Date set for soldier death inquest

QUESTIONS about how an Ipswich solider died in Afghanistan two years ago may finally be answered when his inquest takes place in December.

QUESTIONS about how an Ipswich solider died in Afghanistan two years ago may finally be answered when his inquest takes place in December.

The family of Private Aaron McClure, who was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on August 23, 2007, along with Ptes John Thrumble and Robert Foster, are relieved to have got a date for the inquest, as they hope it will provide the answers they have been so desperately seeking.

The three bereaved families attended a pre-inquest meeting at a coroner's court in Trowbridge, Wiltshire yesterday, which lasted about three hours, and ran through the procedure of the forthcoming inquest.

Representatives from the Ministry of Defence and the two soldiers that were injured in the same blast were also present, along with the families' lawyer.

The date for the inquest, which may be subject to change, is December 15, and will take place at the Trowbridge Town Hall, Wiltshire. It is expected to last at least a week, and may well run into a second week.

Pte McClure's uncle, Allan McClure, said: “We are hoping we will get the answers we have been waiting for.

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“If my sister [Pte McClure's mother Lorraine] walks out of the inquest and has some sort of peace of mind and she is contented, that will be good. If not, we will deal with that when it comes.

“We had the choice of having the inquest in December or January and we chose December because somehow then you might be able to have a fresh start for the New Year.”

Ahead of the second anniversary of his nephew's death last week, Mr McClure said the pain the family feels over their loss is as deep as ever.

The trio, who all served with the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian regiment, died in the Helmand Province after a F-15 jet dropped a bomb on them while trying to end a Taliban ambush. Last year there were suggestions that a British forward air controller could be prosecuted for manslaughter for providing the wrong co-ordinates for the bomb to a US warplane. However the independent Army Prosecuting Authority ruled that there would be no conviction brought forward.

Have you been affected by the events in Afghanistan? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.