The Victoria Cross awarded to Private Edward Kenna for destroying a Japanese machine gun nest during World War II is now on display at the Australian War Memorial.
Private Kenna was Australia’s last surviving World War II VC recipient until his death last year at the age of 90.
He kept his Victoria Cross in a sock drawer for most of his life, but this morning his surviving family lent the medal to the museum.
Private Kenna was awarded the prestigious medal for valour after exposing himself to heavy gunfire in New Guinea in 1945.
He killed a Japanese machine gun crew, making it possible for his company’s attack to succeed.
But his son, Rob Kenna, says his father never mentioned the brave acts.
“If you ever spoke to dad about the VC, it was all about the people who didn’t come home, brave people who died,” he said.
War Memorial director Steve Gower says the museum is grateful for the loan.
“Ted Kenna showed remarkable and unselfish courage in the service of others,” he said.
“With his award now publicly displayed at the Memorial, it can be viewed by all Australians who can reflect on his gallantry.”