Fusilier Lee Rigby funeral

The funeral of Fusilier Lee Rigby has begun in Bury. Speaking ahead of the private services, his family said they were "overwhelmed" by the messages of support they have received since his death, in Woolwich on May 22.

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Family's tributes honour 'our hero' Lee Rigby

Moving tributes from the family of murdered soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby have been left outside Bury Parish Church where his funeral is taking place.

Rebecca Rigby, the wife of murdered soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby, writes 'Forever in my heart'.
Rebecca Rigby, the wife of murdered soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby, writes 'Forever in my heart'. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
A floral tribute from Fusilier Lee Rigby's mother Lyn and his stepfather Ian.
A tribute from Fusilier Lee Rigby's mother Lyn and his stepfather Ian. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Fusilier Lee Rigby's parents call him 'our hero' and said 'our lives will never be the same'.
Fusilier Lee Rigby's parents call him 'our hero' and said 'our lives will never be the same'. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
A floral tribute from Fusilier Lee Rigby's grandparents during his funeral service at Bury Parish Church.
A tribute from Fusilier Lee Rigby's grandparents during his funeral service at Bury Parish Church. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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Eulogy pays tribute to 'truly charismatic' soldier

In his eulogy, Fusilier Lee Rigby's commanding officer, Colonel Jim Taylor, said:

Fusilier Lee James Rigby, or Riggers to his friends in the Army, was an extremely popular soldier. A larger-than-life personality, he loved to perform and belonged in the Second Fusiliers' Corps of Drums. He was truly charismatic.

To be with Lee was to be where it was most fun - the centre of good times and much mischief.

People fell quickly under his spell. Whether it was in work or off duty, at a ceremonial engagement or on operations, Lee just knew how to lighten the mood.

He could brighten a room within moments and, by all accounts, clear a dancefloor in seconds if a Whitney Houston track was playing.

Lee had a natural swagger and the confidence of someone truly comfortable in their own skin.

He was always happy. His smile was infectious, as was his enthusiasm for soldiering and his passion for life.

Soldier's son remembers 'My Daddy My Hero'

The son of murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby, Jack, arrives for his father's funeral service at Bury Parish Church. Credit: PA Wire

The young son of Lee Rigby paid tribute to "My Daddy My Hero" as thousands of mourners gathered to remember the murdered soldier.

Members of the public applauded Fusilier Rigby's comrades and forces veterans as they arrived for the funeral service at Bury Parish Church, where comrades had maintained a guard of honour overnight.

Mourners line the streets for the funeral of Fusilier Lee Rigby. Credit: PA Wire

Applause also greeted the 25-year-old's heartbroken loved ones, who joined about 800 mourners inside for the private service just a couple of miles from his home town of Middleton, Greater Manchester.

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.

The young son of Fusilier Lee Rigby at his funeral service. Credit: PA Wire

His mother Lyn, 46, was in tears as she held hands with her husband, Ian, 54, Lee's stepfather. The soldier's sisters, Sara, 24, and Chelsea, 21, embraced each other in tears outside the church.

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