Calls grow for Woolwich memorial to Lee Rigby

Lorna Taylor with supporters

A tribute at the scene today

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

One year on from his death, there are growing calls for a Woolwich memorial to Lee Rigby - but neither the council or Army are backing the proposal.

Lorna Taylor, whose son fought with Fusilier Rigby in Afghanistan, has led a campaign to get a memorial to him at the spot next to Woolwich barracks where he was murdered on May 22 last year.

News Shopper: A tribute at the scene today

Ms Taylor has launched a Facebook group - joined by members of the Rigby family including the dead soldier's mother - and petition which has so far been signed by around 12,000 people.

She will be at Artillery Place all day today collecting signatures.

Ms Taylor said: "Anyone that's coming along and wants to can sign the petition. We've had lots of people getting in touch saying they want to support us."

In a letter to the Telegraph this week, prominent muslim groups including the Islamic Society of Britain have backed a lasting memorial to the soldier.

But MP Nick Raynsford has come out against the idea, warning it might attract extremists.

He said: ''The determination of the community in Woolwich to resist the attempts of some groups who sought to use Lee Rigby's murder as a pretext for stirring up conflict between people from different backgrounds was very impressive.

''They also made clear their wish for normal behaviour to resume as soon as possible, to avoid the shadow of the horrific murder on 22nd May 2013 hanging over the area indefinitely."

But Mrs Rigby told the Sun: "By refusing to honour his memory in a dignified fashion, they are creating a platform for further political hatred and unrest.

"Lee was a peaceful boy and we will never let his name be tarnished."

Ms Taylor, 46, of Western Way, Thamesmead, said: "I don't know why they are opposing this memorial.

"I keep thinking, he was a royal soldier killed in a royal borough. I just don't understand the opposition. This is what people want."

A spokesman for Greenwich Council said: "Since the tragic murder of Lee Rigby one year ago today, the council has worked with and through the Army who have thus far been our link with the family and have helped to ensure the legitimacy of any contact."

"The council has had to follow this course of action as it has received a number of approaches which, regrettably, appear to have been bogus.

"Following further speculation this week, the Leader of the Council is writing to Lee's family to establish direct contact with them and to ensure we can work alongside them as they continue to remember Lee and the sacrifice he made for his country.

"In the meantime, the flags at our Town Hall will be lowered in memory of Lee and a two-minute silence will be held in his honour today after which the Mayor and Leader of the Council will lay a wreath at the Woolwich Barracks."

Comments (3)

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5:07pm Thu 22 May 14

Joelo says...

It's an absolute disgrace that they are refusing this memorial. If it attracts extremists deal with them, don't use that as an excuse. Disgusting!

Well done Lorna, you have thousands of decent local people backing you.
It's an absolute disgrace that they are refusing this memorial. If it attracts extremists deal with them, don't use that as an excuse. Disgusting! Well done Lorna, you have thousands of decent local people backing you. Joelo
  • Score: 24

12:30pm Fri 23 May 14

goldenbroomboy says...

"Nasty Nick" Raynsford will only be MP for one more year. Just sit it out Lorna.
"Nasty Nick" Raynsford will only be MP for one more year. Just sit it out Lorna. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 1

1:50pm Fri 23 May 14

Crayman says...

Why is it ok for us to have a memorial to Steven Lawrence a black bloke stabbed to death, but not Lee Rigby a white bloke stabbed to death within a couple of miles of each other ?
Why is it ok for us to have a memorial to Steven Lawrence a black bloke stabbed to death, but not Lee Rigby a white bloke stabbed to death within a couple of miles of each other ? Crayman
  • Score: 5

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