Ultimate tribute to brave soldier

A TEENAGE relative of tragic Ipswich soldier Aaron McClure has pledged to fight for his country as a result of his cousin's death.

A TEENAGE relative of tragic Ipswich soldier Aaron McClure has pledged to fight for his country as a result of his cousin's death.

Haydn Smith, 17, was among 12 young men who took the oath of allegiance at Ipswich Town Hall yesterday and is set to begin army training in January.

Touched by the death of his cousin Aaron McClure in August last year, Haydn revealed the main reason for him joining the army was to “fulfil Aaron's dream”.

Pte McClure, of Marlow Road, Westbourne, Ipswich, was killed along with two others from the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment when the men were hit by a bomb dropped by a US aircraft in Afghanistan.

Haydn said he had been interested in joining the army since he was young but said he was doing it “for Aaron more than anything”.

He added: “That's why I'm doing it really.

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“It made me want to do it more - to fulfil his dream and carry on with what he wanted to do.

“It just made me want it more.”

Haydn's decision has not received universal approval.

He said he spoke to Aaron's father Carl who was not keen on the idea.

Lorraine McClure, Aaron's mother, said she also has concerns but felt proud of Haydn's choice of career.

She said: “Despite everything that has happened, it is still good to hear that they are willing to put themselves out and go into the army.

“It is still a good career.

“You feel proud but you cannot help have that worry at the back of your mind.

“Whether it's family or anyone out there, there is that anxiety.

“I wish all of them the best of luck.”

The dozen young men who took the oath of allegiance yesterday are due to begin their training in January.

After 28 days they will have the option to bow out of the training but otherwise will be obliged to serve for four years.

n. Have you been inspired by someone to make a big decision? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Nial Smith, 19, of Wickham Market: “When I realised I wasn't going to go to university the army seemed like possibly the best career I was going to have. I'm hoping to go into reconnaissance.

Nicky Measom, 18, of Wickham Market: “I did the cadets before for six years and enjoyed it.

“I like being outdoors and thought the army would probably be the best career for me.”

John Roper, 22, of Ipswich: “I just wanted a job with a career, something different really.”

Martin Good, 20, of Felixstowe, I was in the army before, did some of the basic training and left of my own accord.

“I decided I wanted to go back as I missed the lifestyle and shouldn't have left in the first place.”

Ed Morgan, 19, of Ipswich: “It was a career choice, something positive to keep me busy.”

Liam Turner, 20, of Ipswich: “I have always wanted to do it. I joined a year ago and got deferred for a year so I am keen to get back in.”

Karl Ewer, 16, of Ipswich: “My family has been in the army and I have been in the cadets for five years. I have always wanted to do it since I was young.”

Alex Bloomfield, 16, of Little Blakenham: “I have been in the army cadets for three years and decided I wanted to join the army when I was about 14.”

Shaun Miracle, 19, of Ipswich: “It is a different way of life. You get to travel everywhere, meet lots of people and get paid for it.

Nick Hewitt, 25, of Ipswich: “I have been in before but left and when I came out I decided I wanted to go back in straight away six months down the road. It's a good opportunity for me. I have got a little boy and I want him to say my dad's in the army and for him to be proud of me.”

Adam Sherman, 16, of Ipswich: “It the lifestyle and the adventure that attracted me. I really don't like office work.”

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