Soldier hacked to death in Woolwich suspected terror attack named as Greater Manchester man Lee Rigby

By Glen Keogh

The soldier hacked to death in a suspected terror attack in Woolwich yesterday was a young Greater Manchester dad and lifelong United fan.

Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, from Middleton, was killed by two men in the broad daylight of a London street.

Lee, of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had served in Afghanistan and was the father of a two-year-old boy.

He was attacked by two men who mounted the pavement to hit him in their car before hacking at his body with a meat cleaver and a machete.

One of the suspects, hands bloodied with weapons in hand, was then filmed by witnesses saying: “You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you.”

The suspects were shot by police and remain under armed guard in separate London hospitals.

Speaking today, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “We are not going to be cowed by this kind of terrorist action.

“Everyone in defence is shocked and saddened by the events of yesterday.”

DUTY: Young Middleton dad Lee

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, was Lee’s Platoon Commander between 2010 and 2011.

He 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.”

Pictures courtesy of MOD, with thanks.

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