Entries with Surname (Title)s starting with 'S'
In the photograph, Sowter is wearing his Royal Australian Armoured Corps shoulder patches, Armoured Corps beret and badge, with a National Service medal and Defence Service Medal on his left breast. He is also wearing possible next of kin medals on his right breast.
As can be seen at the foot of the photograph, (below) he informed the reporter that he is a Vietnam veteran, serving in the Army from 1966-1967.
On Anzac day 2013, of all sacred days, Sowter, a former Australian Army National Serviceman, who was conscripted in the State of New South Wales on the 27 September, 1965, decided to reveal himself to the local newspaper, The Observer, Boyne Island Region, Queensland as a Vietnam War suffering veteran. He informed the reporter that he refuses to wear a Vietnam medal “as his own personal protest because of how we were treated when we returned.” The only reason he is not wearing a “Vietnam medal”, is because he is not entitled to wear one. He didn’t go there, he did not return, and consequently, he was not issued with a medal. He has also been photographed talking to Tannum High School students and we are reliably informed that he relates his “first hand” accounts of driving tanks in Vietnam to the students. These personal accounts appear in the “Tannum High Lights” school publications 1st and 8th May, 2013 editions.
Former servicemen who attempt to steal the honour of genuine veterans are a disgrace and are despised by the genuine returned servicemen and servicewomen community.
By deliberately exposing themselves to local newspapers, being photographed for their own egos and glorification, and relating their so called sufferings to the general public, these wannabees show absolute disrespect for the genuine veterans who have served and died for Australia in a theatre of war.
Sowter claims that he does not wear his Vietnam medal because of “the way he was treated when he returned.”
In complete contrast to Sowter’s despicable lies, the vast majority of Vietnam veterans are proud to wear their awarded medals on Anzac Day. They went there, they served honourably in tough conditions and they are proud.
Genuine veterans do not want to read this rubbish by “bogus Vietnam veterans not wanting to wear their medals because of the way they were treated when they came home”.
Sowter was contacted by telephone to ascertain his version of the story. He confessed to not having served in Vietnam. He claims that he was misquoted by the reporter of the Gladstone Observer in regards to his Vietnam Service, but he has not done anything to correct the situation. We have also been informed that the reporter would not have included any information in the article unless she had been told personally by Sowter. He also claims that he was misquoted in the Tannum High School magazine about his “first hand” Vietnam service, but again, he has also done nothing to rectify this situation.
Sowter is a member of the Boyne Island-Tannum Sands, Queensland, RSL Club. He is a chauvinistic idiot who should have more sense. We hope that his genuine returned veteran colleagues at the Boyne Island-Tannum Sands RSL Club treat Sowter with the contempt that he deserves.
Sowter by his own admissions has committed an offence against the Defence Act 1903, Part V11, Section 80A, by “falsely representing to be a returned soldier.”
“Sooty” Sowter; is an appropriate name for this wannabee, for he has blackened his name well and truly in the Veteran community.
Whenever you google John Sooty Sowter’s,name from now, his true Army record will be revealed.
Welcome to the website forever, John James “Sooty” Sowter.
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 the private citizens are supported by statement of fact and statutory declarations.
Rodney Spark Fraudster Medic
In May 2009 Rodney SPARK made contact with a Victorian RSL Pensions Office seeking help to obtain, in his own words - a "Gold Card"
We do not have a current photograph of Rodney Spark, if any of our readers can supply one it would be appreciated.
Over the phone a DVA (Dept of Veterans' Affairs) recognised pensions officer queried SPARK as to what disabilities he desired to make which he could link to Vietnam "Operational Service" - SPARK indicated that he had no disabilities from his Vietnam service with the Australian Army, he only wanted to apply for a Service Pension which would qualify him for the Gold card.
Pressing for more information, the pensions officer requested a brief history to assist SPARK and the following information (backed by Statutory Declaration) was provided:
Conscripted to National Service (the draft) in June 1970 SPARK completed recruit training at the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion Puckapunyal Victoria and was allocated to the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps - he was then posted to the School; of Army Health at Healesville Victoria where he underwent corps training and qualified as a Medical Assistant.
SPARK states he then attended a Battle Efficiency Course at Canungra Queeensland and was posted to 11 Field Ambulance - 3rd Casualty Clearance Station and spent six months stationed in Vietnam posted to a United States of America Army hospital in Danang employed as a male nurse. He stated that he worked under Australian medical staff consisting of a Sgt DUBINSKY and a Sgt WALLACE. He recalls that his Australian Commanding Officer was a Major KELLY.
After six months in Vietnam SPARK stated that Major KELLY paraded him and a few other National Servicemen (draftees) in the CO's office to formally advise the men that: "Due to the change of Government in Australia, the ruling party has decided that draftees like yourselves are required to sign on for a further six months active service in Vietnam - those that refuse to comply with this directive will be returned to Australia immediately and forfeit all rights to repatriation benefits" SPARK stated that he refused to sign the required documentation and that he was returned to Australia soon after and discharged from the Army.
SPARK is adamant that his discharge certificate clearly indicates that he has NO overseas "Active Service", and he understands that this is his punishment and a Government cover-up for him not complying with his orders and extending his tour of duty in Vietnam.
The pension officer asked SPARK if he had been issued with his Vietnam medals and the reply was in the negative - SPARK is insistent that his time in Vietnam will never be recognised. The pension officer offered to make enquiries to enable a proper service history check to be completed with the possible chance of his being issued his medal entitlement and SPARK agreed to this...........as would any deserving veteran!
Service checks can take up to three months to complete so the assurance was given that this would occur, in the interim SPARK was given the details of the local Dept of Veterans' Affairs advisory office to attend to complete his application for the Service Pension..... he assured the pensions officer he would comply with making the appointment.
Some three months later in the normal course of following up his work load, the pensions officer rang SPARK to check on the progress of his application for Service Pension only to have SPARK inform him that DVA had ceased all processing of his claim due to the fact that their investigations had shown SPARK held no veteran status..........in other words he had never left Australia during the Vietnam conflict.
It is obvious that SPARK has committed fraud against the Federal Government by attending their Veteran's Affairs office and completing documentation that is meant only for a veteran - to receive correspondence from DVA advising him he is NOT a Veteran confirms that he attempted to gain financial benefits he knew he had no rights to.
Further checks and balances show spark was a financial member of the Epping RSL until 2005, he provided his service history as serving in Vietnam with 11 Field Ambulance and 8 Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment........absolute fraud...and falsehoods.
With fraud against the Government in particular the DVA, a statement made by the Minister of Veteran's Affairs last year regarding a WW2 bogus veteran who has defrauded the system of over $400,000.00 leaned towards Federal Police clamping down on such offenders - it is hoped that justice will be felt by this offender - he has not personally gained financially from his attempt, but made the effort to do so.
ANZMI will not collectively hold our breaths for charges to be laid and heard against SPARK...we are attuned to constant inactivity in this arena as our website continually publishes.
SPARK needs to be humiliated and shamed - firstly for disgracing the roles of the genuine medical orderlies and nurses who saved many lives, and held the hands of the dying in Vietnam. - and secondly for wasting the valuable time of volunteer pensions officers who give their time and emotional expertise to those deserving veterans in need.
The final words in this case go to a fitting adage provided to ANZMI this past week:
IF YOU TELL THE TRUTH - IT BECOMES PART OF YOUR PAST.
IF YOU TELL A LIE - IT BECOMES PART OF YOUR FUTURE
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.
Neil Spark was born on the 2nd September, 1957. He is 56 years old. He has been a member of the Bendigo and District RSL Sub Branch since May, 2012. Prior to that he was a member of the Cohuna/Leitchville RSL Sub Branch in Northern Victoria.
Spark is a blatant liar, a wannabee and a Fraud.
Spark has enthralled his fellow Bendigo and District RSL Club colleagues over the past two years with stories of his unique service with the British Army Training Team in Rhodesia from 1979 until 1980, as a seconded Australian Regular Army soldier sniper.
Below is a recent photo of Spark at a memorial service wearing the following medals -;
1. The Australian Conspicuous Service Medal. (CSM)
2. The Australian Service Medal with clasp SE Asia. (ASM)
3. The Commonwealth Monitoring Force Rhodesia Medal.
4. The Australian Defence Force Long Service Medal. (DFLSM)
5. The National Medal.
6. The Australian Defence Medal. (ADM)
7. (Right chest) The Zimbabwe Independence Medal.
Spark has made the following claims to genuine returned and serving personnel at Bendigo and District RSL functions over the past two years.
In the late 1970's and early 1980's he claims to have been a sniper in 1 Royal Australian Regiment ( 1 RAR). As part of his Sniper Course he was sent to England to train with the Grenadier Guards. Four other 1 RAR Australians were then selected to travel to Rhodesia. He claims that he was sent to Rhodesia with a British Unit. He arrived in Rhodesia in October, 1979 and left in 1980. He was attached to the British Army Training Team (BATT). Spark claims that he was in Rhodesia with British Forces for 110 days.
Spark claims that he enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 1978 but he cannot remember his enlistment date. He has told colleagues that he served for 8 years Regular Army and 10 years a Regular Army Reserve soldier. He had such bad memories of Rhodesia that he did not tell his wife he went there for twenty years. He claims that because of this traumatic service, he was medically discharged from Army Reserves in 1996 with a service related psychiatric condition.
He claims that from 1983 to 1986, he was attached to the School of Infantry where he was a weapons instructor. In 1987, he states that he was transferred to the Military Police and was then discharged from the Army that year. He then states that from 1987 to 1996, he was a member of the Australian Reserve Forces attached to 8/7 Royal Victoria Regiment, Infantry, where he claims he was a Corporal.
During the past few years, Spark has also been observed on commemorative occasions wearing the Australian Infantry Combat Badge. (ICB)
When informed by other RSL members that he had no entitlement to this award, he commenced to wear the Army Combat Badge (ACB). He was then informed he had no entitlement to this award either. He then provided some bogus paper work to the Victorian State RSL H.Q. in the hope that they would approve his entitlements to wear one of these awards. His requests were eventually declined. He then admitted that Honours and Awards had sent these awards, (ICB and ACB) to him by mistake.
He then continued his deceit for a further period of time even though he must have known that he was being suspected as a fraud. He continued to add the post nominals of CSM (Conspicuous Service Medal) after his name in E mails and letters that he sent to individuals and organisations to further his deceit.
To be a good liar, you need to have a good memory. Over the past couple of years, Spark's stories of his unique military service started to waver and his stories became inconsistent.
As a result of this, Spark's RSL Club colleagues became more suspicious, instigated their own inquiries and eventually requested ANZMI to follow up their suspicions.
Inquiries were made at It's an Honour website and it was ascertained that Spark is not listed as a recipient of the Conspicuous Service Medal or the National Medal.
There is also no evidence of Spark being awarded the Australian Service Medal (ASM), let alone a clasp for SE Asia.
Inquiries were then made with lists of Australian Service personnel who served with the British Forces in Rhodesia. Spark's name does not appear on any pay records of personnel engaged in that theatre of operations. His name also does not appear in the book, "Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers," Alexander Palmer, 1996. This publication names the 152 members of the Australian Army who were awarded the CMF Rhodesia Medal.
As there was a distinct lack of evidence supporting Spark's assertions, he was contacted by ANZMI and asked if he could support his claims with documentation.
Lo and behold, Spark responded with the standard reply. One which nearly every wannabee clings to when they are caught out. Ill health.
Spark responded claiming that he was suffering ill health and was housebound most of the time due to back problems, constant pain, blood pressure, constant medication etc etc. However, we are aware that only two weeks ago he attended an RSL function where he was in jovial spirits extrapolating more Rhodesian war stories to whoever listened over a few of drinks.
He then went on to say in his response to ANZMI, that he was never awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal, The Australian Service Medal with clasp SE Asia or the Commonwealth Monitoring Force Rhodesia Medal. He also mentioned that he has no entitlement to the Zimbabwe Independence Medal.
He did claim however that he is entitled to the National Medal for his service to the Victorian CFA in 1994. He also claims entitlement to the DFLSM and ADM as he claims he joined the Army twice. We doubt that he can provide evidence for any military service. He was given the opportunity to provide a copy of his Certificate of Service or Discharge Certificate, but none was forthcoming.
He claims that his deceit started three years ago when-; "I was standing at the side of a road in a small Victorian country town on Anzac Day and someone asked me to carry their flag in the Anzac Day march. Even though I was in great pain, I joined the march and felt 10' (feet) high. I then moved to a larger City and embellished what I already had" (done).
Spark has purchased his non awarded medals from a Medal Shop or the Internet. He has then had them court mounted at a Medals Shop and worn them brazenly to commemorative services.
He has continued the facade for at least three years that we know of. He has lied to his genuine RSL colleagues and shown them the ultimate disrespect by treating them like fools. He should be summoned before the next Bendigo and District RSL general meeting and requested to apologise to all the members present for his deception, arrogance, disrespect and outright lies. Then his association with the Victorian RSL State Headquarters should be terminated for good.
Bendigo and District RSL Sub Branch Club members are to be congratulated for their diligence and awareness of a medal cheat within their midst and exposing Spark's fraudulent activities.
They have set an example that every other RSL Sub Branch Club in this country should follow. If you have a wannabe wearing non awarded medals or embellishing their service for their self gratification, they should be exposed and shamed for stealing the honour of those military personnel who served and/or died in all conflicts.
For his actions, the not so bright Spark has earned his place on this website for evermore.
Here we have yet another example of a former Australian serviceman with a very impressive medal rack, who seemingly can't resist making it look just a little bigger by the addition of a commemorative medal which has no official recognition.
Elwyn Spencer served his country well as a member of the Australian Army, with operational postings to both Malaya and South Vietnam. Later in life he joined the RSL where he held positions of Sub-branch president and welfare/pensions officer. Spencer is to be commended for this.
So why on earth would he ruin his good work by wearing the Vietnam Veteran's Medal which is not an official award and can be purchased on-line for $84?
But as if this isn't bad enough, Elwyn has also been photographed at official ceremonies wearing the United States of America Purple Heart Medal.
The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed.
The criterion for the awarding of this US medal is quite specific when it comes to defining what a 'wound' is. It also states ' The Purple Heart is not awarded for non-combat injuries.' There are also a number of injuries and wounds which do not qualify for the awarding of the Purple Heart and one of these is injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident '... not related to or caused by enemy action.'
We have examined the Australian Vietnam Casualty list at http://www.thecasualtylist.com/ and find that Mr Spencer was indeed recorded as a casualty during the Vietnam War. However, this was the result of a motor vehicle accident between Nui Dat and Hoa Long on 3 March 1968. The accident is recorded as a 'NBCAS' (non-battle casualty)
In any event, even if Spencer had satisfied the requirements, for the award of the US Purple Heart, he is not permitted to wear it. The Purple Heart is not listed amongst those UnitedStates of America awards, that are approved, by the Australian Government.
For many years the ANZMI has implored the RSL, at local, State and National levels, to crack down on its members, including many who hold executive positions, who insist on wearing non-official tin junk. Unfortunately, most of our pleas have gone unheeded and this deplorable and dishonourable situation still persists. We feel confident in saying that former Campbelltown NSW RSL Sub-branch president, Elwyn Spencer, was well aware of medal protocols when he attended commemorative services wearing a valueless trinket and a foreign medal he had no right to wear. His behaviour has earned him a place on our website.
Andrew Michael Stackpool was born on the 21 July, 1949. His RAN service records indicate that he enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy as a Midshipman on the 6 March, 1967 as an 18 year old.
He is currently the Editor of the Publication "The Navy Reservist".
Stackpool progressed through the ranks to Lieutenant Commander until he retired in July, 2014.
In the photograph below, Lieutenant Commander Stackpool is wearing the higher rank of Captain on his epaulettes and the following medal/ribands. This photograph was downloaded from his Facebook page. However, we believe that the Captains rank is associated with a Mariner's Association of some sort and not the Royal Australian Navy. At least we hope so!
1. Australian Active Service Medal/Riband. (AASM)
2. Vietnam Medal/Riband. (VM)
3. Australian Service Medal/Riband with Clasp FESR (ASM)
4. Defence Force Service Medal/Riband with four clasps (DFSM)
5. National Medal/Riband. (NM)
6. Australian Defence Medal/Riband. (DFM)
7. Vietnam Campaign Medal/Riband. (VCM)
Stackpool, however is not entitled to wear the Vietnam Medal (VM) or the Vietnam Campaign Medal. (VCM)
The Vietnam Medal is awarded for -;
Qualifying service for the Vietnam Medal includes:
• 28 days in ships or craft on inland waters or off the coast of Vietnam.
• One or more days on the posted strength of a unit or formation on land.
• One operational sortie over Vietnam or Vietnamese water by aircrew on the posted strength of a unit.
• Official visits either continuous or aggregate of 30 days.
• One day or more by members of accredited philanthropic organisations attached to Australian forces in an official capacity for full-time duty.
between 29 May 1964 and 27 January 1973.
The Vietnam Campaign Medal is awarded for -;
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
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.
Stackpool’s Navy record indicates that he served on the HMAS Anzac between the dates of the 30 March, 1968 to the 28 July, 1968. During this time, the crew of the HMAS Anzac was awarded 19 days active/operational service between the dates of 20 May, 1968 and 7 June, 1968.
Below is the official Australian War Memorial record of Stackpool’s Vietnam operational service.
Therefore, Stackpool has no entitlement to wear either the VM or the VCM medal/ribands as indicated above. He is fraudulently claiming at least 181 days Vietnam operational service when in fact he had 19 days service.
Stackpool is a medals cheat and a fraud.
He is entitled to the Vietnam Logistical Support medal, however he has chosen to display the two medal/ribands above that he has not been awarded to impress others. He has purchased them somewhere.
Below is another later photograph of Stackpool wearing the actual two medals mentioned that he is not entitled to wear. Although blurred, we have enhanced the photograph to establish that he is still wearing the purchased VM and the VCM.
It must be extremely difficult for Senior Officers in the Royal Australian Navy to police the wearing of unentitled medals by their fellow senior Commissioned officers. Otherwise it would not, and should not occur.
Lieutenant Commander Andrew Michael Stackpool and previously exposed Lieutenant Commander Brian Stanley Ferrie, HMAS Cerberus, and Navy Warrant Officer Peter Ritchie, both also on this site, have intentionally and fraudulently worn military medals that they have not been awarded, as have other ranks.
We wonder where this stops or how high it goes? What processes are in place to prevent this from happening? Why does this keep occurring? What sort of message does this send to other ranks.
Stackpool worked as a Public Affairs Consultant at the Australian Defence Department , Canberra, ACT, in the latter years of his service. He was also a Senior Media executive, and was well established with the Navy Reserve News Publication and a Reporter for the “Army, Soldiers Newspaper”.
He should know better. He lacks credibility and integrity and has set a poor example to all junior ratings. He and other Naval personnel we have exposed on this site bring discredit to the Royal Australian Navy by awarding themselves unearned medals.
We welcome reports of any current serviceman or servicewoman who intentionally misrepresent themselves by wearing unearned medals or ribands that they have not been awarded.
Stackpool should apologise for his fraudulent behaviour and he should express these sentiments publicly in the "Navy Reservist" and the "Army, Soldiers Newspaper."
If he does not apologise publicly, then his facade will just continue.
Welcome to the site Lieutenant Commander Andrew Michael Stackpool.
- North Island
David John STANNARD of Howick, Auckland New Zealand is the Commodore Surgeon of the Phantom Navy.
David Stannard attended a function celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee held at the Cock and Bull in Newmarket where he told everyone he was the current Chief of the Navy and it was announced as so at the function. He was wearing the rank of Commodore Surgeon, pilot wings and a number of medals.
You will notice he is not giving a Navy salute, but giving an army style salute like I have seen some slack army officers give over the years.
The correct title in New Zealand is Chief of Naval Staff and that position is held by a Rear Admiral which we will not name.
Photographs of Stannard were taken at the function and placed on a Facebook page and these photographs were seen by ex-members of the Royal New Zealand Navy. They straight away picked that he was not a serving or ex-member of the RNZN.
Enquires were made by these ex-members and even a retired Rear Admiral and it was ascertained that Stannard was a fraud and not know by any high ranking members of the RNZN.
Armed with the photographs, the ex-members went to the Truth newspaper in New Zealand and with a journalist confronted Stannard and when asked by them which navy he belonged to, he replied,
“I am entitled to wear the uniform and medals and they were Merchant Navy, medals and uniform. “
He then left for a business trip to Canada. Before the story was published he was contacted by the journalist only to be advised by Stannard that he was in Canada. You can see Stannard’s replies to questions put to him in the newspaper article.
As you can see from the article, all he had to do was give a straight answer to any questions but he chose to play games.
The Royal New Zealand Defence Force also stated in the article as he was not wearing a NZ Navy uniform and impersonating a serving member, they were not interested. They further stated “In this instance, it appears to be someone who dressed up for the Queen’s Jubilee party.” We received further reliable information that Stannard was seen at an ANZAC service in Auckland wearing the same regalia.
We believe that the NZDF have made a mistake here as he did announce he was the current Chief of the NZ Navy at the function and was greeted as such and therefore was impersonating a serving member of the NZ Navy even though he was not wearing the correct uniform.
As can be seen from the photographs Stannard is wearing Number 1 dress of United Kingdom design with the rank of Commodore Surgeon, the red band indicating he is a surgeon. He is also wearing pilot’s wings on both sleeves. This is incorrect as the pilot wings are worn on one sleeve only. As the photographs are not clear enough we cannot make out what navy the shoulder flashes (which are not correct for the RNZN) indicating who Stannard is supposed to have served with. If anyone can assist us with what the shoulder flashes are you can contact us through our website.
As you can see in the above photograph he is wearing three decorations and they are;
We have carried out enquiries regarding the awards he is wearing and he is not entitled to any of them.
The only Stannard (1902-1977) we could find that was awarded the Distinguished Service Order was a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve during World War 2 and his full awards for the war were the Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order, Reserve Decoration, Norwegian War Cross with Sword and Mentioned in Despatches twice. A distinguished and honourable war record for a Naval officer.
The ex-navy members in New Zealand have also been carrying out enquiries with a number of countries and he is not registered as a surgeon on their medical register. He also does not belong to any Commonwealth navy that wears the British design uniform which he is wearing.
We have also received information from a reliable source that a David John Stannard served in the New Zealand Army, but it cannot be confirmed that this is the same person who appears in the navy uniform. If you did serve with a David Stannard in the army and can help in clarifying if it is the same person, you can do so through our website.
David John STANNARD, you are a wannabe of the highest order. You have shown a total disrespect to serving and ex-serving members of the Royal New Zealand Navy by claiming to be their Chief of Staff. The wearing of false decorations especially those of a high order is a further sign of your contempt to all members serving in the armed forces around the world and you have earned your place on our website.
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.