Wednesday, 7 November 2012


A VC was awarded to an Australian soldier, Corporal Daniel Keighran, the other
day. What an astonishing young man. Reading about what he did is very, very moving.

I was thinking about Corporal Keighran as we drove to Sydney on Friday, passing all the lay-bys named after his fellow recipients from earlier days. Some, I noticed, even have the added privilege of WC facilities bestowed upon them - I'm not sure what kind of a VC merits a WC, but I'm assuming it's an extra specially good kind.

In addition, as we drew closer to Sydney, I saw that as well as a lavatory, this latest addition to the noble ranks of courage can, if he's really lucky, look forward to an even better prize. One day, if the government ever actually puts up the money to improve the highway, he may gain the ultimate recognition. Like Sir Roden Cutler, he may have a concrete overpass dedicated to his memory:

Are these little tokens the ideal way to express a nation's gratitude? Much as I hate it the word 'inappropriate' hovers in the back of my mind.


  1. On the New Jersey Turnpike, there is a Joyce Kilmer Service Area, remembering the author of "Trees", killed in France in WW I. So there is a precedent.

    Reed Whittemore, author of William Carlos Williams: Poet from Jersey was inspired to write

    I think that I shall never see
    A W.C. Williams WC.

    1. I think statues are a better memorial, but the WC option may have been switched to once the supply of decent figurative sculptors evaporated.