2016 25c Coin 'Anzac to Afghanistan' - OUR LEGENDS
The Victoria Cross is our highest military honour, bestowed on soldiers for acts of extreme bravery during wartime. Only 100 Australians have been awarded the Victoria Cross since it was first presented to Lieutenant Neville Howse during the Boer War. Since then soldiers of all different ranks, serving in countries such as Kenya, France and Vietnam, have been awarded the coveted medal. The most recent were awarded to four Australians in Afghanistan.
The first act of valour by an Australian to be recognised with a Victoria Cross occurred at Vredefort, South Africa on July 24, 1900. After a trumpeter's horse was shot from beneath him Lieutenant Neville Howse rescued the wounded man and carried him to safety under heavy rifle fire. One of the most recent Victoria Cross medals was awarded to Corporal Cameron Baird of the 2nd Commando Regiment, who received it posthumously. Having already been awarded the Medal of Gallantry for an earlier action in Afghanistan, Baird participated in a raid on a Taliban stronghold in Uruzgan province in June 2013 after his platoon came under intense enemy fire. Leading his section into the stronghold, Baird charged an enemy-occupied building where he exposed his position to the insurgents in order to draw fire away from the rest of his team.
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