Hereford & Worcester

Fallen soldier's knitted union jack goes on display

A knitted union jack has gone on display at a church as part of an Armed Forces Day tribute to a teenage soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Rifleman William Aldridge, from Bromyard in Herefordshire, had just turned 18 when he died in an explosion in Helmand Province last July.

The flag, measuring 13ft (3.9m) by 9ft (2.7m), was created by his aunt, Ali.

She initially knitted the squares alone, but then got an extra 1,000 after a worldwide appeal.

The flag went on display at St Peter's Church in Hereford on Saturday as part of a special fundraising exhibition which coincides with Armed Forces Day.

More than 350 events have been planned across the UK to mark the day.

The occasion follows a week in which eight UK service personnel have been killed in Afghanistan, taking the death toll there to 307 since the conflict began.

Speaking earlier this week, when the flag was unveiled at Mr Aldridge's former school in Leominster, Ms Aldridge said it took her more than 300 hours of work over five months to complete the flag.

Her nephew joined the Army aged 17 in December 2008 and turned 18 on 23 May, two months before his death.

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