Thousands mourn 'gentle' soldier
THE young son of murdered British soldier Lee Rigby, pictured, has joined thousands of mourners in remembering a "gentle soul" and "larger-than-life character".
In searing heat, the image of two-year-old Jack holding his mother's hand outside the church as he wore a T-shirt with the tribute "My Daddy My Hero" stood out in the poignant service yesterday.
The heartbroken family of Fusilier Rigby were among about 800 people packed inside Bury Parish Church to honour the 25-year-old in a private funeral which was relayed via loudspeakers to large crowds.
The town of Bury, which has strong links to the British army, was full of old and not-so-old former soldiers in their regimental ties, blazers and caps, proudly wearing their campaign medals.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson were also in attendance at the service for Fusilier Rigby, who was killed as he returned to Woolwich barracks in south-east London from the Tower of London on May 22.
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 in the street.
In his eulogy to Fusilier Rigby, his commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor spoke of an "extremely popular soldier" who was known as "Riggers" to his friends.
"He was truly charismatic. To be with Lee was to be where it was most fun – the centre of good times and much mischief," he added.