Devastated mum's plea to sons

DEVASTATED Lorraine McClure, the mother of friendly fire victim Aaron, today urged her other sons not to join the army and risk facing the same fate as her eldest.

DEVASTATED Lorraine McClure, the mother of friendly fire victim Aaron, today urged her other sons not to join the army and risk facing the same fate as her eldest.

Miss McClure, of Marlow Road, has been left heartbroken after her 19-year-old son was killed in Afghanistan on August 23.

Pte McClure's brother, Lewis, 18, was accepted by The Royal Anglian regiment last month and was due to swear oath the day after his brother died and start basic training at Catterick in North Yorkshire this month.

His other brothers, Daniel, 16, and Ryan, 12, have also expressed an interest in joining the army.


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However Their plans have now been put on hold.

Today Miss McClure, 36, spoke about her wish for her other sons to stay away from the army and war zones.

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She said: “I don't want them to go. I'm not sure what Lewis thinks about it now.

“They all wanted to be in the army because they looked up to Aaron so much.

“The army has given Lewis up to a year to decide if he still wants to join so that will give him plenty of time to make up his mind. I do not want him there. I don't want any of them to be there.”

In a tribute to his brother, Lewis talked about how Pte McClure travelled with him in July to Pirbright when he took his army selection course.

He said: “When I passed, he was so proud of me and I was grateful for him being there with me.

“He was so dedicated to the army. I will never be a soldier like he was but I will try my hardest to make him proud of me.”

All three brothers, plus Aaron's mother, father Karl, and best friend Gavin Baldwin, attended the repatriation ceremony at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire on Friday to see Pte McClure's body return to the UK.

He died alongside two others from the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, Ptes Robert Foster, 19, from Harlow, and John Thrumble, 21, from Chelmsford, after an American F15 fighter jet dropped a bomb from an aircraft based at RAF Lakenheath. Their bodies were also flown home on Friday afternoon.

Miss McClure said: “It is just good to have him home. I just wanted to hold him. I am relieved to have him home but I still can't quite believe he is not coming back.

“Meeting the other families really helped. We can support each other. We have exchanged numbers and will keep in touch.

“You know that they are going through the same things as you. It is a bit of a relief because you think you're the only one feeling the guilt.

“I saw the other coffins coming out and you feel pain for the other families.

“The inquest hasn't even come into my mind yet. We just want to lay him to rest and give him a good send-off.”

On Saturday a minute's silence was held for Pte McClure at a football match in Claydon in which his brother Ryan was playing.

Are you doing something special to remember Aaron? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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