VC recipient kept bravery from his wife

Mate killed in the fight that earned award.

Australia's latest Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Daniel Keighran. Photo / AP
Australia's latest Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Daniel Keighran. Photo / AP

When Australia's latest Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Daniel Keighran first told his wife Katherine why he was receiving it, she wasn't impressed.

Keighran now works as an underground gold miner at La Mancha's Frog's Leg Mine in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Two weeks ago, the 29-year-old was met at Kalgoorlie airport by Chief of Army David Morrison who informed him of the honour.

It was only then that the now army reservist told his wife what happened in Afghanistan in August 2010.

"I hadn't told her," he told reporters yesterday after receiving the honour. "We spoke in depth and I let her know."

He said he had always been "quite private" about what happened on the battlefield.

"She wasn't impressed to start with," he said of his wife's response.

But Katherine appeared very proud of her husband at the ceremony at Government House in Canberra.

Keighran declined to talk about the death of one of his "good mates", Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney, in the same action for which he received the VC.

Asked for more detail about the incident which led to his honour Keighran said: "I don't want to go into it ... It's more about the boys from 6RAR and Delta company and acknowledging them as well. I am extremely honoured to receive this award today."

He said the "training took over" when he embarked on his brave deeds.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce bestowed the honour on the third Australian soldier to be awarded the VC for service in Afghanistan.

Keighran was a member of the Mentoring Task Force 1 on Operation Slipper in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan on August 24, 2010.

A patrol, which was being conducted jointly with the Afghan National Army, was fired on from multiple firing points.

Keighran, with complete disregard for his own safety, broke cover on multiple occasions to draw intense and accurate enemy fire to identify enemy locations and direct return fire from Australian and Afghan soldiers. Keighran's patrol sustained a casualty. He again, in an act of exceptional courage, moved from his position of cover to deliberately draw fire away from the team who were treating the casualty.


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