Corporal Richard Atkinson

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Corporal Richard Atkinson during operations in Afghanistan.

Twenty-two-year-old Corporal Richard Atkinson was from the Darwin-based 1st Combat Engineer Regiment.

Corporal Atkinson leaves behind his fiancé, Dannielle, his parents Ross and Kate, brother James and sister-in-law Sumah.

Corporal Atkinson was born in Hobart in 1988. He joined the Army in 2007 and in the same year successfully completed his recruit and combat engineer basic training prior to being posted to the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment based in Darwin.

He was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2009 and displayed strong leadership in bringing his section together during their preparation for operations in Afghanistan. His dedication to his section was rewarded with his promotion to Corporal just prior to their deployment.

Corporal Atkinson was leading his combat engineer section as a search commander when he was killed in action.

Corporal Atkinson has been awarded:

  • the Australian Active Service Medal with clasp International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) 
  • the Afghanistan Campaign Medal 
  • the Army Combat Badge 
  • the Australian Defence Medal 
  • the NATO Medal with ISAF Clasp.

During Corporal Atkinson’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following Operations:

  • Operation Padang Assist (Indonesian Earthquake) – Oct 2009
  • Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – Oct 2010 – Feb 2011.

Statements and tributes

The Atkinson family

Rich was the funny man, always putting smiles on other people’s faces. He was hoping to start a family this year with Dannielle. He was a dedicated soldier with long career aspirations.

He was a family man who was very close to each of his relatives and was looking forward to coming home at the end of his tour to spend time with them in Tasmania.

He shared a strong mateship with those he left behind in Afghanistan and all his mates in Australia. He will be missed by all and not a day will go by that he won’t be thought of.

We now request a period of privacy while we grieve the loss of our fiancé, son and brother.