A WALL of flowers lay near the spot where Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death yesterday, as people turned out in force to pay tribute to the soldier and to express their disgust at the barbaric killing.
Thousands of well-wishers have paid their respects where the young father was brutally slain, while hundreds more flower tributes have been placed outside Woolwich barracks in south-east London where he was based.
A steady flow of people arrived to lay flowers at the corner of John Wilson Street and Artillery Place, a few hundreds yards from the entrance to the barracks.
A book of condolence has also been opened at Woolwich Town Hall, where opening hours will be extended over the bank holiday weekend to allow the public to pay their respects.
Drummer Rigby was hit by a car and then attacked with weapons including a knife and a meat cleaver, but the cause of his death was not confirmed by a post-mortem examination. An inquest is due to be opened, Scotland Yard said.
Among those paying their respects yesterday was British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin, who claimed he had gone for personal rather than political reasons.
Professor David Maguire, vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich, said: “As a member of the local community in Greenwich and Woolwich, the university is deeply shocked by the events at the Barracks in Woolwich.
“We extend our sympathies to the victim’s family, friends and army colleagues. Our thoughts are with them.
“The university takes its responsibilities very seriously in terms of preventing extremism. We are committed to ensuring that the university is a safe and secure place of study and debate within the confines of the law. We have diverse communities on campus and these include a range of different faiths.
“Our records show that a Michael Adebolajo was registered in academic years 2003-04 and 2004-05. His academic progress was unsatisfactory and he was not permitted to complete his studies here.
“We have no records relating to the other name reported in the media in connection with the Woolwich incident.
“Given the seriousness of issues raised, the university is setting up an investigation into the association of these two individuals with the university, to assess whether there is any evidence of extremism in the university (past or present) and whether we need to update our policies and practices. The terms of reference, membership and timescale of the investigating panel will be announced and its findings will be published.”