Paper demands Hoon honours soldier's bravery

The Burton Mail has launched a campaign to honour a local soldier killed in Iraq.

Corporal Russell Aston was one of six Royal Military Police who lost their lives in a gun battle outside a police station in Al Majar Al Kabir in June.

The Army has told the parents of the soldiers it is highly unlikely that they will be honoured as there were no “credible” witnesses to the incident.

The Mail is running a campaign on behalf of the Aston family. It has launched a petition and is urging its readers to back the campaign.

Editor-in-chief Paul Hazeldine has written an open letter to Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon calling on him to intervene and ensure that Aston is honoured for his bravery.

The paper also travelled with the Aston family on Wednesday to meet Hoon and present him with the letter.

Hazeldine said: “It is sad that my newspaper has had to launch this campaign for Russell Aston to receive a bravery medal. It should be a foregone conclusion.”

By Jon Slattery

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