Tributes to be sent to soldier’s family

Dean Fowler Chairman of Ripley and district Royal British Legion with the book of remembrance.

Dean Fowler Chairman of Ripley and district Royal British Legion with the book of remembrance.

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Hundreds of people have offered words of support to the family of murdered soldier Drummer Rigby through a condolence book in Ripley.

At the last count more than 200 had signed the book at the Amber Valley Borough Council headquarters on Market Place and several folk had left flowers, flags and touching messages outside town hall.

The tribute was organised by the Ripley branch of the Royal British Legion – and its members intend to present the book to Drummer Lee Rigby’s family in their time of need.

Branch chairman Dean Fowler said: “When we left it, it had up to 200 signatures - plus the flowers and flags left here have increased. The public response, to come up here and convey their respects has been wonderful.

“It’s a fitting way of saying how we are behind our troops and will always continue to be.”

Former Ripley soldier Aron Shelton, 29, fought in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2007 expressed his pride at how Ripley folk have reacted to the death of a fellow serviceman.

He said: “It’s a horrible thing to have happened and it makes you angry.

“But the support we have seen from the general public has been overwhelming.

“The signatures on the condolence book are rising every single day and there’s a lot more people coming here.

“I’m proud of local people for their support.”

But branch chairman Dean feels the Government have handled the death of drummer Rigby badly by immediately labelling it a terrorist attack - adding that he felt David Cameron should not have taken a holiday to Ibiza in the aftermath of the incident.

The book of condolence is available for anyone to sign in the reception of council headquarters during opening hours. It is to be given to drummer Rigby’s family at the funeral.

A Book of Condolence for the murdered soldier, Drummer Lee Rigby, has been opened at Amber Valley Borough Council’s headquarters in Ripley Market Place.

The Book is available for anyone to sign over the next few days during the usual opening hours of 9 am to 4.30 pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 10 am to 4.30 pm on Wednesday.

The Ripley branch of the Royal British Legion requested that the book be placed in the council’s reception and will collect it to present at Drummer Rigby’s funeral.

Legion member Stuart Joynes said: “People have been lying flowers there - their support has been brilliant. It’s up to about 200 names at the minute, the support from the community has been brilliant.”