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Hero awarded posthumous Victoria Cross

Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird has been posthumously awarded Australia's 100th Victoria Cross.

Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird has been posthumously awarded Australia's 100th Victoria Cross.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott bestowed the country’s highest military honour on Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird in parliament this morning.

“Our country has lost a citizen, a soldier, a hero,” Abbott told the House of Representatives. “We are all the poorer for his passing but the richer for his living.

“For all of us, this is a bittersweet day. Bitter because a fine man is gone and cannot be brought back. Sweet because he died for his mates doing what he lived for.”

Outgoing Governor-General Quentin Bryce will present the medal to Baird’s parents in a ceremony at Government House in Canberra next Tuesday.

Corporal Baird’s brother Brendan said it was a very proud day for his family.

“Cameron never liked the limelight,” he said. “He was a very humble man who would not see this as an individual award but recognition of all commandoes.

“We accept this award not only on behalf of Cameron but for all his brothers, his team, his company and his regiment.”

Corporal Baird was shot dead last July during a raid on an enemy stronghold in the village of Ghawchak, in Afghanistan’s Khod Vallery. He died heroically trying to draw fire away from his fellow soldiers to allow them to safely gain ground.

He was the 40th Australian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.

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