skills. The drums training lasted 6 months, during which he drove everyone crazy with his incessant tapping of tables, steering wheels, in fact anything he could find to practise on while he mastered a new skill. The upshot was that Lee arrived in the Second Fusiliers in Cyprus in 2007 having earned the much coveted title of 'Drummer'. This was the start of Lee's career as both a soldier and performer - both of which came naturally to him.
Soon after he arrived in Cyprus, Lee deployed to Jordan on exercise where he began to learn his operational trade as a machine gunner. As some of you will know, the terrain in Jordan is unforgiving, as is the heat, and I remember Lee being put through his paces with the Drums Platoon. Even though he was fresh faced and had much to learn, he was still able to smile though the challenges and hardships. His wicked sense of humour and love of life were obvious to those with him. These qualities and his naturally flamboyant character quickly made him popular in Fire Support Company and across the whole battalion.
Having experienced all the military and social activities available
to him in Cyprus, Lee moved to London with the Second Fusiliers to conduct
ceremonial duties outside Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the
Tower of London. As a Drummer, the pace of life for Lee was relentless.
Through it all, Lee wore his scarlet tunic with pride. He loved entertaining
the crowds outside the Royal Palaces. The highlight of his time in London
was when the Second Fusilier's Corps of Drums was invited to take part
in the Household Division's Beating Retreat. This is a real honour for
a line Infantry Regiment like the Fusiliers and no one was more pleased
than Lee that it was bestowed on his platoon. He was widely regarded
in the Drums Platoon as one of the best drummers in the Battalion. He
was also competitive and mischievous during the performances. He often
tried to make the Drummers either side of him drop a stick during a
stick beat through his more skilful and incredibly energetic performance.
Many of the Drummers remember finishing events relieved that they still
had both sticks in their hands, but with incredibly bruised fingers.
Lee found this highly entertaining. Although he loved the musical role,
Lee wasn't so good at the spit and polish aspects of his trade. Indeed,
having burned the stitching through 6 pairs of drill boots, his seventh
pair was taken off him and returned ready for the parade square!
On return to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the battalion to Celle in Germany. Here the battalion was held at high readiness for contingency operations anywhere around the world. It was less intensive than London for the Drums Platoon, so for Lee it was a time for family, with Jack as a new-born, BBQs and further opportunities to perfect the dance moves to "Time of my Life" from the film Dirty Dancing - apparently he was quite a good Patrick Swayze. Germany was also where Lee learned that he was allergic to the new Camouflage Cream, which caused no end of amusement in the Drums Platoon.
Lee's final challenge in the Army was with the Recruiting Group in London where he also assisted with duties at Regimental Headquarters in the Tower of London. The recruiting post was one that required just the characteristics that Lee possessed and had shown in spades in the short time he had served with the Fusiliers. Namely, soldiering ability and charisma coupled with a cheeky outgoing personality that naturally endeared him to potential recruits. Based out of Woolwich, he helped to inspire many young people to join the Armed Forces. Tragically, it was while Lee was performing these duties that he was so cruelly taken from us.
We have a saying in our Regiment that "Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier". Today we, his Regimental family, salute a fallen comrade. A talented soldier and musician. A larger than life character. A loyal friend and brother-in-arms. A gentle soul. Above all, a true Fusilier - daring in all things. We all feel his loss keenly. We will remember him with pride always. Today, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his family and friends; we will continue to do so in the years to come.
So, thanks be to God for Lee Rigby - father, husband, son, brother, friend, Fusilier.
We will remember him.
EULOGY FOR FUSILIER LEE JAMES RIGBY
Click on any photo to enlarge it
the above photos are courtesy of the Manchester Evening News
I have wanted to do this for
awhile to here it goes. My names Lauren, I'm 15 and am part of the Army
Cadet Force. As part of the army cadet force we go away on a lot of training
weekends. One in particular was a weekend down in Surrey on the 3rd -
6th May. It was a new experience for most of us because we had never been
to Surrey with cadets and also we were camping with London cadets. We
were all looking forward to it! We got there and settled down for training
to start on Saturday. On Saturday morning we got on a coach and went to
our training area. When we arrived we got split in to groups, I was in
a group of about 6 or 7. We had a timetable of the weekend, we rotated
our activities throughout the weekend. My groups first activity was paint-balling.
We walked up the pathway to where the paint-balling was being held and
there we met our two instructors for the activity. One if them was Drummer
Lee Rigby. We went paint-balling for the next two hours (we shot steel
targets not each other) we still had a few hours until lunch, so we all
sat around and talked for a while. Lee Rigby and the other adult instructor
started asking us questions like 'what do you enjoy about cadets? What
is your favourite lesson? What do you want to do when you are older?'
I was on the edge of the group so was asked first. I said I wanted to
be in the military however I was worried my asthma would stand in my way.
To which he responded; don't let asthma stand in your way of being what
you want to be, you can do anything. That stood out to me. No one had
said that to me before, only doctors saying my asthma may stop my chances.
Our lunch arrived and we all ate together, swapped food and had a right
laugh! It was an amazing morning and an even better weekend. Everyone
made friends. A few weeks later I was on the phone to my friend (she is
also a cadet) and she told me about a soldier that was killed in Woolwich.
We were both upset at the thought and discussed it for a while. The next
day the Lee Rigby was named as the victim and his photo was released.
I knew I recognised his name and face. I stared at his photo for a while
trying desperately to remember. Then I saw a friends status saying how
Lee Rigby was on our cadet weekend. Then it hit me. The man that was killed
in Woolwich was the very same man that sat in front of me 3 weeks prior
telling me to never give up. I didn't know how to react at first. I was
shocked. I went to school and spoke to my friend (the same friend I spoke
to on the phone the night before) about how I had met Lee Rigby. We looked
up on the BBC for any updates on the attack. I think it was then it really
got to me, how horrifying it was and how much I appreciated the advice
Lee had given to me. I got upset and went to the bathroom with my friend.
I remember asking ' how can people do this?' Then I thought of Lees family.
If this is how I feel after meeting Lee once for a few hours, how must
they be feeling? I have thought of them everyday since. I bought a wristband
saying 'R.I.P Lee Rigby 22/5/13 4/5/13 I will never forget' I have worn
it every day since it arrived and I don't plan on taking it off. I can
not thank Lee enough for his advice. I'm even more determined to try my
best now. Everyone should be, no matter what. Thank you Lee.