The Ministry of Defence has just put out this statement:

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce that the soldier killed in yesterday’s incident in Woolwich, South East London, is believed to be Drummer Lee Rigby, of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team in London). The soldier’s details are being released at this stage pending formal identification from the Metropolitan Police Service. 

Drummer Lee Rigby, or ‘Riggers’ to his friends, was born in July 1987 in Crumpsall, Manchester. He joined the Army in 2006 and on successful completion of his infantry training course at Infantry Training Centre Catterick he was selected to be a member of the Corps of Drums and posted to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (also known as “Second Fusiliers” or “2 RRF”). 

His first posting was as a machine gunner in Cyprus where the Battalion was serving as the resident Infantry Battalion in Dhekelia. Having performed a plethora of tasks while in Cyprus, he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow, West London. Here, Drummer Rigby stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Battalion’s public duties commitment. He was an integral member of the Corps of Drums throughout the Battalion’s time on public duties, the highlight of which was being a part of the Household Division’s Beating the Retreat - a real honour for a line infantry Corps of Drums. 

In April 2009 Drummer Rigby deployed on Operations for the first time to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab. On returning to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the Battalion to Celle, Germany, to be held at a state of high readiness for contingency operations as part of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group. In 2011 Drummer Rigby took up a Recruiting post in London where he also assisted with duties at Regimental Headquarters in the Tower of London. 

An extremely popular and witty soldier, Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers. He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan. 

A loving father to his son Jack, aged 2 years, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. The regiment’s thoughts and prayers are with his family during this extremely difficult time. “Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier.”

Photograph: MoD/PA