The U.K. Ministry of Defence has identified Wednesday's victim of the Woolwich psychopaths as Lee Rigby, father of a 2-year-old son and veteran of military campaigns from Cyprus to Afghanistan who was currently based in London as part of the drum corps.
Rigby was stabbed, beheaded and partially disemboweled near his Armory barracks in southeast London on Tuesday by two men claiming allegiance to Muslim countries where Britain has deployed its military.
Rigby was walking near the barracks, out of uniform but wearing a "Help for Heroes" military charity T-shirt, when the Woolwich Monsters aimed the car they were driving at the soldier, crashed into him, jumped out and began hacking away with meat cleavers and a machete. They were also armed with a pistol, which they waved around at bystanders after murdering Rigby.
The killers, now believed to be a British citizen of Nigerian descent and another British-born man, were shot and seriously injured by a female officer and a male police marksman.
Rigby was born in 1987, making him 25 years old at the time of his murder, and is father to a 2-year-old son.
Describing him as a "popular and witty soldier," the MoD posted this biography of Lee Rigby:
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 was selected to be a member of the Corps of Drums and posted to 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (also known as the ‘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.
[Photos via Ministry of Defence.]