Aaron's mother looks for answers

IT has been more than 18 months since brave Ipswich soldier Aaron McClure was tragically killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan.

IT has been more than 18 months since brave Ipswich soldier Aaron McClure was tragically killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan.

But his family are today still no nearer to knowing the truth about what happened in the hours before his death.

Pte McClure, of 2nd Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, was just 19-years-old when he died along with Pte John Thrumble, 21, from Chelmsford, and Robert Foster, 19, from Harlow, in August 2007.

His mother, Lorraine, of Marlow Road, said all the families still had very little idea of how the investigation into their deaths is progressing and when an inquest will finally be held.

“We haven't been given any time span,” she said. “We're very much still in limbo at the moment.

“I understand that they want to get it right but it's been 18 months now. It's a terribly long time to have to wait. It's just ridiculous.

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“We don't know if it's going to be this month, next month - it's difficult to try and move on with it hanging over us. All the time we've heard and read about new things that have come to light - things we didn't know 18 or even 12 months ago.

“All three families have so many questions that we want answered. You're constantly going round thinking about it.”

The three comrades were killed in Helmand province when they were hit by a bomb dropped by a US aircraft on August 23, 2007.

Ms McClure also condemned the actions of Muslim protestors who waved offensive placards as members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment marched through Luton.

“When I first heard it on the news I thought it was the biggest insult possible to our soldiers - the ones who have come home, the ones who are still out there and the ones who didn't make it back,” she said. “Obviously people are entitled to their own views about what's going on around the world but these soldiers are only doing their job.

“Yes, they signed up to serve in the Army but they don't decide where they go - they are told to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever.

“It isn't their choice. They're not to blame. We should be applauding them because they are doing a tremendous job.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said they had been working closely with Wiltshire Coroner's Office and had provided them with the relevant information about the soldiers' deaths.

A spokeswoman for the coroner's office said they received the file at the beginning of the year but because of its complexity were still working towards finalising a date for an inquest.

Has it taken too long to arrange the inquests? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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