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Fallen SASR soldier begins journey home

29 October 2007

Australian soldiers from the Special Operations Task Group & Reconstruction Task Force have farewelled fallen Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) soldier Sergeant Matthew Locke during a Ramp Ceremony at their base in Oruzgan Province, southern Afghanistan.

Sergeant Locke was killed by small arms fire from Taliban extremists on Thursday, 25 October 2007.

Chief of Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said SGT Locke exemplified the extraordinary valour we have come to expect from the Special Air Service Regiment.

"Sergeant Matthew Locke was everything you would expect of an Australian soldier. He was courageous, dedicated and very professional. He took great pride in being an Aussie digger, displaying the characteristics of loyalty, mateship and determination for which Australian soldiers are renowned," Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

SGT Locke was awarded one of the ADF's highest honours, the Medal for Gallantry, by Governor-General and Honorary Colonel of the SASR, Major General Michael Jeffery, in December 2006.

"Sergeant Locke, from my observations, was a magnificent soldier. He was brave, he was an absolute professional, but he also had a wonderful sense of humour and was very compassionate and I know that he will be missed, not just by his patrol, but also by the whole regiment," Major General Jeffery said.

Read media release: SGT Matthew Locke begins journey home