Witchard

Date of Entry: 01/01/20xx
Surname: Witchard
Christian Names: Ken
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Bega
Service #: Not Known
Service: Navy
Branch: Quartermaster General
Commencement of service: 1971
Completion of service: 1977
Case Notes:

 

 

 

A few weeks ago, ANZMI exposed a group of medal miscreants from the Bega RSL Sub Branch.   You can find this report by following the link:

BEGA RSL SUB BRANCH

The actions of one of the members of this infamous group has attracted significant attention, particularly in New Zealand.    You see, the story goes like this.   WITCHARD served in the Royal Australian Navy and one of his postings was to HMAS Supply.   During this posting, Supply, accompanied initially by Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) frigate HMNZS Otago and later by RNZN frigate HMNZS Canterbury, sailed to Moruroa Atoll in official protest of the French Canopus atmospheric nuclear test.

Here lies the story of the tin medal being worn by WITCHARD.  

This next image, from our original exposure shows Ken, that’s him in the centre, wearing his tin medals and at the time we could not identify the orange ribbon and medal at the end of his rack.

We have since learnt that the Tin Medal is the ‘Australian Nuclear Veterans Association Medal’.   A medal purchased from the Veterans Association and not issued by the Australian Government.

It is not ANZMI’s place to comment on the appropriateness of medallic recognition for the crew of HMAS Supply for this service.   Suffice to say that the New Zealand Government chose to issue her sailors with the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Nuclear Testing).    The official NZ Medal looks like this: 

Ken WITCHARD has conducted a crusade over the years to have the crew of HMAS Supply recognised.   The Australian Government has taken the view that the service of HMAS Supply during this period was no more or less that other service rendered by the ship in peacetime.   You may agree or disagree with this decision, but until the Government changes its mind that is that.

 WITCHARD has been very active in his efforts to circumvent the Australian Government and has attempted to gain support in New Zealand for HMAS Supply to be recognised by the New Zealand Government.

During his many communications with NZ Veteran organisations, WITCHARD let the ball slip regarding the medals he had been photographed wearing.

In response to a direct question about the medal with the orange ribbon, WITCHARD replied;

Ok on the medals we found out that one of the ones I was wearing was wrong and apparently not entitled to it so I’ve removed it the orange/red one is the Australian Nuclear Veterans medal released by that group some years ago” 

WRONG, he has been photographed numerous times and that medal appears on his rack each time.   He did not remove it until ANZMI drew attention to it.

Our concerned New Zealander then asked him about the second, or middle medal as our Kiwi friend confused it with the New Zealand Defence Force Medal (NZDFM).   When viewed together, you can see why there would be confusion.   The NZDFM (first), and the TIN Australian Regular Forces Medal.

 

In attempting to deflect questions about this medal, WITCHARD replies with the classic wannabe response;

“No, I think from the information we just received that the Government didn’t issue it, contrary to what we were told.   Mine was sent from Canberra and I assumed it came from the Defence Honours and Awards department as it was in a plain satchel with no government markings”.

What a load of rubbish.   WITCHARD actually expects us to believe that a mysterious parcel arrived in the mail, with no covering letter or markings of any sort and when he opened the parcel, shock, horror a medal fell out.   Of course if it did happen, you would not question what the hell it was about, but simply add it to your rack, wouldn’t you?   We at ANZMI think not.   Mysterious medals don’t just turn up in the mail.  

The only plausible reason there was no paperwork is that WITCHARD must have disposed of the receipt and credit card transaction before showing off his new gong!

Many ex-service personnel probably feel that there were parts of their service that should be worthy of medallic recognition, but unlike those countries that award medals for turning up to work, Australia is not that shallow.

WITCHARD is symbolic of those wannabes who want to create something special and daring out of what was a normal peacetime operation for HMAS Supply.   Yes, there were inherent dangers but most ADF operations, exercises and peacetime deployments have some sort of danger associated with their execution.

Welcome to your own place on our website, Ken WITCHARD.

Located in: Medal Cheats
Powered by SobiPro