'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The soldier had been on one tour of Afghanistan

A man and a woman, both 29, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder in relation to the Woolwich terror killing of Drummer Lee Rigby, according to Scotland Yard.

The soldier, killed by two Islamists who attempted to behead and disembowel him, was 25 years old and had a two year old son.

The two men who were shot, aged 22 and 28, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in hospital in a stable condition with non life-threatening injuries.

Drummer Rigby's family, friends and colleagues today spoke about their shock and sadness at the loss of a young man who “would help anyone if he could.”

Born in Crumpsall in Manchester, Drummer Rigby had joined 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 2006 and was an enthusiastic and accomplished member of the Corps of Drums and, alongside his infantry duties, remained passionately interested in music with an equal passion for Manchester United.

Police were this afternoon guarding the 25-year-old serviceman's home in Middleton, Greater Manchester. His partner, who lives with their son, Jack was told of the death on yesterday evening and other members of his family have also been informed.

Drummer Rigby deployed on operations for the first time to Afghanistan in April 2009 where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab. His friends say they find it difficult to accept that he survived that, at a time of often intense fighting, to meet his death in a London street.

He was later posted to Celle in Germany and then took up a recruitment post at the Regimental Headquarters in the Tower of London, a job to which he was particularly suited, it was considered, because of his sense of empathy and understanding.

Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor MBE, Commanding Officer Second Fusiliers, said today: “ He  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.”

'A great character and always smiling': Friends and colleagues pay tribute to 'Riggers'

 Captain Alan Williamson, Adjutant Second Fusiliers (and Drummer Rigby’s Platoon Commander 2010-2011), added: “ ‘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..”

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.”

Vicar Guy Jamieson, who married Drummer Rigby in 2007 to the wife whom he was separated from, at St Anne-in-the-Grove Church in Southowram, West Yorkshire, said : “When the news first came through yesterday I felt sickened. It's abhorrent. We hear a lot about military tragedies overseas but the fact that it was in the street in a city makes it more horrific.

“I remember his wedding well. He had already spoken to the chaplain at Catterick (Garrison) and came to me well prepared with lots of questions. The wedding day was wonderful. Because it was a military wedding it requires a lot of preparation. I remember sitting next to Lee on the front pew before everything started and reminding him what his first words to say were.”

Flood of donations crashes charity website

The website of the charity Help for Heroes crashed after it was deluged with thousands of donations. The military-support group said it had been swamped with thousands of donations following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was wearing one of the charity's T-shirts when he was attacked on Wednesday. The charity has urged people to donate in other ways.

Drummer Rigby's death was met with outrage by colleagues

Army personnel were initially told to stop wearing their uniforms when off-base for fear of further attacks, but the emergency rules were quickly relaxed following an outcry – with members of the military changing their social-media profiles to show them in uniform.

The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, said: "There is no reason why we should not wear our uniforms with pride, but on a common-sense basis."

Armed-forces personnel based in London and elsewhere were ordered to be more vigilant. The Metropolitan Police said an extra 1,200 officers were to be placed on duty and security at military bases has been stepped up.

MoD spokesman Jim Nisbet said the advice was a precaution and had been issued as part of a package of "immediate, reactive security-measures".

"A decision has been taken to relax some of these temporary measures imposed yesterday, including advice to members of the Armed Forces in London not to wear uniform outside of defence establishments," he said.

Paul Bignall

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week