Sadly, one Australian died on operations in Afghanistan over the past year. We remember Lance Corporal Todd Chidgey, along with all Australia’s fallen, and offer our deepest sympathy to Lance Corporal Chidgey’s family, friends and colleagues.
Lance Corporal Todd Chidgey
2nd Commando Regiment.
Died in a non-combat-related incident on 1 July 2014.
Corporal Cameron Baird was killed by small-arms fire during an engagement with insurgents in the Khod Valley in southern Afghanistan on 22 June 2013.
Corporal Cameron Baird, VC, MG
Corporal Baird was serving with a 2nd Commando Regiment element of the Australian Special Operations Task Group at the time of his death, and was the 40th Australian to be killed in action in Afghanistan.
Corporal Baird was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia posthumously on 13 February 2014. The 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 Special Operations Task Group on Operation Slipper’. He is the 100th Australian to receive a Victoria Cross since the award was first created by Queen Victoria in 1856.
A year after he was killed in action, Corporal Baird’s family was presented with the posthumously awarded NATO Meritorious Service Medal. Awarded by the NATO Secretary General, this medal is presented to personnel who have been commended for providing exceptional or remarkable service to NATO.
Corporal Baird was awarded the NATO medal for the same courageous actions for which he received the Victoria Cross.
Corporal Cameron Baird’s medals on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The Victoria Cross for Australia is on the far left.