'You could feel something horrible had happened'

Story highlights

  • Instagram users posted tributes to soldier killed in brutal London attack
  • Several serving members of armed forces among those honoring dead man
  • "I wanted to show my support" says one user of the photo-sharing website

The past 24 hours have left the city of London stunned. A brazen attack on a serving soldier in the British army, brutally hacked to death in broad daylight in the southeast district of Woolwich, has sparked fear, anger and a search for answers -- but also moving tributes to the man who died.

Many Britons, including soldiers, used photo-sharing service Instagram to post picture tributes in the hours following the attack.

Shock at the incident moved user Ali Martin to create her own impromptu memorial -- a candle with a remembrance poppy, worn by many in the UK during Remembrance Sunday in November, when those killed in war are honored.

"I live very close to where this happened and wanted to light a candle in remembrance for the soldier," she said. "It will stay alight all day."

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A particularly popular tribute was of armbands emblazoned with the name of the charity Help for Heroes, a British armed forces organization that supports wounded soldiers. The British soldier was reportedly wearing a T-shirt with the organization's logo when he was attacked.

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Chelsey Hampson-Carroll showed off her Help for Heroes armband, along with her army camouflage jacket. "I wanted to show my support," she said. "I am a British soldier myself (and) I wear my wrist band with pride."

Instagram user Jordan Rees posted an image of himself wearing the band both in sympathy and in protest against such attacks.

"In light of (these) events I think it's especially important that we show sympathy for those directly affected, solidarity with military personnel, and also resilience in the face of a political ideology that would like to see our society and way of life destroyed," he said.

Meanwhile in Woolwich itself, resident Felix Rios captured a poignant image of a black flower placed at Woolwich Arsenal train station Thursday morning.

"People on the streets of Woolwich are quiet," he observed. "You could feel in the air that something horrible had happened, just no-one talks openly about it."

What are your thoughts on the incident? Have you created your own tribute? Send us your images, thoughts and experiences.