Lee Rigby - Bradford Vigil 1
Candles and collection box on the steps of City Hall

The whole of the United Kingdom was in shock by the horrific actions of two men in the South East London district of Woolwich.

The events on May 22 have not only horrified the nation but caused sadness for many people at the tragic loss of life.

Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, was a father-of-one and served with the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Rigby was the victim of a brutal killing by two Muslim men, close to where the soldier was based.

The two men allegedly hacked at Drummer Rigby’s body with a knife and a meat cleaver, after running him over with a Vauxhall Tigra, leaving him defenceless.

The two men, Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, were both shot by police at the scene and were sent to hospital under armed guard. Michael Adebowale has been released from hospital and has been charged with murder.

In response to the tragic death of Drummer Rigby, a number of Bradford residents began to lay flowers outside City Hall.

The touching response from the people of Bradford resulted in a candlelit vigil being held outside City Hall on May 29, a week after Drummer Rigby’s death.

Residents from Bradford’s diverse population came together to pay tribute to a man who fought for this country.

Despite the wind and rain, making it difficult for candles to be lit, over 50 people came out for a minutes silence and prayer. The vigil was also attended by current and former soldiers from the area.

The event was organised by Caroline Poole and was also dedicated to raise money for the murdered soldier’s two-year-old son Jack.

The collection at the vigil raised around £80 and will put into a bank account in Jack’s name to be passed on to the The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who will then pass the details on to Jack’s mother.

Organiser Caroline Poole speaking to those in attendance
Organiser Caroline Poole speaking to those in attendance

Caroline said: “I organised this because I am a mother and a grandmother. I have a grandson who is the same age as that little boy. My grandson has his daddy to grow up with, he hasn’t. We just wanted to help give this boy a start in life that his daddy would have wanted. The funds raised here will be put in a bank account for him. He can then use the money for anything he likes, to go on holiday, buy something in memory of his daddy or use it to start saving for university.”

She added: “This is not about religion, it is not about the colour of your skin, it is not about the soldiers, it is about that little boy. I appreciate everyone who has turned up today. It is just wonderful to see.”

During her speech at the event, Caroline stated that she was glad the vigil was peaceful as she proved West Yorkshire Police wrong, after claiming they did “everything possible to try and stop this from taking place”.

Speaking at the vigil, Councillor Ralph Berry said: “It is good to see people turning out to pay tribute to the poor soldier from Woolwich. It shows that Bradford is pulling together and showing our thoughts and feelings for the family at this time. I know that everybody, from all parts of the city, have been touched by this and this is just a small thing for Bradford to do.”

Also in attendance, Zulfi Karim, secretary general for the Bradford Council for Mosques, said: “It is about supporting the community, supporting people regardless of their race or religion. It is times like this we have got to come together as community. This is a loss, a very sad loss and this is not what Islam or any other religion teaches anybody and we have got to remember that.”

Everyone at the vigil took part in a minutes silence while holding hands in a circle
Everyone at the vigil took part in a minutes silence while holding hands in a circle