Lee Rigby (25th July 1987 to 22ndMay 2013)

 

Sometimes I make my tea so it’s ready to eat while I watch the 6pm news. I can remember being slightly sickened when the top story was the murder of soldier Lee Rigby. The attack had occurred just hours before. Lee was walking back to barracks when Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale attacked him with knives and a cleaver and tried unsuccessfully to cut his head off. They had gone out to find any soldier who "killed Muslims in Iraq and in Afghanistan". Lee was crossing a road to a shop when he was spotted, selected and killed.

 

On Sunday afternoon the way to Hebden Bridge to walk on the higher hills I decided to call at the cemetery in Middleton to do a salute at Lee’s grave (he was born and lived nearby.) I’m not sure who decides where new graves will be dug but he’s buried in a new patch of grass and is on his own. It’s over five years since he was buried and more people have been buried in the cemetery but he’s still in the section on his own for some reason.

 

At the time of his death he was a drummer and machine-gunner in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. With the army he’d been to Cyprus, Germany and Afghanistan but was in Woolwich as he was carrying out duties in the Tower of London. He had a two-year-old son, was separated from its mum and had got engaged to a new girlfriend.

 

On the day he was murdered he was off duty. Heading to a shop he was intentionally hit by a car at about 25mph. Inside were Adebolajo and Adebowale who got out and stabbed Lee to death. One had a cleaver and the poor lad bled to death instantly. They dragged the corpse into the middle of the road and stayed there probably expecting to be shot dead by armed police. Within minutes unarmed police arrived and a cordon was put up. For unknown reasons the killers didn’t do anything however when armed police officers arrived they charged at them. Both were shot and wounded. Both men who were of Nigerian descent and had converted to Islam (known to the security services) were sentenced to prison for life.

 

Here I am by Lee’s headstone which is the standard military type. He was given a military funeral at Bury Parish Church which was attended by thousands of people and there was a private burial here at Boarshaw Cemetery. Near the grave is one with some Christmas decorations on it (see pic.) In another part of the cemetery is a Victoria Cross recipient who I’ve visited before. I strolled down the path to say hello. The link to his grave is here…

 

http://johnhalley.uk/Grave%20-%20Joel%20Halliwell.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plaque on memorial bench…

 

 

Oddly Lee there are no other graves in the part of the cemetery…

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Description: https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2013/311/111017363_138391607704.jpg

 

Acoss from Lee’s grave I spotted Christmas decorations on this grave…

 

In the same cemetery is Joel Halliwell, VC. I’ve visited him before but went down to say hello…