'No words can describe the heartbreak': Hundreds pay respects to murdered soldier Lee Rigby


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The Independent Online

Hundreds of people paid their respects to the dead soldier Lee Rigby this weekend as books of condolences were opened in his home town and other parts of the country. More than 400 messages flooded Rochdale council's website after a tribute page for the 25-year-old fusilier was set up on Friday.

Another book of condolence was installed at the Middleton Arena, in the Greater Manchester area that Drummer Rigby originally came from. A third was opened at the Fusilier Museum in Bury and a fourth in Leicester Cathedral.

The father of one was killed on Wednesday after being attacked in Woolwich. Two alleged Islamist extremists were shot and arrested.

Natasha Bunch, from Pontypool, Wales, reflected the feeling of many Britons on the Rochdale web page. "There are no words to describe the heartbreak the entire country is feeling for Lee and his family. A true hero. We will always remember you," she wrote.

Yesterday, flower tributes continued to be placed outside Woolwich barracks where he was based, as well as on John Wilson Street, where he was killed last Wednesday.

Nigerian Kanbi Ojelade, 50, paid his respects yesterday, along with his two sons, Umran, 10, and Feranmi, 11, who both live in Woolwich. Mr Ojelade, who lives in Colchester, said: "I brought them here to realise people are responsible for their freedom, safety, their welfare and development. The ultimate price anyone can pay is to give his life for others."

A heavy police presence remained in Woolwich amid fears of anti-Muslim incidents. A "solidarity march" by the Nigerian community in south-east London took place yesterday from Plumstead station to Woolwich.