Drummer Lee Rigby's family should have been planning his birthday celebrations this week, but instead, they are planning his funeral, weeks after he was killed in a brutal attack near his barracks in Woolwich.
On Thursday, the family of the slain soldier posted a moving birthday message on his Facebook page, promising to raise a glass on his behalf.
It read: "happy 26th birthday our son the hero love and miss u so much wish u was here with us av a good drink at the heroes bar u will.always be in our hearts and memories sweet dreams our beautiful boy xxxx"
The family of murdered British soldier Drummer Lee Rigby
Rigby's aunt Jane Loco also posted a message which read: "HAPPY birthday 2 lee rigby my newph our cuz our brother our granson our dad our son we rais a glass up 2 the sky and wish u a very happy birthday we wish u was here 2 shar this day R.I.P LEE xx"
A guard of honour will keep a vigil over Drummer Rigby's body the night before the private service at the parish church in Bury, Manchester.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, have been charged with his murder in Woolwich and are due to stand trial at the Old Bailey on November 18.
They will appear at the same court for a plea and case management hearing on September 27.