Corporal Ashley Birt

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force confirms that Corporal Ashley Birt was killed on operations in Afghanistan on 29 October 2011.

Corporal Ashley Birt was born in Nambour, Queensland in 1989. He enlisted into the Australian Regular Army in June 2007 and was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers as a Geospatial Technician.

Following his Engineer Initial Employment Training and Specialist Technical Geospatial Basic course in December 2008, he was posted to the 1st Topographical Survey Squadron (1 TOPO SVY SQN) as a Geospatial Technician. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in February 2011 and to Corporal in April 2011.

Corporal Birt was part of Combined Team Uruzgan and is survived by his parents and brother.

His colleagues describe him as being a proud and well-liked soldier of the 1 TOPO SVY SQN. He maintained a very high level of physical fitness and played hockey at the highest levels. 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. He was a larrikin and someone who was always smiling. His mates remember him as a great bloke, a distinguished sportsman and an excellent soldier. He will not be forgotten and will always remain a part of the sapper family.

Corporal Birt was awarded the following honours and awards:

  • Australian Defence Medal
  • Australian Service Medal with Clasp Solomon Islands II
  • Australian Active Service Medal with clasp International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT)
  • Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  • NATO Non Article 5 Medal with clasp – International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

For his efforts on Operation Flood Assist, he was nominated for a soldiers’ medallion.

During Corporal Birt’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following operations:

  • Operation Anode (Solomon Islands): July 2010 – September 2010
  • Operation Flood Assist (Queensland): January 2011– February 2011
  • Operation Slipper (Afghanistan): May 2011 – October 2011.

Statements and tributes

Corporal Birt's family

Defence releases the following statement on behalf of parents Don and Linda, brother Dale and the extended Birt family.

The death of Ashley has been a tragic shock to our family, his mates and the Gympie community. Ashley was a proud soldier who loved his job. He was a loving son, devoted brother, wonderful uncle and loyal friend who will be dearly missed.

As this is a difficult time for our family, we ask that we are left to grieve in private.