Wednesday, 29 March 2017
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inmemoriam

The soldier killed in yesterday's incident in Woolwich, South East London, is believed to be Drummer Lee Rigby, of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team in London). A brief obituary is on the next page.

Drummer Lee Rigby, or 'Riggers' to his friends, was born in July 1987 in
Crumpsall, Manchester. He joined the Army in 2006 and on successful
completion of his infantry training course at Infantry Training Centre
Catterick he was selected to be a member of the Corps of Drums and
posted to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (also known as
"Second Fusiliers" or "2 RRF").

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 Battalion's
public duties commitment. He was an integral member of the Corps of
Drums throughout the Battalion's time on public duties, the highlight of
which was being a part of the Household Division's 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 regiment's 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 Rigby's
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."

Warrant Officer Class 1 Ned Miller, Regimental Sergeant Major Second
Fusiliers, said:

"Riggers is what every Battalion needs. He was one of the Battalion's
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."

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British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.

 

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