Memorial to 78 fallen heroes

EAST ANGLIA: Two Ipswich soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty are among those honoured by a new memorial.

The memorial commemorates the sacrifice of 78 soldiers from the East Anglian Regiments and The Royal Anglian Regiment who have died in conflicts including Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan since 1959.

The names of the fallen are carved on the memorial’s Roll of Honour, including two young men from Ipswich – Private Anthony Anderson, a 22-year-old who died in Northern Ireland in 1982 and Private Aaron McClure, a 19-year-old who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2007.

It was unveiled during a moving ceremony held at The Imperial War Museum, in Duxford on Sunday and families of the fallen soldiers travelled from around the world to attend.

Eight members of Pte McClure’s family joined hundreds of others in paying tribute to the heroic soldiers.

His uncle, Allan McClure, said: “It was a proud moment and it was a very good day, obviously a very sad day too.

“We all take comfort from meeting with the other families and chatting about whatever we are feeling.

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“Three years on we still look back and we still remember what Aaron was like and what he would have been like now.

“It is still difficult and still hard.”

A wreath was laid on behalf of the bereaved families by Margaret Yallop, whose brother Corporal Michael Boddy was killed in West Belfast in 1972.

The Colonel of the Regiment, General Sir John McColl, said: “Since the formation of the East Anglian Regiments in 1958 and The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964, those that we have lost have been remembered in different ways and in different places.

“But we have not, until today, had a single location that reflects the history of duty, and sacrifice, of our regiment. Today we have put that right.”

It was the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment which started fundraising for the memorial following the deaths of nine of its comrades during a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Each of the three battalions of the regiment raised considerable sums.

The appeal helped raise money to support the wounded and their families and also to build a lasting tribute to those who lost their lives.

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