Woodford

Date of Entry: 01/01/20xx
Surname: Woodford
Christian Names: Graeme John
Country: Australia
State or Province: Western Australia
City or Town: Perth
Service #: R54733
Service: RAN
Branch: Gunnery
Commencement of service: 23/8/1958
Completion of service: 28/6/1961
Case Notes:

 

 

 

Graeme John Woodford was born in 1940. He is the President of the Perth North Sub Section, Western Australia Naval Association.

He is a medals cheat.

Woodford claims 5 medals for his operational service in Malaya and Singapore waters in deployments between late 1959 and early 1960. He also claims a further tin UK medal for a brief time on an Australian Merchant ship when he was 15 years of age.

Woodford wears tin purchased medals amongst his genuine awarded medals on his left chest.


In the above photograph, Woodford is claiming the following medals -;

1. The Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975. Clasp Malaya.
2. The Naval General Service Medal. 1915-1962. Clasp Malaya. Probably entitled.
3. Australian Service Medal. 1945-1975. clasp FESR (Far East Strategic Reserve) Entitled.
4. The Pingat Jasa Malaysia/Singapore medal. Entitled.
5. Far East Strategic Reserve Medal. Unofficial tin medal. Purchased.
6. UK Merchant Navy Service Medal. Unofficial tin medal purchased.

Woodford enlisted in the RAN in 1958 for a term of nine years. After a short period he was posted to the HMAS Quickmatch, an anti submarine Frigate.

The Quickmatch did five operational service deployments to Malaya and Singapore waters between 24 September, 1958 and the 6 March, 1960. Woodford served on the ship for 3 of these deployments accumulating 90 days operational service. Enough for his Pingat medal.

In "The West Australian" newspaper article, titled "Sea in blood of Quickmatch Gunner", Woodford is photographed with his six medals. He relates to the reporter that he was only a lad of 17 when he was sent off to Singapore not knowing what to expect. He was in fact 19. In the article he relates his war events as "being edgy" because he had to travel into Singapore (on leave) on a bus that was "reinforced". He also relates how his ship had to tow a (friendly) junk in the middle of the night due to its engine problems. He recalls that his ship had to negotiate the closed Sunda Strait followed by two Indonesian gun boats, but "nothing happened".

Excerpts from the Newspaper story are cited below.

"Of course, at the time I didn't realise that anything was going on in the world," Mr Woodford said. "We had done exercises around Australia, and before we knew it we were off to Singapore. You know, we were 17-year-old kids. We thought, 'Singapore, great!'

On one occasion Quickmatch, after conducting exercises and while heading back to Singapore, came upon what appeared to be a suspicious situation. A Chinese junk attracted the warship's attention. An armed boarding party was sent over. It could have been a ploy of some kind. But it turned out the junk's engine was disabled. So the boat was taken in tow.

Later that night, AB Woodford witnessed human drama on the high seas. "I was down on the quarter-deck. On the way back to Singapore we struck a tropical storm. I could hear this (calling) in the background. If it hadn't been for a flash of lightning I wouldn't have seen it. The tow was going under. But we managed to pick them all up," he recounted.

Before Mr Woodford's career with the RAN ended he would spend two years in the exotic waters of South East Asia, usually in six or nine-month rotating deployments.

For all this he wears five medals in addition to his tin Merchant Navy medal.
His claim that before his career with the RAN ended, he would spend two years in the exotic waters of South East Asia, usually in six or nine month rotating deployments is untrue. His service record below does not support this statement. It also indicates that he completed almost 3 years out of the original 9 and was discharged on compassionate grounds.

The AASM was issued to Woodford for his Malaya service as well as the Naval General Service Medal 1915 - 1962. It appears that the ASM with clasp FESR was also issued for service in the same area.

Not satisfied with this and to enhance his status, Woodford has also purchased the unofficial tin FESR medal for the same 90 day period to increase his rack as well as the tin meaningless UK Merchant Navy Medal. (below) This medal can be purchased on line from a Medal Dealer in the UK for forty two pounds.

Here at Anzmi, we sometimes just don't get it.

Here we have a genuine former RAN Able Seaman who is entitled to awards that he should be satisfied with. Embellishing them with tin meaningless purchased adornments to improve his rack is hard to understand and can only be ego driven.

In addition to being the President of the Perth North Sub Section, W.A. Naval Association, he is also the Vice President of the W.A. Branch of the National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association. He is also the Senior Warden at the Sterling Memorial, Perth. Woodford should be leading by example and cease being a medals imposter. By your disrespect, you are encouraging your members to do the same, as already indicated in some photographs posted on your Perth North Sub Section Naval Association website.

If you have a need to wear purchased commemorative medals, then they should be worn on the right chest and not mixed or added to genuinely awarded military medals displayed on the left side.

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