Mother backs move for soldiers scroll

A MEMORIAL scroll to recognise servicemen who have died on duty has today been backed by the bereaved mother of Ipswich teenager Aaron McClure.

Naomi Cassidy

A MEMORIAL scroll to recognise servicemen who have died on duty has today been backed by the bereaved mother of Ipswich teenager Aaron McClure.

Private McClure, part of the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, was just 19 years old when he died in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan last August along with Ptes Robert Foster and John Thrumble.

The Ministry of Defence's latest plans for a new form of national recognition to honour the hundreds of families of troops who die on operations or as a result of terrorism has been welcomed by Pte McClure's mother Lorraine.

The decision to commission a memorial scroll and an emblem to wear has been taken by Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, and the other chiefs of staff. The Queen has approved the scheme.

Miss McClure, of Marlow Road, said: “It is about Aaron and all the troops being recognised for giving their life to their country.

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“I think that when things like this come along, you cannot help but support them.”

In the last three weeks, seven Colchester-based soldiers have died in Afghanistan, and for Miss McClure, the memory of her own family's tragic loss is all too near the surface.

She said: “I cannot watch or read the news anymore. Anything, even if it is small, is always a reminder of him.

“The past three weeks has been really hard for me and the other two families [Foster and Thrumble].

“It is coming up to the anniversary of the last time I saw Aaron and that is so hard.

“I will be spending that anniversary with the other two families in Scotland.”

Sir Jock said: “Our armed forces demonstrate bravery, commitment and professionalism on a daily basis and as a nation we must continue to show our appreciation. It is equally important that we remember their families who play a vital role in supporting their loved ones serving in the armed forces.

“It is a sad but unavoidable reality that some of our brave service personnel pay the ultimate sacrifice in the name of their country. “That is why my fellow chiefs of staff and I believe the time is right to recommend a new award for the families of those who die on operations or as a result of terrorism, in recognition of their loss.”

What do you think about these plans? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk