Latest Cases

Latest Cases

Surname: Deacon
Christian Names: Graham Neville
Country: Australia
State or Province: Tasmania
City or Town: Penguin
Service #: R64441
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Sick Berth Attendant
Commencement of service: 1965
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

Graham Neville Deacon joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1965 as a Sick Berth Attendant, or a Navy Medical Sailor, in modern terminology. Deacon had a number of sea postings on HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney.

For his service, Deacon was awarded the following official medals:

  1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75.
  2. Vietnam Logistic Support Medal
  3. Australian Service Medal 1945-75
  4. Australian Defence Medal

After leaving the Navy, Deacon returned to his hometown of Penguin, Tasmania, where he continued to serve his community through membership of various organisations. Deacon is also the President of the Penguin RSL Sub Branch.

Deacon 1

 

The above photograph was taken in 2012, the same year Deacon was elected as a Tasmania RSL State Executive Member. Here he can be seen wearing six medals, the last two being:

  • Australian Logistic Support Forces Commemorative
  • Far East Strategic Reserve Commemorative.

Both medals are, in reality, nothing more than tin junk, trinkets purchased from an ex-service organisation, but they certainly seem, to the unknowing, to add a little more importance to a medal rack.

Deacon was appropriately recognised for his service by the award of official medals for his service, why add on a couple more!

One would assume that RSL Sub Branches, and indeed, State RSL Headquarters across Australia, would have a well published protocol regarding the correct wearing of medals, particularly, in regard to State awards and commemorative medals. A search of respective State RSL websites provides almost no guidance.

Given the number of RSL executives that adorn the ANZMI pages, it is clear, that medal protocol is of not much importance, nor the respect that should be accorded to official honours and awards.

Deacon has been photographed several times since 2012, at ceremonies where he has represented his position as a member of the Tasmania RSL State Executive, or in his position as the President of the Penguin RSL Sub Branch.

Deacon 2

The above photograph was taken in 2016. The presentation of the Ted Howe OAM ANZAC Trophy, to the best Penguin footballer, was taking place. Mr Howe, a decorated WWII veteran, and 98 years of age, presented the trophy on that day.

That Deacon would be parading with his ‘tin’ medals on that day simply shows the disrespect he has for, not only Mr Howe, but towards all veterans.

Deacon currently holds the RSL State Executive position of, Vice President North West Division. In holding both his State and Sub Branch positions, deacon is subject to Tasmania RSL By-Laws.

By-Law 20: Code of Conduct – Elected Representatives

Of note:

  1. An elected representative of the State Branch or a Sub Branch must act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the League as a whole;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           and:
  1. An elected representative should not engage in conduct likely to bring discredit upon the League.

Tasmania RSL State Executive needs to take action over this continuing disregard for our official medals system. Deacon should seriously evaluate his integrity to hold such positions.

Each time an elected representative of the RSL appears on these pages, it adds a little more tarnish to the good works of the League, along with a little more doubt as to the relevance of the organisation. Younger veterans can only wonder why RSL Executives are conducting themselves like some ‘Dad’s Army’, when it comes to the wearing of medals.

Graham Neville Deacon, RSL Executive member and medal cheat. Time and time again, different name but same circumstances, and respective RSL State Headquarters sitting on their hands and doing nothing, except perhaps polishing their pretty pieces of tin!

Surname: Mason
Christian Names: Herbert Alec
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Epping
Service #: 327842
Service: Australian Army
Branch: RAEME
Commencement of service: 1965
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

Herbert Alec Mason was born on the 28 August, 1945. He is the current President of the Epping (Victoria) Returned and Services League (R&SL) Sub Branch, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

MASON1 2017 06 04 1


About 1965, Mason enlisted in the Australian Regular Army. Following Recruit Training he was posted to the Corps of RAEME .

On the 29 December, 1967, Mason was deployed to the Republic of South Vietnam as a member of the 1st Independent Armoured Squadron Workshop. He was later attached to the 1st Armoured Squadron Workshop.

In March, 1968, whilst on Base at this last posting, MASON received an accidental bullet wound to his foot. He was then hospitalised for 17 days in country, and returned to Australia as a Non Battle Casualty. (NBCAS) after 102 days in South Vietnam.

In the above photograph, Mason is wearing the following medals -;

1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945 -1975. (Entitled)
2. Vietnam Medal. (Entitled)
3. Centenary Medal. (Entitled)
4. Australian Defence Medal. (Entitled)
5. Vietnam Campaign Medal. (181 days service in South Vietnam. Not entitled)

The Vietnam Campaign Medal is awarded for 181 days service in the former Republic of South Vietnam. There are exceptions and these are listed below -;

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

MasonVietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 clasp 2017 06 04



The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was issued by the Government of the Republic of Vietnam for service in the prescribed area of operations in Vietnam during the period commencing on 31 July 1962 and ending on 28 March 1973 for Australian personnel.

The Australian government maintained the basic qualifying criteria specified by the Republic of Vietnam for allied troops. To be eligible for the medal a person must have completed a minimum period of 181 days, either continuous or aggregated, unless:

killed on active service (KIA);
wounded in action i.e. classified as a Battle Casualty and evacuated as a result of those wounds; or
captured and later released or escaped.
Medical evacuation from the area of operations for any reasons other than wounds received in action does not constitute an exemption from meeting the minimum qualifying period.
Design
The medal is a gold and white enamelled star with a green, red and gold centre motif.
Ribbon
The ribbon is green with three white stripes.
A ribbon device bearing the inscription ‘1960–’ is worn on the medal ribbon. A smaller device with the inscription ‘60- ’ is worn on the ribbon bar.

Mason was not “wounded in action and he was not classified as a Battle Casualty and evacuated as a result of those wounds”.

Concerned members of Epping and nearby R&SL Sub Branches expressed their concerns to ANZMI that Mason is a medal cheat.

We contacted Mason in regards to wearing the medal. . He stated that he was entitled to wear it. He informed us that in 1968, he was a patient in Heidelberg Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria , following his return from South Vietnam and was receiving treatment for the wound to his foot, when he received the Vietnam Medal and The Vietnam Campaign Medal in the mail. ANZMI then informed him that he did not meet the criteria and that he must have purchased it. He denied that.

A few hours later, Mason sent an email to ANZMI stating that, “he had lied about the particular medal and that he has no entitlement to wear it, and I have. I apologise for lying to you.”

Herbert Mason is a President of a Victorian R&SL Sub Branch. He has held that position for some time. He sets a bad example for all the Epping R&SL members and the Victorian R&SL State Branch. In particular, the younger Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans that the R&SL is attempting to attract to the organisation.


During the past few years, ANZMI have exposed numerous Victorian R&SL Sub Branch Presidents and other Executives for being Medal Cheats, Valour thieves or just outright imposters. They all appear on this website -;

Lance Mailer Smith – President. Glenroy R&SL. Victoria.
John Malcolm Griffiths. President. Essendon R&SL. Victoria.
Geoffrey Phillip Lyles. President. Kyneton R&SL. Victoria.
Douglas Craig O’Loughlan. President Bright R&SL. Victoria.
David Hugh Edwards. President. Leongatha R&SL. Victoria.
Now, Herbert Alec Mason, President Epping R&SL Victoria, can be added to the growing list.

It is the responsibility of State Branch R&SL Victoria, to audit their executives and members more fervently. It is not that hard. Someone is asleep at the wheel.

Mason should apologise to the membership at the Epping R&SL Sub Branch, Victoria, for being a medal cheat, and then resign the Presidency immediately.

Surname: Elliott
Christian Names: Colin Francis
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Dandenong
Service #: R95102
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Underwater Control
Commencement of service: 10 Oct 1965
Completion of service: 1972
Case Notes:

 

 

Colin Francis Elliott is a well known Australian comedian, and also a Vietnam veteran.

WUElliott 1

The above photograph appears on the personal web page of Elliott. Here he can be seen wearing the following medals:

  1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75
  2. Vietnam Medal
  3. Australian Service Medal 1945-75
  4. Australian Defence Medal
  5. Republic of Vietnam Combat Medal
  6. Vietnam Service Commemorative
  7. Far East Strategic Reserve Commemorative
  8. United States Navy Unit Commendation

Elliott joined the Royal Australian Navy at the age of 16, commencing as a Junior Recruit at HMAS Leeuwin in West Australia. Before reaching his eighteenth birthday, he was serving in Vietnam onboard HMAS Hobart.

During this deployment, Hobart was attached to US Navy Forces, serving on what became known as the “Gun Line”, and heavily involved in the bombardment of Vietnamese based land targets, whilst coming under fire herself.

Seeing enemy action was not the only significant event of this deployment. After a fire broke out on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal, killing 143 sailors and injuring 161 more, Hobart assisted with rescue and medical support.

For her service with US Forces, Hobart was awarded the US Navy Unit Citation:

For Exceptionally Meritorious Service during the period 10th March to 20th September, 1967, while engaged in Combat Operations in direct support of Free World Objectives in South East Asia. As an element of Task Unit 70.8.9 HMAS HOBART provided Naval Gunfire Support for United States and Allied Forces ashore in the Republic of Vietnam, and as an element of Task Group 77.1 in the Gulf of Tonkin, supported Naval Operations against North Vietnamese logistics groups and lines of communications. Undeterred by frequent, vigorous, accurate enemy shore fire, HOBART was responsible for the destruction of numerous enemy installations, earning an enviable reputation as an Aggressive Eager and Dauntless Member of the US Seventh Fleet. The outstanding Team Work, Courage and Professionalism displayed by HOBART Officers and Men reflect Great Credit upon themselves and the Royal Australian Navy and were in keeping with the Highest Traditions of the Naval Service.

Elliott was later posted to HMAS Stuart and deployed to South East Asia as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR), sailing from Sydney on 22 March 1969.

It was during this deployment Stuart was one of a number of Australian ships participating in a SEATO exercise with US Navy units in the South China Sea.

On 3 June 1969, USS Frank E. Evans sailed under the bow of HMAS Melbourne and was cut in two, with the loss of 74 lives. Elliott was part of the crew of a whaler from Stuart conducting searches for survivors in that pre-dawn tragedy.

By the age of 19, Elliott had not only been on active combat duty, but had also assisted in the response to two naval tragedies. These experiences would manifest in later life with depression and alcoholism, as detailed in his autobiography ‘In Between The Laughter’.

Elliott was appropriately recognised for his service, as is shown in the official medals he is wearing. Unfortunately, Elliott has seen fit to embellish his rack of medals by adding the Vietnam Service Commemorative and the FESR Commemorative medals.

WUElliott 2

 

WUElliott 3

These medals are quite simply junk. They have never been officially awarded by any country and are more often simply purchase by the wearer to inflate both their medal rack and self-importance. Their wearing is simply an insult to the service of veterans.

Elliott, for whatever reason, has chosen to display this tin junk. Perhaps it is part of his comedy routine, in which case the joke has backfired and Elliott has earned a perpetual billing on the ANZMI site.

Surname: Beasley
Christian Names: Neal Lyndon
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Noosa
Service #: R53761
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Cook
Commencement of service: 1958
Completion of service: 1978
Case Notes:

 

 

Neal Lyndon Beasley joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Cook in 1958, seeing much sea service in this role, before transferring to Naval Police in 1970. He discharged in 1978, having given 20 years efficient service to his country.

Beasley 1

ANZAC Day 2015, would certainly be a memorable one for Beasley, having been selected by the Department of Veterans Affairs to lay a wreath on behalf of all Australian veterans at the Dawn Service in Villers-Bretonneux, France.

The above photograph appeared online, in “Noosa Today”, on 23 April 2015. The article had an in-depth account of Beasley’s service and how proud he was to be attending the dawn service in France.

Beasley can be seen wearing 10 medals. The first 9, were awarded to him for his service in the Navy, and in particular, operational service in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam. These medals are officially awarded by the Australian Government as part of the long-established honours and awards system.

The last medal is nothing more that tin junk, a medal to commemorate service with the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR), and usually worn by those wanting to make their row of medals look that little bit more impressive. Service with the FESR was adequately recognised through the official awarding of the Australian Service Medal 1945-75, with clasp ‘FESR’.

Beasley has no cause to be proudly displaying this trinket.

Beasley 2

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.”

In the above, words like ‘Ministerial, and ‘consent’ and ‘uniquely Navy’, seem to add a pretext of authority to the medal, detracting from what it actually is – an unofficial, worthless piece of metal that simply has no place in military medal history.

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 many other Navy and Military association pages.

Beasley 3 2017 05 26

The ANZAC Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France.

On 25 April 2015, thousands of Australians, New Zealanders and French attended the Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux. The service was broadcast across the world by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and copies of the video are available on Youtube and many commemorative sites.

Beasley 4

The above image was extracted from the broadcast video at the 46 minutes and 13 seconds point, where Beasley is preparing to lay the wreath on behalf of all Australian veterans. Beasley is still wearing the FESR ‘rubbish’ along with his medals.

Neal Lyndon Beasley, do not feel proud for that day, instead, hang your head in shame for your actions. You, in fact, did an immeasurable dis-honour to those who lost their lives in those battles, you also disrespected both the veteran community, and the Australian Honours system, and whilst appearing on a world stage for all to see.

You now represent those others of your ilk, the medal cheats and valour thieves, through the award of a perpetual presence on the ANZMI site.

Surname: Stanbury
Christian Names: Vivienne Joan
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Brisbane
Service #: NZ 937
Service: NZ Navy
Branch: Support Branch
Commencement of service: 05 Jan 1953
Completion of service: 1955
Case Notes:

 

Ms Vivienne Stanbury has devoted a lot of time to the Queensland Returned and Services League (RSL) where she was a Sub Branch President and has now risen to the position of District President.

 

Stanbury1

Ms Stanbury wears two medals, the first is a legitimate New Zealand Defence Force Service Medal (NZDSM) for her service in the New Zealand Navy.   The second is an self purchased "Tin" Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal (QEGJM). That should not be worn, but if it is, must be worn on the right breast.

 Here is the "Tin"

 Stanbury2

 

The genuine Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal looks entirely different to what Stanbury wears:

 

Stanbury3

Neither the genuine or the "Tin" were approved for issue in New Zealand and had very limited distribution in Australia. Here is the NZ position:

 

Stanbury4 

Here is the Australian postion:

 

Stanbury5

 We have a continuous list of people wearing false medals, it is believed they are worn to expand their image to unsuspecting civilians and inexperienced RSL members. Most of those we expose are members of an RSL. Some RSL members and executives seem to not give a "fig" about the trend of their peers to devalue medals by adding fakes to their Racks.

It is time that the RSL produced a National protocol for the wearing of medals. The protocol should reflect instructions from the Office of the Governor General (GG) only. The GGs office is the ultimate authority. There is a mish mash of vague instructions emanating from Federal Government Departments, obviously written by public servants with impressive Academic Degrees who do not understand the value of the integrity of medals. Perhaps because they have not been through the grind of having to earn them.

 Ms Stanbury is entitled to wear the NZDSM although she had very little experience in the New Zealand Navy, having spent less than three years as a shore based Cook. Attaining the NZDSM normally required three years service, however she was given dispensation under a regulation that says:

NZDSM 2011

"If a person was discharged before the required time as a result of discriminatory policy the Chief of the NZ Defence Force could authorise the issue of the medal."

 Ms Stanbury served as a Cook at a NZ Navy Land Base for less than three years Sixty Four years ago when she was a teenager. She has risen through the ranks of the Australian RSL from being a Sub Branch President to her present position of District President. We wonder if those voting Ms Stanbury into high positions were aware of her background and her penchant to wear "Tin" medals?

Ms Stanbury can now, along with her NZ Navy service, and her RSL achievements note, in her Resume that she has been Mentioned in Dispatches on this website and although she has removed her "Tin" medal, a photograph of her "sporting" the medal will remain for at least another Sixty Four years.

 

 

Surname: Ashcroft
Christian Names: Cristine aka Crissy
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Sydney
Service: Austrialian Army
Branch: Pay Corps
Commencement of service: 1998
Completion of service: 2016
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