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Corporal Ashley Birt's name to be unveiled in Canberra

TRUE HERO: Ashley Birt’s name has been added to the National War Memorial in Canberra.
TRUE HERO: Ashley Birt’s name has been added to the National War Memorial in Canberra.

CORPORAL Ashley Birt, who was killed while serving his country in Afghanistan, will have his name unveiled on the National War Memorial in Canberra on Sunday.

The former Gympie boy, who was heavily involved in the Maryborough hockey community and was well-known across the Fraser Coast, will be one of nine fallen defence force members added to the Roll of Honour for Remembrance Day.

His family and the families of the eight other fallen servicemen have been invited to a private ceremony at the War Memorial at 8am.

Authorities will unveil the names before a national ceremony gets underway at 10.15am.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Governor General Quentin Bryce will attend the national service.

Cpl Birt was one of three Australian soldiers shot dead by a rogue local soldier they were helping to train in Afghanistan.

He and his two comrades, Captain Bryce Duffy and Lance Corporal Luke Gavin, were gunned down in a parade ground massacre that also wounded seven other Australian soldiers, in late October last year.

Born in 1989, Ashley Birt enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 2007 and was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers as a geospatial technician.

Remembered as a dedicated soldier, deeply enthusiastic about his army career, Mr Birt was promoted to Lance Corporal in February, 2011, and to Corporal in April.

It was the beginning of what many predicted would be a rapid rise through the ranks.

In a formal statement at the time of his death, the army said colleagues described Cpl Birt as "a proud and well liked soldier".

"He maintained a very high level of physical fitness and played hockey at the highest levels," it stated.

"Due to his natural leadership style, maturity, hard-work ethic and dedication to his specialist trade, he was quickly promoted through the ranks.

"He was a great mate to his many colleagues and well liked by all."

Topics:  ashley birt, national war memorial, remembrance day, roll of honour


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