London

Lee Rigby honoured on memorial plaque unveiled in Woolwich

Fusilier Lee Rigby Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Two men have been jailed for murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby in May 2013

Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was killed by extremists, has been honoured on a memorial plaque unveiled in Woolwich.

The 25-year-old was off-duty when he was hit by a car outside the army barracks and then hacked to death.

His is one of 11 names on a plaque at St George's Chapel, near the barracks, to honour service personnel and civilians local to Greenwich.

Fusilier Rigby's mother Lyn, his widow Rebecca and son Jack were among those at a private unveiling earlier.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Rebecca Rigby and her son Jack laid wreaths
Image copyright PA
Image caption The memorial honours 11 service personnel and civilians
Image caption People gathered at the site where Lee Rigby was murdered to pay their respects

The chapel is about 700m (765yds) from where Lee Rigby was murdered in south-east London in May 2013.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich council said the memorial had been an "emotive issue" and to reach this point it had needed to consider competing interests about how Fusilier Rigby, who was from Middleton, Greater Manchester, should be commemorated.

"It has been widely and wrongly reported that we were concerned about right wing extremists or Islamist extremists attacking the site," a spokesman added.

The Met has not commented on whether it has security concerns about the memorial.

In a statement the Ministry of Defence said it supported Greenwich council's marking of Armistice Day with a new memorial dedicated to service men and women who lived or worked in the borough and lost their lives while serving their country.

"It is right that we pay tribute to those courageous individuals who have worked to keep Britain safe, both at home and abroad."

Fusilier Rigby joined the Army in 2006 and was posted to the Second Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers based in Woolwich. He served in Cyprus, Afghanistan and Germany.

Two men, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were jailed last year for his murder.


The memorial

Image copyright MOD

Those listed on the plaque died in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Woolwich as a result of conflict post-September 1945.

The names surround a marble memorial featuring the borough's crest and the words: "At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them".

Also included are:

  • Gunner Richard Copeland Sloan Dunne who served with the Royal Artillery and died on 7 November 1974 when the King's Arms public house, Woolwich, was targeted in a suspected IRA bombing.
  • Alan Horsley was a part-time sales clerk who died, aged 20, in the same incident.

An online book of remembrance can be viewed here. There is also one at the town hall in Woolwich.

The chapel, which is owned by the Heritage of London Trust, will be open to the public every Sunday from January when renovation works have finished.

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