Communities rally round following killing of Drummer Lee Rigby

There has been an outpouring of community spirit in the aftermath of the brutal killing of Drummer Lee Rigby.

Money has been pledged and messages of sympathy expressed locally and further afield.

Lee married Halifax girl Rebecca Metcalfe at St Anne’s Church, Southowram, in October 2007 and the couple have a two-year-old son.

Millions of TV viewers have seen distraught family members talk of their love for Lee and visit the scene of his killing which has become a sea of flowers.

Brave Rebecca fighting back tears attended a press conference and said: “I love Lee and always will. I am proud to be his wife.

“He was a devoted father to our son Jack and we will both miss him terribly.

“His proudest moments were serving in London on the ceremonials with the drum corps.”

Thousands of pounds are pouring into Lee’s Facebook page which is fundraising for his family via The Royal Regiment Of Fusiliers Aid Society which supports soldiers’ widows and dependents.

Lee served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Among messages on the page are: “RIP! A name the nation will never forget.”

“Words cannot express my sadness for Lee’s family, sending thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.”

“Rest now Lee, another of our finest and bravest souls has left us far too early and in an unjust way. God bless you.”

“A family that can be very proud of an amazing son.”

Relatives are among those who have left flowers at Southowram War Memorial and at Halifax Minster people have been signing a book of condolence and faith and community leaders have met at the minster.

Council leader Tim Swift read out a statement of solidarity which included: “As faith and community leaders in Halifax we stand united in condemning the cowardly and criminal killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

“We believe that this was a heinous act that has nothing to do with the teachings of Islam and the Muslim community.

“We want to show solidarity with the rest of the British society against people who are trying to divide society, they will not succeed.”

And, three little girls selling buns on their street led to more than 30,000 people “liking” their efforts on Facebook.

Emma Eastwood, of Copley Drive, Copley, Halifax, helped her daughter Freya, three, and neighbours Elvie Gray, seven, and her sister Floella, four, bake buns.

They made too many to eat themselves so sold them on the street and said they wanted to help soldiers.

Mrs Eastwood contacted Help For Heroes saying £21.20 had been raised for the charity and it was featured on the Facebook page.

“More than 30,000 people have ‘liked’ it and 1,000 people have commented - it’s brilliant,” she said.

Todmorden biker Jeanette Kiely helped organise a rally on Wednesday night to Lee’s home town of Middleton, Greater Manchester.

More than 200 bikers from the Mt Heads MCC rode from Rochdale to Middleton to sign a book of condolence and then rode onto Middleton Gardens where they revved their engines for a minute as a sign of respect.

A market stall will raise money for Lee’s family at Todmorden Market on June 15 and 16 selling goods donated by market traders and the public.

There was also a collection at Todmorden Carnival last weekend.

One of two suspects in the murder of Lee Rigby - Michael Adebowale, 22 - has been discharged from hospital and been charged with murder and the possession of a firearm.

A handcuffed Adebowale appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday and was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday.

The family of a second suspect, Michael Adebolajo, 28, have expressed horror at the horrific killing.

Both men are Britons of Nigerian descent and understood to be converts to Islam.

So far, 10 people have been arrested over the murder.

A post mortem this week concluded Drummer Lee Rigby died from multiple incised wounds,

An inquest is expected to be opened today.