In Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun on 20 March 2011 the following photo appeared of Ken GIBBONS - Past Pres of the Croydon RSL - current Senior Vice President. The photo accompanied an article whereby Gibbons was seeking photos of past Presidents of his RSL ranging from the 1920's up to the 1960's to complete a memorial wall.
The article was spotted by a Vietnam veteran 30 year Regular Army ex Regimental Sergeant Major who noticed some of the medals worn by Gibbons were not issued medals.
The alert ex RSM rang Gibbons and queried his entitlements and gleaned the following information:
Three of the medals shown Gibbons purchased - three are un-official commemorative medals (normally called Tin Medals and are worthless and have no real meaning) which inscrutable manufacturers produce and sell to those not satisfied with their issued service medals.
Our investigation shows that Gibbons is recorded with the RSL as serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps - Royal Fusiliers - Army Number: 22445302: TRIPOLITAN (whatever that means).
Look closely at the medal rack and you will see that from the left is the
1. UN Korea Medal clasp Korea, (official medal)
2. British General Service Medal clasp Malaya, (official medal)
3. Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal, (official medal) this medal was offered to all Commonwealth Forces by the Malaysian government for those that served in the Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation between 31 August 1957 and 31 December 1966. This medal was accepted by the Australian government, but not by the British government.
(Members of the UK Forces do not have authorization to wear that medal due to their official medal policy of not being able to wear two medals for the same conflict)
The following three are just show medals to impress the general public who would not be aware they are just trinkets.
Gibbons may have served his National Service in the RAF as out of the two un-official British National Service Medals, he is wearing the RAF one.
4. British RAF National Service Medal, (Un-official should not be worn)
5. British Foreign Service Medal, with clasps occupation of Japan, Korea, United Nations Forces (Un-official medal, should not be worn, plus the ribbon is the wrong way around.)
6. British Forces Germany Medal. (Un-official medal, should not be worn)
When questioned by the Ex Vietnam vet RSM Gibbons faltered and admitted to purchasing these medals for his own purposes.
Again we have exposed a high profile RSL Executive walking the path of a wannabe we have constantly exposed such pretenders from this supposed senior Ex Service Organisation and from current experiences will continue to do so for breaching the protocols of the wearing of medals which gives a complete list of medals that can be worn on the left breast. The last three are not on that list here or in the United Kingdom.
The outgoing CEO of ANZAC House in Victoria made it abundantly clear that "If you had to purchase a medal - you didn't earn it" therefore such trinkets are to be worn on the right hand side of the jacket, NOT alongside issued medals.
He wears a Life Membership badge of the League. We strongly suggest that the Victorian Branch of the RSL investigate Gibbons bonafides and ensure that he is at least a veteran of the Korean War and the Malaysian Conflict as it would be an absolute disgrace to discover he was totally bogus.
Our final advice to GIBBONS - crack your rack and get rid of the tin – the wearing of these fools jewels only serves to bring discredit and shame upon the Returned Service League.
For a person holding a high position in the RSL he is showing a lack of respect to the protocols of wearing medals, as well as serving and ex-serving military personal. For this he will grace our web site for eternity.
This is a timely warning for those offenders who intend to strut like peacocks this ANZAC Day - ANZMI has supporters all over the country waiting to pounce on masquerading miscreants.
This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.