• Christina Drummond

Private Aaron McClure, Private Robert Foster and Private John Thrumble, 1st Battalion The Royal Angl

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Private Aaron James McClure, Private Robert Graham Foster and Private John Thrumble from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment were killed in Afghanistan. Their platoon came under fire from the Taliban north west of Kajaki, in northern Helmand Province and during the ensuing fire fight air support was provided by two U.S. F15 aircraft. However, incorrect grid references were given and a bomb struck the compound where the three soldiers and their section were located. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267559/Senior-officer-relieves-grim-moment-U-S-bomb-hit-British-platoon-Afghanistan.html

Private McClure had enlisted in the army the previous year and trained as a rifleman. He deployed to Afghanistan in March of 2007 and proved to be a first-rate soldier: reliable and committed, focused and strong, modest and selfless. From Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Carver: “At 19 years old, Private Aaron McClure was already a veteran of over forty engagements with the enemy. It is tragic that where the Taliban had failed, it was an accident that has taken him from us. Loyal, hard working and highly professional, he constantly surpassed the standards expected, and his loss is a bitter blow to the whole Battalion. We will never forget him.” Aaron, from Ipswich, was 19 years old.

Private Foster enlisted in the army in 2006, trained as a rifleman, and deployed to Afghanistan in March of 2007. He met significant action with the Taliban with courage and commitment. He is remembered as “a real character” – a confident extrovert whose sense of humour was a welcome morale-booster. Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Carver said: “As a junior soldier, Private Robert Foster settled in remarkably quickly and was a highly respected Viking. Fiercely loyal to his friends, he had seemingly limitless reserves of courage and strength of character way beyond his years. He had a rare quality of always seeing the bright side of any situation and a mischievous sense of humour which made him hugely popular. Never to be forgotten.” Robert, from Harlow, was 19 years old.

Private Thrimble enlisted in the British Army in 2004, trained as a rifleman, and in the same year served with distinction in Iraq. He had been serving as a machine-gunner since March of 2007, involved in many close-quarter engagements where he proved himself to be professional, highly competent and brave. Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Carver said: “Private John Thrumble was one of the mainstays and leading characters within the Battalion. An inspirational model to others and a caring and compassionate friend to many, he will be sorely missed. Proven in combat on countless occasions - his raw courage and ability to raise a smile were invaluable in these testing times. He joins the ranks of his fellow fallen Vikings but his reputation will live on and he will never be forgotten. The most sincere condolences of the entire Battalion are with his family and friends at this tragic time.” John, from Chelmsford, was 21 years old and engaged to be married.

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