A moving account of the short life of James Lee Rigby has been published by his mother, Lyn Rigby. Could anyone be so cruel as to still doubt, Bookcover did Lee Rigby Exist?

We get in this book no trace of any documents – birth certificate, death certificate, evidence of his name change, evidence that he joined the army, or photo of him in the army, nor any mention of his marriage to Rebecca – which seems an odd thing to omit. The story remains all rather blurred.

The photos all show a sensitive-looking soft-hearted fellow and the text keeps telling us how warmly lovable he was, but rather abruptly we are told he was  machine-gunner in the army, 2nd Royal Fuselier corps, and it implies that he gunned down quite a few Muslims in Afghanistan. If this all really happened, how many did he kill? He apparently had the two roles in the army of drummer and machine-gunner, which I’ve never heard of before.

His mother Lyn Seville got remarried to Ian Rigby in July 2005. Lee liked his new stepfather, and therefore ‘it was a mark of the love that Lee shared with Ian that, when he turned sixteen, he chose to officially change his surname by deed poll from McClure to Rigby’ (page 59). But Lee was born in July 1987 so that name change would have been in 2003, two years before that marriage. No-one can find any certificate of the name change.

Lynne Seville does not change her name on getting re-married and her maiden name remains on the electoral roll just the same – but her son does change his? His father Phil McClure is still around – and claims to get on OK with Lee. This is all extremely unlikely.

Lee Rigby was registered as living in London at 35, Beavers Crescent, Hounslow from 2010 to 2013, while his wife Rebecca lived at the same address from 2010 to 2011 – according to searchelectoralroll.co.uk. That is near to Hounslow Cavalry Barracks. But, the yearly printed-out volumes of Electoral Register for Hounslow (British Library) have the happy couple living there for 2010 only, and no mention of them there any other year – and has someone else there for 2013.  That’s the only bit of evidence of DLR as living somewhere that I’ve come across (but N.B. this does not turn up in 192.com). We remember Chris Spivey’s conclusion that DLR had no facebook presence prior to his death, plus the General Registrar’s Ofice could not find me any DLR birth certificate.  This biography makes no allusion to his living in Hounslow for several years up to his death, but has him living at the Woolwich barracks. Its all rather vague.

The 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fuseliers had a presence in Hounslow, at one point. Beavers Crescent is accommodation associated with Hounslow Cavalry Barracks and was upgraded in 2011. The Welsh Guards had been there for several years 2012-14. Yes the Royal Fuseliers (2RFF) had been there from 2008-9 before they moved to Cyprus, but that’s a bit too early for the happy couple, registered as there 2010-11. This is the only bit of evidence for Lee actually living anywhere – and one appreciates that Lyn Seville’s book wanted to make no mention of it. I doubt whether anyone has any evidence for him living at Woolwich barracks. A biography of DLR has him  returning to Hounslow barracks in the early party of 2008 from Cyprus.

Here is a photo of the Drummer Corps in 2008:

TheDrummers, 2008b

Written underneath are the names of the drummers, including ‘Drummer Lee’ and ‘Drummer Rigby,’ (!) listed as being next to each other in the 3rd row.

This reminds one of the axiom that, Duplicity is the infallible sign of an intelligence operation.

Lyn Seville’s book does not seem to find anything shocking about the adultery committed by DLR with his lovely new wife, right after she had produced a child for him. Let’s have a bit of chronology here:

September 2007 he marries Rebecca Metcalf, then their son Jack is born September 2010* (but, NB, no record of this in ancestry.co.uk, nor search.findmypast.co.uk/). DLR ‘left the marital home’ in the summer of 2012 and is ‘already separated’ from Rebecca when he meets Aime West in August 2012 (at an army cadets training camp in Wales). She would ‘visit him in Woolwich, where he was stationed at the barracks with his regiment.’ In February, he gives her an engagement ring.  How could he do that, when no divorce was pending? His wife Rebecca just fades out of the story and instead we get a glowing account of his affair with Aime, just as if he is some single lad.  There is no hint that this could be unethical. It just doesn’t stack up.

On the last night of his life, DLR got completely sozzled with the lads – we learn – and so  knackered was he at work the next morning – at the Tower of London,where he worked for army recruitment – that his boss felt sorry for him and let him off early, so he could go to bed. That’s why he was crossing Artillery road at 2 pm.  Aime (on duty out in Afghanistan) avers she received a last message from him, a mere twenty minutes before he was murdered:

Princess, keep smiling for me. I know its hard and you really want to come home, but just remember I am always there for you and I will always love you no matter what. We are on the home stretch… you will always come first in my life.

Can we really believe this? His wife with one-year old child is living near to him, but he pines away for this other woman on the other side of the world.

We have an incoherent narrative here, because his wife Rebecca stated after the death: “I love Lee and always will. I am proud to be his wife and he was due to come up this weekend so we could continue our future together as a family. He was a devoted father to our son Jack and we will both miss him terribly.” (ITV news 24.5.13)

Army budget cuts mean that the 2nd battalion of the Royal Fuseliers was being axed, as announced in 2012 – could that enable this story to be brewed up, as no-one can check up on it, because the records are being thrown away?

Notes towards a chronology

Once he turns 18 he enlists for the army. Lyn visits her son in November (2006?) soon after he is posted to Cyprus. then he goes out to Jordan in the Middle east – to ‘help train the jordanian army in ‘how to use the latest weapons.’ (?) While out there Lee wins a ‘top gun prize’ for his shooting skills. On returning to the UK in early 2008 he trains to become a drummer. His ‘unit of drummers’ were soon sent to posh places – Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.In 2009 he was posted to Afghanistan with the Royal Fuseliers, where he served three months, but had to fly back because he had gallstones. Next he moved with the Battalion to Celle, Germany in 2010, where it remained until the Summer of 2012 – which doesn’t sound much like he was living in Hounslow. He seems to have got around all over the place.

The biography avers that ‘Lee was an exceptional soldier’ (P 65) and that he was top rifleman in his unit (P 66) – if he was so good at everything, how come he never made it past the rank of private?

We would appreciate Rebecca Metcalf’s testimony. Did he impregnate her in the winter of 2009/10, then fly off with his regiment to Celle, Germany, and return in the summer of 2012, when he immediately started having an affair with a younger girl? Why could he not even sign his wedding certificate? Could he have given an engagement ring to anyone when Rebecca had not started divorce proceedings?

The man Drummer Lee Rigby hovers in that liminal realm halfway between existence and nonexistence. Glamour pictures of him don’t look a lot like the alleged earlier images.

* Source local paper Thruxton Gazette –  ‘Event raises funds for Lee Rigby’s family’ 4.9.13: Jack ‘turns three this week.’

Three years after DLR’s death, the family released this half-minute video: