Beasley

Date of Entry: 05/06/2017
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.

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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.

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