Mum's faces nightmare decision

LORRAINE McClure is facing up to every mother's nightmare following the death of her eldest son Aaron in Afghanistan.Her three other sons were all keen to follow Aaron into the army, with second son Lewis due to start his career the day after his brother was killed.

LORRAINE McClure is facing up to every mother's nightmare following the death of her eldest son Aaron in Afghanistan.

Her three other sons were all keen to follow Aaron into the army, with second son Lewis due to start his career the day after his brother was killed.

Now in a calm, rational tone just days after her eldest son's body returned to Britain from Afghanistan, Lorraine has appealed to her three surviving sons not to sign up for the forces.

At this tragic time for the family, thoughts will turn to the American family where the brothers of a victim in Iraq joined up to honour his memory - and then a second was killed in action.

Lorraine is quite rightly anxious to avoid that situation and it is perfectly understandable that, having lost one much-loved son, she does not want to see any others put themselves in harm's way.

And the attitude of the British army must also be applauded. They understand the family's problems at this difficult time and have told Lewis that he can have a year to decide whether to take up the army place that is currently open to him.

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These are difficult times for the British Army. The withdrawal from central Basra in Iraq may have been well-organised but it is seen as a retreat in many parts of the world - from Washington to Tehran.

And the battle in Afghanistan is taking on a new intensity - but it is a battle many people believe we must win if the world is to avoid a massive increase in the amount of heroin hitting our streets.

The army still needs new recruits, but it is little surprise that a mother who has already been touched by tragedy doesn't want any more of her sons to end up on the battlefield.

DEE Puttock's baby is a real Hope for the future as she battles back from a major heart operation.

Little Hope was diagnosed with Down's Syndrome when just a few days old and it is clear that she will have big challenges throughout her life.

But one thing that shines through is that she is loved by her family and admired by a wide circle of friends and family in the Martlesham area.

Hope may face a life of challenges - but as she starts on her journey she could not have a more supportive team behind her.

JUST days before it was due to open, Ipswich's newest restaurant is today badly damaged after a devastating blaze.

The Queen Street building, which has undergone several changes of identity since first opening as O'Neills pub in the 1990s, should have opened as Harveys later this week.

Facing the statue commemorating the work of Ipswich cartoonist Carl Giles, this is a prominent building that many people were looking forward to seeing reopen.

It is a great shame for the town centre that refurbishment work will today have to start all over again.

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