BY JAMES TWOMEY
A new memorial to Lee Rigby, the British soldier murdered by two extremists in revenge for British Army action in the Middle East in 2013, has been laid at the site of his death.
Mr Rigby was attacked and killed on Wellington Street in Woolwich just outside the Royal Artillery Barracks when he was off duty wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt.
The two men that killed him – Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale – said they did so to avenge the killing of Muslims by the British armed forces.
Both are serving life sentences in jail.
A memorial at St George’s Garrison Church in Mill Lane has served as the main memorial for Lee Rigby but members of the public believed there should be a space at the site of his death to remember him, which coincided with Greenwich council developing the area.
Lee’s family have also specified that they do not want flags – or memorabilia from organisations they do not recognise – to be placed on this new site.
A council spokeswoman said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich reached agreement with Rebecca and Lyn Rigby, the widow and mother of the late Fusilier Lee Rigby, to plant a memorial tree at the site of his murder in order to remember and honour his life.
“The tree is dedicated to the fusilier with a stone plaque which encourages anyone wishing to pay their respects to Lee to make a donation to three charities nominated by the family.
“The memorial forms part of wider improvements to make the area around the site greener and more pleasant. The plans were designed in consultation with local residents.
“The council and the Rigby family had intended that the permanent memorial installed in the nearby St George’s Garrison Church would help the family to move on with their lives and provide a place where any member of the public could go to pay their respects.
“However, since then a number of people unconnected to the Rigby family have argued that another memorial should be provided on the spot of the murder.
“Many of these people are well-meaning but their efforts have been adopted by groups with views that are at odds with the wishes of the Rigby family.
“The actions of such groups have often disrupted the lives of local residents who wish to go about their business in peace and also cause distress to local schools where children can be disturbed and upset at the public disorder on display.
“The family request that no flags or memorabilia be left on the site.
Anyone who would like to commemorate Lee should make a donation to the Fusilier Aid Society, the Lee Rigby Foundation or Scotty’s Little Soldiers.”