After the Battle of Hamel, King George V knighted Lt. General Sir John Monash on the battlefield, the first such ceremony in 200 years.
When Lt. General Peter Cosgrove returned from heading the extraordinarily successful 22 nation INTERFET operation in East Timor, John Howard should have recommended that he be knighted as Sir Peter Cosgrove. This could have been a personal knighthood if The Queen agreed; the alternative would have been to restore the AK which Bob Hawke abolished.
And for their role in the liberation of East Timor, the first such successful liberation of a nation through the military intervention of another nation since the Second World War, INTERFET, Peter Cosgrove and John Howard – or any of them – would have been a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. (They gave the next ones to the UN, Kofi Annan and Jimmy Carter. Al Gore received one; President Obama was barely in office when he was awarded the prize.)
Prime Ministers Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke and Keating all left the East Timorese under a foreign yoke; John Howard, with the support of Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan, laboured to obtain the necessary approvals and support, and chose General Cosgrove to lead the liberation force.
And in relation to a knighthood and the Nobel Prize, it is not too late; perhaps it will happen under the 28th Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia.