Family speak of birthday pain

AN IPSWICH soldier's family is today preparing to mark the first of his birthdays without him.Private Aaron McClure, who was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan along with two others from the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment in August 2007, would have turned 20 tomorrow.

AN IPSWICH soldier's family is today preparing to mark the first of his birthdays without him.

Private Aaron McClure, who was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan along with two others from the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment in August 2007, would have turned 20 tomorrow.

However, instead of it being a happy occasion, his family will be going to the cemetery to see his grave and having a meal together in his memory.

The significant date is one of many they have had to contend with since he tragically died, and his mother, Lorraine, said it does not get any easier.

Ms McClure, 37, of Marlow Road, Westbourne, said: “We were going to have a good get together with family, friends and a few others from the battalion but in the end we thought we'd have a quiet family meal out instead.

“I associate the 11th of every month with the burial, which was September 11. There are so many dates and occasions that make me think of Aaron. This will be a hard one.”

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Allan McClure, of Roundwood Road, California, Ipswich, said: “We are all going to stick together for the day.

“Anything that brings it back up again is hard. It would have been the end of his teenage years so it will be difficult.”

Pte McClure was with Ptes John Thrumble, from Chelmsford, and Robert Foster, from Harlow, when they were hit by bomb dropped by a US aircraft.

Do you have memory of a loved one you want to share? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

The family have picked a poem from memorial website Gone Too Soon to mark the occasion.

“Our lives go on without you But nothing is the same,

We have to hide our heartache when someone speaks your name

Sad are the hearts that love you, silent the tears that fall,

Living our hearts without you is the hardest part of all,

You did so many things for us, your heart was kind and true,

And when we needed someone, we could always count on you,

The special years will not return when we were all together

But with the love within our hearts, you will walk with us forever.”

Love Mum, Lewis, Daniel, and Ryan.