|Birth: ||Apr. 20, 1966, Canada|
|Death: ||Oct. 3, 2006, Afghanistan|
Sergeant with the Royal Canadian Dragoons based in Petawawa, Ontario. Aged 40, he was a native of South Branch, NL. He is survived by his wife Maureen; son Stephen and daughter Gale; parents, Agnes and Graham Bishop; three sisters, grandmother, and a large extended family.
He and Cpl Robert Mitchell were killed and five others injured after they were attacked by mortars, rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire from insurgents while they provided security to a construction project in the Panjwayi area west of Kandahar City, Afghanistan. This occurred in an area from where Taliban fighters had been cleared just weeks earlier.
Sgt Gillam's quick action in the seconds before he was killed is being credited for saving the lives of most of his platoon. According to his unit commander, he was the only soldier who had opportunity to shoot back when insurgents tried to sneak up on the observation post to set up an ambush. Seconds later, the insurgents attacked two other posts. Because of Sgt Gillam's heroism, the insurgents were forced to retreat.
He loved martial arts and was an unarmed combat instructor. He was also active in the community, playing hockey as well as coaching minor hockey. Although Sgt Gillam had been with the military for 20 years, he was on his first deployment overseas. He was about a month away from a visit home.
Repatriation ceremony at CFB Trenton held on Oct 6, 2006. Funeral held Oct 14, 2006 in South Branch, NL.
Recipient of Meritorious Service Medal, Canadian Forces Decoration, Mentioned in Dispatches (Posthumous), Medal of Sacrifice (Posthumous)
On October 2, 2007 the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada announced awards for gallantry and devotion to duty in combat. Sgt Gilliam was honoured with a posthumous Mention in Dispatches.
The citation reads: "On October 3, 2006, Sergeant Gillam's observation post in Pashmul, Afghanistan, was attacked by enemy fighters firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades from an unidentified location. Without regard to his own safety, Sgt Gillam immediately moved to a position from which he could identify and indicate the enemy position to the remainder of his patrol. He valiantly stood his ground and maintained suppressing fire until he fell to the enemy's fire. Sgt Gillam's courageous actions and personal sacrifice during a devastating enemy attack contributed to saving the lives of his fellow soldiers through the rapid identification of the enemy position."
A mention in dispatches, marked by a small bronze oak leaf attached to a service medal, recognizes "valiant conduct, devotion to duty or other distinguished service".
Saint Sylvester's Cemetery
St Georges Census Division
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Created by: Milou
Record added: Oct 10, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16134035