Mum's anguish over inquest delay

A DEVASTATED mother who lost her son in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan has spoken of her frustration at being left in the dark over the date of his inquest.

Russell Claydon

A DEVASTATED mother who lost her son in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan has spoken of her frustration at being left in the dark over the date of his inquest.

Lorraine McClure, who lost her son nearly a year ago, is no nearer to finding out the date that may bring some closure to her living nightmare.

Private Aaron McClure, 19, from Marlow Road, Ipswich was killed along with Royal Anglian Regiment colleagues Pte John Thrumble, 21, from Chelmsford and Robert Foster, 19, from Harlow, when they were hit by a bomb dropped by a US aircraft in Helmand province on August 23 last year.

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But the families still have no idea how the investigation into their deaths is progressing and when an inquest will be finally set.

Speaking while completing the last leg of an emotional100 mile walk in the soldiers' memories yesterday, Mrs McClure said it was impossible for them to rest until they had got reassurances the tragedy could never happen again.

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She said: “They say things are still in progress and it is a matter of waiting. But it does not matter how many phone calls we make we are still no nearer to knowing. We are trying to be patient.

“We just have not heard anything for months. We are all past the point of being angry towards anyone. We just want to know how and where and make sure it never happens again.”

Speaking of last Wednesday's friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan, where nine Colchester-based soldiers were injured by a British Apache helicopter after they were mistaken for enemy forces, she said: “It was very lucky no-one was killed. It is things like that which bring out the anger in me again because I just think how can things like that happen again? It should never happen.

“I have made my view clear that I want them all brought home. We need to deal with what is going on in our own streets.

“It is heartbreaking to think there is going to be other families losing their sons and daughters. I feel very strongly about it and I never agreed with them being out there in the first place.

“Every time I hear about someone else being killed it is just horrible.”

Mrs McClure joined the 100 mile walk from the Royal Anglian Regiment's barracks in Pirbright, Surrey to St Peter's Church in Duxford on Saturday to raise money for the EADT- backed Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund.

The money will be used to help other soldiers injured in battle and to erect a bronze statue to commemorate the fallen heroes in Afghanistan.

The support the mothers have received along the walk has so far brought in more than £25,000 to go into the memorial fund.

- Anyone still wishing to donate to the mother's walk can do so by visiting or by making cheques payable to CB 1 R Anglian and send them to Major R C Barrett, Treasurer, 1 R Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Barracks, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0DT.

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