Fallen Woolwich soldier remembered on the Fylde

A minutes silence in memory of Drummer Lee Rigby (below) at the Cenotaph. Pictured: Dorothy King with son Thomas King, 2.

A minutes silence in memory of Drummer Lee Rigby (below) at the Cenotaph. Pictured: Dorothy King with son Thomas King, 2.

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More than 100 people gathered at Blackpool’s war memorial to pay their respects to Drummer Lee Rigby on Sunday.

The 25-year-old soldier was killed in Woolwich, near the Royal Artillery Barracks in southeast London on May 22, as he returned from a day working at the Tower of London.

Drummer Lee Rigby

Drummer Lee Rigby

A week-and-a-half later, and some 260 miles away, people gathered at the memorial on the Promenade for a minute’s silence followed by a minute’s applause.

Many laid floral tributes and heartfelt poems and messages of respect at the site.

The event was organised by Stephen Russell, who said he just wanted to unite people and pay his resects.

Mr Russell, of Wyre Grove, Blackpool, said: “I just wanted everyone to pull together as one rather than having different fractions.

“I was nice to unite everybody in the memory of one of our soldiers in this way.

“The applause was very emotional, and that’s how it should be.

“I think we’re all sick of people dying for pointless reasons.”

Mr Russell, 40, advertised the event on Facebook, and said he was pleased with the turnout.

He added: “It all went nice and peacefully.”

John Kennedy, 47, of Bispham, said he heard about the event and decided to visit the memorial for the silence at 1pm.

He added: “At the end of the day, people just came here to pay their respects, then they went their own way. The silence was quite emotional as people thought about the soldiers who have died.

“It was nice to see families with young children here for it.”

Shelley Bailey, 39, of George Street, Blackpool, added: “During the silence I was thinking about all the fallen soldiers and it was very emotional.

“But it was nice to see families coming together in troubled times. It was a nice event.”

Drummer Rigby suffered serious multiple injuries after he was hit by a car and attacked with a cleaver and a knife.

Two people have been charged with his murder.

A total of 12 people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Eight people have been bailed and two have been released without charge.