VC recipient’s dad to host Karratha talk about grief of losing son

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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VideoExcerpts of Corporal Cameron Baird's last letter as read by his father, Doug Baird. The letter was addressed to school student Campbell Byrd, and was the final letter written by the commando just weeks before being killed in action on June 22, 2...

The father of a Victoria Cross medallist killed in action in Afghanistan will be in Karratha tomorrow to give insight into living through the loss of a family member in the line of duty.

Doug Baird, father of the late corporal Cameron Baird, will be hosting a free public talk at Karratha RSL at 6.30pm on Thursday.

Cameron Baird was the first posthumous recipient of a Victoria Cross, awarded in 2014 for acts of valour, extreme devotion to duty and ultimate self-sacrifice while leading a special operations task group in the Khod Valley in June, 2013.

Karratha and Districts RSL Club manager Julie Pope said Mr Baird’s story would help bring a story of love and loss to life.

“Our remoteness means we don’t get to see that firsthand,” she said. “It is so good to bring it into the community, to say it is real; there are parents out there of soldiers who have gone away and not come home.

“Every time we stand out there and recite the ode and remember those soldiers that have passed on it brings it back, it makes it real.”

Pilbara Regiment regimental Sgt-Maj. Barry Tully said Mr Baird would give a glimpse into what it was like to lose a loved one in the armed forces.

“He will be talking about his experiences, about what he went through with the death of his son and career in the army,” he said.

“(Cameron) could have become a football player but he decided to join the army.

“His dad can provide a big insight into the background behind Cameron’s tour of Afghanistan and his life.”

Mr Baird will also be a guest the annual Pilbara Regiment Ball this Saturday night. July 28

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