Tragic soldier's shattered dreams
IPSWICH friendly fire victim Private Aaron McClure had dreams of moving to Scotland one day - but now they have been shattered.
PRIVATE Aaron McClure's grieving mother today revealed for the first time the extent of her pain over her “hero” son's death in a friendly fire accident in Afghanistan.
Lorraine McClure said her heart felt like a “black, cold abyss” following the popular Ipswich teenager's death.
Mrs McClure, of Marlow Road, Ipswich, said: “My son Aaron was a dedicated brave soldier, and the most caring, handsome son.
“His passing has been the most horrendous and unimaginable shock to myself, his three brothers, family and all who knew him.
“They say time and memories will ease the pain, but my heart feels like an empty, black, cold abyss.
“The one consolation we all can take from this, and it is a very small one, is that he was doing what he lived his life for, side by side with his Brothers In Arms as he said so many times.”
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Today Pte McClure's family told how he had dreams of moving to Scotland one day.
Lorraine McClure said her thoughts were with the families of Pte John Thrumble and Robert Foster, who were also killed when 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment was hit by a bomb dropped by a US aircraft which had been called in to help them in Helmand Province on August 23.
She said: “My son died a hero alongside two other heroes. We pray for the other families too.”
Today Linda McClure, 46, Pte McClure's step-grandmother, spoke of her fond memories of the ex Westbourne High School pupil.
She said: “He absolutely loved Scotland and was thinking about buying a house in Scotland. He has so many uncles and aunties in Scotland and they all loved him too.
“You would never hear anyone say a bad word against him. He was very loving.”
Linda McClure, along with her husband Allan, daughter Allison, 27, and son Wayne, 19, have travelled from Scotland to be with Pte McClure's mother and the rest of his family in the wake of the tragedy.
Allan McClure, Pte McClure's grandfather, added: “He was planning to do the West Highland Way - a 95-mile walk across Scotland - when he came home on leave. I have done it three times and Aaron wanted to join me. He was very fit and focused.”
Every night since Pte McClure's death, scores of his friends and members of the community have gathered at the shrine outside the family home to pay their respects.
Linda McClure said: “It is so touching. More and more people come every night.
“His brothers and a lot of his friends all have these T-shirts now, which have a picture of Aaron on, saying RIP underneath.
“All of his friends want one to wear at the funeral. We think it will look really lovely.”
Pay your tribute to Aaron McClure by visiting the online book of remembrance at www.eveningstar.co.uk.