DRUMMER Lee Rigby was high in people's minds as soldiers past and present gathered to recognise the contribution of Britain's armed forces this week.
About 100 people united outside Hounslow Civic Centre, in Lampton Road, Hounslow, on Monday (June 24), ahead of Armed Forces Day tomorrow, Saturday, June 29.
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, based at Hounslow Cavalry Barracks, were joined at the event by veterans from the Royal British Legion and public well-wishers.
Among those present were members of the battalion's Corps of Drums, a poignant reminder of the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed near his barracks in Woolwich last month. He had been based in Hounslow with the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, commanding officer of the battalion, fresh from Trooping the Colour to mark the Queen's official birthday, thanked the borough for its support.
As the Armed Forces Day flag was raised in unison with those across the country, Hounslow Mayor Sachin Gupta said the borough was proud to honour the country's brave servicemen and women.
Andre McGill, chairman of Hounslow Royal British Legion, said he was pleased by the turnout at the ceremony, which was particularly emotional in the wake of Drummer Rigby's death.
Dianne Pearce, secretary of Hounslow RBL's women's section, said: "It's important to keep the work of the armed forces in people's minds because it's easy to forget the job they're doing."
However, she had a minor gripe about the council's programme for the ceremony, in which the word heroes was missing an 'e'. She said she was 'disappointed' the mistake had not been spotted before going to print.