Cook

Date of Entry: 29/06/2016
Surname: Cook
Christian Names: Kenneth Hugh
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Koroit
Service #: R49003
Service: RAN
Branch: Unknown
Commencement of service: 01 Sep 52
Completion of service: 31 Aug 64
Case Notes:

 

 

Cook 1

 

The above photo of Cook was taken at the Koroit RSL 2016 ANZAC Service, where he is laying a wreath at the Cenotaph.

Cook joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1952, serving for 12 years. During this time he spent considerable postings to sea aboard HMA Ships Shoalhaven, Cootamundra, Tobruk (I) and Vendetta.

For his service, Cook would have been entitled to the following medals:

1. Australian General Service Medal - Korea
2. United Nations Service Medal - Korea
3. Australian Service Medal (ASM) 1945-75 (clasp FESR)
4. Naval General Service Medal 1918-62 (clasp MALAYA)
5. Australian Defence Medal
6. Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal

In the above photograph, Cook can be seen wearing a total of 8 (not very well mounted) medals. From the picture, the seventh medal is unable to be identified, however, medal number eight, as circled, is a commemorative medal for service with the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR).

Cook 21

 

To all discerning Veterans, the FESR Commemorative is nothing more than a ‘tin’ medal, it has no place with authorised Service medals.

So how did this medal come about? Well, people will collect anything and medals have an attractiveness all of their own, particularly when worn in order to impress others rather than just an official recognition of service to Australia.

This was well set out in the advertising spiel of the organisations who produced the commemorative medal.

“To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the RAN's involvement as an integral part of the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR), the HMAS Sydney and the VLSV Assoc (Vic) has dedicated this medal to all of those that served on HMAS ships on the FESR.

Ministerial approval was sought and Navy Office have granted an 'Instrument of Consent' to use certain words/letters on the Obverse side of the medal, thereby making it uniquely 'Navy'.

The design of the medal is a very fitting one, with two uniquely naval motifs included in the design. The first, the quarter compass rose, depicts the North West quadrant, signifying the direction of the 'Far East' in relation to Australia. The second is the symbol of a canted and fouled stockless anchor, superimposed with a scroll signifying the RAN's involvement in the FESR from 1955 until its disbandment in 1971. The wreath beneath the anchor crown is representative of the eucalypt leaves of the Australian bush, and is in tribute to the memory of those that did not return from this service to their country.

The recipient of this medal, whose name appears on the Reverse side, served on the Far East Station in an RAN ship which was a unit of the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve. And in the fine traditions of the Royal Australian Navy, they served Australia well.”

Defence Honours and Awards policy dictates specifically that such medals are never to be worn with official medals, a policy that is even reflected on the HMAS Sydney Association website and also on many other Navy and Military association pages.

Kenneth Hugh Cook, your lengthy Naval service has earned you the medals that you can be proud to wear, however, by the dis-service displayed by wearing a worthless commemorative medal, you have earned yourself a place alongside the increasing number of Navy veterans on the ANZMI site.

Located in: Medal Cheats
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