Family salute Aaron on 21st birthday

TODAY should have been Private Aaron McClure's 21st birthday - but instead of celebrating it with him, his loved ones will be visiting his grave.

TODAY should have been Private Aaron McClure's 21st birthday - but instead of celebrating it with him, his loved ones will be visiting his grave.

Ipswich soldier Private McClure was just 19 years old when he was killed in action in Afghanistan along with Privates Robert Foster and John Thrumble in August 2007.

On Saturdaymore than 150 family and friends attended a special party in Ransomes Sports and Social Club to mark what would have been a milestone birthday for the popular serviceman.

Today members of his family were due to visit his grave and were planning on taking a birthday cake for him.


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Lorraine, Pte McClure's mother, who lives in Marlow Road, said: “We wanted to hold the party as a tribute to Aaron's life and raise a glass to his 21st. I felt so proud that so many people came just for Aaron. It was unbelievable.

“You sometimes get a chink of sunshine and think things are moving on but then it is like darkness again and it brings back that old feeling.

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“As much as we tried to celebrate his birthday, you do think that the one person who should have been there wasn't. I always think how much he is missing out on.”

Guests came from miles around to celebrate, including two soldiers from Germany and family from Scotland.

Food by Buffet Belles was served and music from The Hares from Surrey was played.

Allan McClure, his uncle, who lives in Roundwood Road, said: “The night was a total success. It was a celebration of Aaron's life and we tried to keep the tears to a minimum.

“I did a slideshow of photos of Aaron growing up and it also had some video footage from Afghanistan and this was the point in the night where the tears started to roll.

“We also had some families there of soldiers who were killed from the Royal Anglians.

“That was the ultimate compliment for Aaron and the family. We just want to say a big thank you to everyone who attended.”

The family decided to raise money for Help For Heroes at the event, which aims to help injured soldiers. Mr McClure's company, Speedy Space, donated �500 to the cause and a further �500 was raised during the evening.

Do you have a message of support for the family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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