Funeral For Murdered Middleton Soldier
12 July 2013, 17:48
The young son of Lee Rigby paid tribute to “My Daddy My Hero'' as thousands of mourners gathered in Bury to remember the murdered soldier.
There was applause as Rigby's comrades, friends and family arrived for the funeral service at Bury Parish Church.
The 25-year-old's heartbroken loved ones joined about 800 mourners inside for the private service just a couple of miles from his home town of Middleton.
Prime Minister David Cameron and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson were there.
The father-of-one was killed as he returned to Woolwich barracks from the Tower of London in May.
He had served in Afghanistan as a machine gunner and was attached to the regimental recruiting team when he was hacked to death in broad daylight on a street in south London.
The horrific killing led to nationwide shock and revulsion and led to an outpouring of support for his family from the public.
Fusilier Rigby was described as a "fantastic soldier'' by his commanding officer, who was giving a eulogy at the funeral.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor said: "He was larger than life, he was always at the centre of fun and mischief, but he was a true regimental character with real charisma and everybody fell under his spell.''
The town of Bury, which has strong links to the Army, was full of old and not-so-old former soldiers in their regimental ties, blazers and caps, proudly wearing their campaign medals.
Lt Col Taylor said the public's support “meant the world'' to him and his soldiers after the death of Fusilier Rigby.
Fusilier Rigby's wife Rebecca, 30, walked in with the couple's two year-old son Jack, who wore a blue T-shirt with the words ``My Daddy My Hero'' on the back.
Mother Lyn, 46, was in tears as she held hands with husband, Ian, 54, Lee's stepfather.
The soldier's sisters, Sara, 24, and Chelsea, 21, warmly embraced each other in tears outside the church.