Saturday, November 26, 2022



The stories behind the names on the signs at the rest stops on the Remembrance Driveway, which goes from Sydney to Canberra.

The highway commemorates persons awarded the Victoria Cross by naming rest stops after them.


The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces

The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. The metal used to make every Victoria Cross medal has been made from cannons captured by the British at the siege of Sevastopol.



William Henry Kibby, VC (15 April 1903 – 31 October 1942) was a British-born Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that could be awarded to a member of the Australian armed forces at the time.


Location of rest area:

Hume Highway, NSW, past Goulburn near the junction of the Hume and Federal junctions,
New South Wales



Kibby was born at Winlaton, County Durham, England on 15 April 1903.

In early 1914, the family emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia, where Bill attended Mitcham Public School. After leaving school he was employed at a plasterworks in Edwardstown, where he designed and fixed plaster decorations.

In 1926, he married Mabel Sarah Bidmead Morgan; they lived at Helmsdale and had two daughters.

Although he was diminutive (168 cm (5 ft 6 in)), Kibby was a strong man and loved outdoor activities.

In 1936, he joined the Militia, and was assigned to the 48 Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery.

Kibby joined the Second Australian Imperial Force during the Second World War. In 1942, he was a sergeant in the 2/48th Infantry Battalion, during the North African campaign.

At the Second Battle of El Alamein, during the period of 23–31 October 1942, Kibby distinguished himself through his skill in leading a platoon, after his commander had been killed, during the initial attack at Miteiriya Ridge.

The citation for Kibby’s posthumous Victoria Cross read:
During the initial attack at Miteiriya Ridge on the 23rd October, 1942, the Commander of No. 17 Platoon, to which Sergeant Kibby belonged, was killed. No sooner had Sergeant Kibby assumed command, than his Platoon was ordered to attack strong enemy positions holding up the advance of his Company. Sergeant Kibby immediately realised the necessity for quick decisive action, and without thought for his personal safety he dashed forward towards the enemy posts firing his Tommy-gun. This rapid and courageous individual action resulted in the complete silencing of the enemy fire, by the killing of three of the enemy and the capture of twelve others. With these posts silenced, his Company was then able to continue the advance.

After the capture of TRIG 29 on 26 October, intense enemy artillery concentrations were directed on the battalion area, which were invariably followed with counter-attacks by tanks and infantry. Throughout the attack that culminated in the capture of TRIG 29 and the re-organisation period which followed, Sergeant Kibby moved from section to section personally directing their fire and cheering the men, despite the fact that the Platoon throughout was suffering heavy casualties. Several times, while under intense machine‑gun fire, he went out and mended the platoon line communications, thus allowing mortar concentrations to be directed effectively against the attacks on his Company's front. His whole demeanour during this difficult phase in the operations was an inspiration to his Platoon.

On the night of 30–31 October when the Battalion attacked "ring contour" 25 behind the enemy lines, it was necessary for No. 17 Platoon to move through withering fire in order to reach its objective. These conditions did not deter Sergeant Kibby from pressing forward right to the objective, despite his platoon's being mown down by machine-gun fire from point-blank range. One pocket of resistance still remained and Sergeant Kibby went forward alone throwing grenades to destroy the enemy now only a few yards distant. Just as success appeared certain, he was killed by a burst of machine gunfire. Such outstanding courage, tenacity of purpose and devotion to duty was entirely responsible for the successful capture of the Company's objective. His work was an inspiration to all and he left behind an example and the memory of a soldier who fearlessly and unselfishly fought to the end to carry out his duty.

— The London Gazette 26 January 1943
The posts captured by the 2/48th that night were lost to the enemy.  The German troops buried Kibby with other dead in a common grave. 

Later, when the area was retaken by Australian troops, the men of his unit searched for ten days, found the grave and reburied the men individually, in line. 'We couldn't say much', one recalled early in 1943, 'but I guess we all knew . . . that if it hadn't been for Bill Kibby we might have been lying there with them'.

The Governor-General of Australia, Baron Gowrie, himself a recipient of the VC, presented Kibby's award to Mabel Kibby on 27 November 1943.

In January 1944, Kibby's remains were re-interred in the El Alamein War Cemetery maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

In the same year, a memorial trust was established and raised A£1,001, which was used to purchase a house on Third Avenue, Helmsdale, for Mabel and their daughters.

Along with the Victoria Cross, Kibby was also entitled to the 1939–1945 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army clasp, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939–1945 and Australia Service Medal 1939–1945. Later, Mabel donated his medal set to the Australian War Memorial; it is on display in the Hall of Valour.

Apart from the rest stop, a veteran's shed and a street in Loxton are also named after him.



Grave of Bill Kibby at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, El Alamein, Egypt

Bill Kibby's grave after reburial by his mates.

William Kibby VC -Veteran’s Shed.

The William Kibby VC Veterans Shed is an initiative of a Vietnam veteran, Barry Heffernan.

The Shed and Memorial Garden at Kibby Reserve, on Kibby Avenue, Glenelg North, South Australia is the first Veterans shed registered with the Australian Men’s Shed Association that is specifically intended for veterans of any gender, of all conflicts, and anyone who served in the Australian uniform regardless of whether or not they saw operational service.

Special Membership for non-service individuals can be Partners of Ex Service personnel, Skilled Trainers for the benefit of the Sheds Operation and People approved by the Executive Committee.

The aim of the Veterans Shed is to create and maintain an environment for veterans and ex-service personnel where concerns, past trauma, health issues and welfare issues can be discussed with other veterans who have empathy through similar life experience in operational areas.

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