Home' Army News : February 27th 2014 Contents Army February 27, 2014
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
CPL Cameron Baird’s fam-
ily received his Victoria Cross for
Australia from Governor General
Quentin Bryce during an emotional
ceremony at Government House in
Canberra on February 18.
The investiture ceremony came
after the announcement to parliament
on February 13 by Prime Minister
Tony Abbott that Cpl Baird’s selfless
actions on a mission as a commando
team commander at Ghawchak village
in Uruzgan province on June 22 last
year had earned him the medal.
Cpl Baird’s brother Brendan said it
was a special day which brought with
it mixed emotions.
“We are tremendously proud of
Cameron,” Mr Baird said.
“We are honoured to accept this
award on his behalf and we are grate-
ful to the Governor-General and the
ADF for bestowing this honour upon
“But in accepting this honour, we
are also deeply saddened that Cameron
could not be here – not that he’d like
Mr Baird said his brother was a
“He lived for the Army, his mates
and to serve his country,” he said.
“He was an easygoing bloke
whose leadership and relaxed nature
instilled confidence in all those who
“He was also a typical, down-to-
earth Aussie larrikin with a great sense
of humour who loved a practical joke.”
Since the announcement, Cpl
Baird’s family had thought about how
he would have reacted to the medal.
“We firmly believe he would be
more than a bit embarrassed, and prob-
ably a bit shocked by all the attention,”
Mr Baird said.
“We also know that Cameron
would be the first to tell you ‘This
is not just about me, it’s about my
Army family, my brothers-in-arms,
2 Cdo Regt’.
“While today is about Cameron, it
is also about the mateship he shared
with these blokes, with whom he
trained, lived and fought alongside.”
After receiving their son’s medal
from the Governor General, Doug and
Kaye Baird walked his medal over to a
portrait photograph of him.
Before sitting down, Doug Baird
stood in the aisle and waved towards
His actions saved lives
Cpl Cameron Baird the first to be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia
A HUMBLE LEADER
his son’s 2 Cdo Regt collegues seated
at the back of the room.
“We hold a special place in our
hearts not just for the actual regi-
ment itself, which we admire and
love dearly, but we also recog-
nise the individuals who made up
Cameron’s team, and every other
member of Bravo Company,” he
“We feel an obligation to those
particular guys as they did a lot of
“We are so grateful that their par-
ents are not standing here today, as
we would wish this on no one else.”
CO 2 Cdo Regt Lt-Col I said Cpl
Baird’s VC was a special occasion
for his unit.
“Cameron’s service was signifi-
cant. He was most brave, most gal-
lant, and today marked the official
occasion whereby he was inducted
into the family of VC recipients,”
“For 2 Cdo Regt he is no greater
or lesser for this process and the
wonderful thing about this award
is we get to share his story with
not only the Australian Army and
the Defence Force, but with the
Australian community as well.
“For the members of the unit it’s
a bittersweet day. We celebrate his
service and his sacrifice, we lament
his loss, we continue to honour eve-
rything he did to set the standards
and expectations so high for all of us
to aspire to as we go forward.”
Cam, along with other teams,
moved to assist me and my
team, to get me out of there, to
ensure I survived.
– Cpl B, Cdo Regt
It didn’t matter who you were, where
you came from, what regiment or if
you were on full or part-time service,
he’d always be the first guy to go
over and say hello and break the ice.
– Pte J, Cdo Regt
PTE J was a member of Cpl Baird’s team.
“For me personally it [the VC
investiture] was an emotional day and
also quite a proud moment for me to
know I served with Cameron.
“At the regiment we have a big picture
of Cam in Bravo Company and under it
says ‘everybody’s hero’ so to have him
recognised in such a way really embodies
what Cam meant to everyone.
“The number one thing which stood
out about him was his humility. It didn’t
matter who you were, where you came
from, what regiment or if you were on
full or part-time service, he’d always be
the first guy to go over and say hello and
break the ice.
“I also remember his valour and
bravery. Every time we’d go out the door
on a job he would always lead from the
front. I was supposed to be his number
one scout and I struggled to keep him
behind me. He was always first there and
never held back.
“I think Cam would be a little bit
embarrassed [about the VC], he was such
a humble guy, he’d be trying to deflect it
back to the unit and the other guys, but
he would have been proud. He was a
proud soldier and a proud Australian. It
would have been a great day for him.”
AMAZING ACTS OF BRAVERY
CPL B was a member of Cpl
Baird’s Company and a fellow
team leader on June 22, 2013.
“It was a great honour to be
at the ceremony, having worked
personally with Cam and his
team, I know how he’d be
feeling on this day – Cam was
a humble man and he’d find it
hard to accept the honour but
would for the unit and his team.
“It’s a massive honour
to the regiment and it’s very
fitting that Cam’s the first
member from the regiment to
be honoured with the Victoria
Cross, and being the 100th
Australian to receive it, too.
“My team was working side-
by-side with Cam’s team on the
day [he was killed].
“It was a very chaotic day
and I saw some amazing
acts of bravery, not just from
Cam but from all of his team,
to secure the area we were
“It was a long day of fighting
with the Afghan insurgents.
“Cam along with other
teams on the ground that day
moved to assist me and my
team, to get me out of there, to
ensure I survived. They did that
and sadly Cam was killed in
CPL Cameron Baird’s family has pre-
sented his VC to the Australian War
Memorial, where it will go on display
in the Hall of Valour.
Cpl Baird’s VC and Medal for
Gallantry were presented to the director
of the Memorial, Brendan Nelson, by Cpl
Baird’s parents Doug and Kaye and his
brother Brendan on February 19.
“The Memorial is honoured to receive
Cpl 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,” Dr Nelson said.
“I’d like to thank the Baird family on
behalf of all Australians, who will now
be able to see the incredible achieve-
ments of this young man on display at the
Memorial. I am sure many Australians
will now want to learn more about Cpl
Baird’s remarkable courage and selfless
service,” Dr Nelson said.
The Baird family said the memorial
was the best place to preserve the legacy
of Cameron’s Army service and immortal-
ise the dedication to duty of 2 Cdo Regt.
“Cameron believed very much in ser-
vice to Australia and we’re sure he’d want
to play a part in the Memorial’s recogni-
tion and ongoing education of our nation’s
proud military history,” they said.
Bittersweet: Kaye and Doug Baird, parents of Cpl Cameron Baird VC, MG,
receive their son’s medal from Governor-General Quentin Bryce in a
ceremony at Government House in Canberra. Inset, Brendan, Kaye and
Doug Baird find Cpl Baird’s name on the Roll of Honour during a visit to
present the medal to the Australian War Memorial.
Photo by Lauren Larking
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