In 1941, Sergeant James Ward, from New Zealand, was awarded the highest British gallantry award, the Victoria Cross.
In an amazing feat he had climbed out onto the wing of his Wellington Bomber, 13,000 feet above the earth to extinguish a fire in the starboard engine. Secured only by a rope around his waist, he managed to smother the fire and return to the aircraft's cabin and to land successfully.
Churchill, an admirer of such daring exploits summoned the shy Ward to 10, Downing Street. The shy New Zealander was struck dumb with awe by the experience and was unable to answer the Prime Minister's questions.
Churchill regarded the reluctant hero with some compassion. "You must feel very humble and awkward in my presence," he said.
"Yes, sir..." managed Ward.
"Then you can imagine how humble and awkward I feel in yours," responded Churchill.
~ Author Unknown
Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.