Philip J Lawrence is the worst kind of Wannabe. He decided to elevate himself from the mundane, but respected Army occupation of Cook, to that of a person who completed heroic service in various areas of conflict.
Here is what he said in a Facebook entry to support the authenticity of the medals he wears:
"I was in S/E ASIA, Middle East and Africa in the late 70's early 80's. Was with Intel Op (Intelligence Operations). Done time in 8/9, 5/7 and 4 over different periods. Can't say much more." (The reference above to 8/9, 5/7 and 4 means Infantry Battalions in the Royal Australian Regiment.)
Below is a close up of the medals displayed on his Facebook account that he wore to the Laurieton NSW RSL on Remembrance Day 2016 and to a meeting at the RSL on 22 Jan 2017.
The first medal riband is for the Medal of Gallantry.
Medal of Gallantry (MG) is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the Australian Defence Force. It recognises acts of gallantry in action in hazardous
circumstances. The MG was introduced on 15 January 1991, replacing the Imperial equivalent. It is ranked third in the Gallantry Decorations in the Australia.
Recipients of the Medal of Gallantry are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "MG". Since its inception 55 awards have been made.
If you look at Lawrence's rack of medals you will notice that this "dill" has mounted the Medal of Gallantry riband upside down, in that the "V" shapes point down instead of up.
Lawrence also wears the:
Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB) and the coveted Infantry Combat Badge (ICB).
Had he been a genuine returned Veteran he would have known that the RASB is never worn when medals or ribands are worn. It is presented to Returned Service people for wearing with civilian attire when medals are not appropriate.
The ICB requires the following service:
Who is entitled to wear the ICB?
Members of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps who, in an infantry posting as part of an Infantry Battalion were deployed for, at least, 90 days to an operational area and
subsequently awarded the Infantry Combat Badge.
Lawrence has never served as an Infantry Soldier or been in any operational areas and is not entitled to either Badge.
The other fake medals are:
Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)
Australian Service Medal (ASM)
Australian Defence Medal (ADM)
United Nations Advance in Cambodia (UNAMIC)
United Nations Truce Supervision organisation (UNSTO)
United Nations Transitional Group (UNTAG)
United Nations INTERIM FORCE (UNFIL)
His actual service was for around three years. He was trained as, and worked as a Cook in the Australian Army Catering Corps. On 17 August 1981 he was discharged for misconduct. His rank on discharge was Private Soldier. Here is his Discharge Certificate:
Lawrence joined the good men at the Laurieton NSW Sub Branch of the Returned and Services League (RSL). He completed the usual Application for Membership and was accepted, until on Remembrance Day 2016, and again at a Meeting on 22 January 2017 he wore "his" medals to the RSL. On the 19 February 2017 this resulted in a written request to Lawrence for an explanation of an apparent anomaly. Here is the email:
"To Mr. PJ Lawerence, (sic)
On checking your enlistment and discharge information provided on your application for service membership to Laurieton RSL Sub Branch it is noticed that your length of service does not agree with the service ribbons you displayed on your jacket at the monthly meeting on 22nd January 2017, nor does it agree with the medals you wore on Remembrance Day 2016.
State Branch have advised that it is the Sub Branch responsibility to investigate if you have other service in the military forces not disclosed which would clarify the above abnormality. Please advise by return email or visit/phone 65566166 on Thursday morning between 0900hrs to 1200 hrs."
On 20 February 2017 the Laurieton RSL received the following email from Lawrence:
"From: Phil Lawrence [mailto:
Sent: Monday, 20 February 2017 10:35 AM
To: Laurieton RSL
Subject: Re: annual return of member details 2016
This email is to inform you that after several incidents at the L.U.S.C. I would appreciate that my membership of the Laurieton RSL Sub Branch be made null and void. I have destroyed my membership card for the RSL Sub Branch along with my membership card for the L.U.S.C. I am returning home to my family in Queensland as I no longer have employment in NSW.
P.J.Lawrence" (Note: L.U.S.C. refers to the Laurieton United Services Club)
After intensive investigation ANZMI contacted Lawrence to get his side of the allegations. After two phone calls he fell on his sword and admitted to his deception, he gave no explanation for his audacious behaviour, but did say that he was ready to submit to whatever legal action that may follow.
Lawrence has committed offences against the Defence Act 1903, Part VII, Sections 80A and 80B.
80A. Falsely representing to be returned soldier, sailor or airman
80B. Improper use of service decorations.
Both these offence carry maximum penalties of $3,300 fines or six months imprisonment or both. Many Wannabes have been dealt with by State Magistrates Courts in relation to these offences.
The Port Macquarie State Police were notified and expressed interest in the matter. Should charges be laid we will update this entry.
We have been working with Australian and New Zealand Veterans, State Police Forces, Media and the general public for many years, and can assure Wannabes that persons indulging in Veteran related fraud will most likely to be reported to us, and if appropriate given maximum exposure of this website and through various agencies.
Lawrence's offence is very serious. He had the audacity to wear the third highest Australian Bravery Award along with seven other false medals and two false badges, when in fact he served as a Cook and was never deployed overseas to any area of conflict.
He has been given prime space on this website and will remain ensconced so that his posterity will know the true nature of his Defence Service.