Singer performs in memory of Corporal Rigby

6 July 2012. Photo by Paul Kelly. Hastings Beer and Music Festival, Alexandra Park, Hastings. ENGSUS00120131017082814
6 July 2012. Photo by Paul Kelly. Hastings Beer and Music Festival, Alexandra Park, Hastings. ENGSUS00120131017082814

The lead singer of Battle band Keane will be paying tribute to a Rye-based soldier who lost his life Iraq nearly nine years ago.

Tom Chaplin will perform on Horse Guards Parade on June 1 and 2 in memory of Corporal John Rigby.

Corporal John Rigby, of the 4th Battalion The Rifles, was fatally injured in a roadside bomb attack near Basra Palace in 2007.

His twin brother Will, who was serving with him in Iraq, spent 10 hours at his bedside in hospital.

Corporal Rigby died in the Field Hospital on his 24th birthday, with his brother by his side.

He died protecting his Riflemen, who were saved from injury by their vehicle as he selflessly provided top cover from the vehicle hatch.

Corporal Rigby was the childhood friend of Tom Chaplin’s wife Natalie.

Tom’s new song, The Wave, features musicians from his regiment, who will appear with him at the event.

It will be the first time in nearly 25 years that the Massed Bands and Bugles of the Rifles will Sound Retreat on Horse Guards Parade.

Nearly 300 members of The Rifles will be joined by 200 other servicemen and women from around the globe to perform a visual and musical spectacle to raise money for Care For Casualties.

Care for Casualties has provided support to the Rigby family.

The finale of the performance will be accompanied by a firework display.

Buglers will play from the rooftops of buildings surrounding Horse Guards Parade to create a unique experience for the audience.

John Rigby attended Etchingham School and Robertsbridge Community College and news of his death rocked the community.

Corporal Rigby’s Company Commander, Major John Wakelin, was one of many who paid tribute to the soldier, describing John as ‘quite simply unique’ and ‘a free thinking, independent and bright young Corporal who approached life with vigour’.

He was a keen Tottenham Hotspur supporter and loved Australia, where he served briefly on attachment to the Australian Commandos.

Tickets are available for the fundraising concert from

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