Baird family presents Victoria Cross to the Memorial
Published: Wed 19 Feb 2014
The family of Australia’s latest Victoria Cross recipient, Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird VC MG, today presented his Victoria Cross for Australia to the Australian War Memorial, where it will go on display in the Hall of Valour.
Corporal Baird’s Victoria Cross and Medal for Gallantry were presented to the Director of the Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, by his parents, Mr Doug Baird and Mrs Kaye Baird, and Corporal Baird’s brother, Brendan Baird.
“The Memorial is honoured to receive Corporal Baird’s medals from his family. The loan of these medals is a selfless gesture from a family still grieving the loss of their son and brother,” said Dr Nelson.
“I’d like to thank the Baird family on behalf of all Australians, who will now be able to see the incredible achievements of this young man on display at the Memorial. These medals will form an integral part of the continuing story of the Australian experience of war, and are a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made in our most recent conflict,” said Dr Nelson.
The Hall of Valour honours all the Australians who have received the Victoria Cross, the nation’s highest award for bravery in time of war. Amid great battles and the movements of armies, the exploits of courageous individuals have always provided inspiration. Corporal Baird’s medals will go on display in the Hall of Valour in the coming months.
“Corporal Baird’s medals and story will join those of many ordinary men and women who have done extraordinary things; their deeds form an immortal part of our nation’s history. I am sure many Australians will now want to learn more about Corporal Baird’s remarkable courage and selfless service,” said Dr Nelson.
“The Memorial is the best place to preserve the legacy of Cameron’s Army service and to immortalise the hard work and dedication to duty of his brothers within the 2nd Commando Regiment,” the Baird family said.
“Cameron believed very much in service to Australia and we’re sure he’d want to play a part in the Memorial’s recognition and ongoing education of our nation’s proud military history.”
Corporal Cameron Baird was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia following his heroic actions during an engagement with insurgents in the Khod Valley, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, on 22 June 2013.
His citation reads:
For the most conspicuous acts of valour, extreme devotion to duty and ultimate self-sacrifice at Ghawchak village, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, as a Commando Team Commander in the Special Operations Task Group on Operation Slipper.
On 22 June 2013, Corporal Baird displayed conspicuous valour and ultimate self-sacrifice in close combat with a determined enemy. With complete disregard for his own safety, he repeatedly drew enemy fire to himself in order to allow his team to manoeuvre, and charged prepared enemy positions in the face of heavy fire. His efforts enabled the enemy to be neutralised and kept his team safe, but ultimately cost him his life. His actions were of the highest order and in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.
Corporal Baird’s name is also inscribed on the Memorial’s Roll of Honour, along with the other 39 Australians killed in action in Afghanistan.
Corporal Baird’s full medal group comprises the following honours and awards:
- Victoria Cross for Australia
- Medal for Gallantry
- Australian Active Service Medal with “East Timor”, “Iraq 2003” and “International Coalition Against Terrorism” clasps
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal
- Iraq Campaign Medal
- Australian Service Medal with “Counter Terrorism/Special Recovery” clasp
- Australian Defence Medal
- United Nations Medal with “United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor” ribbon
- NATO Non-Article 5 Medal with “ISAF” clasp and “3” multiple-tour indicator
- Infantry Combat Badge
- Returned from Active Service Badge.
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