Many services were conducted throughout Australia and New Zealand this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, a significant conflict in Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
The picture below was taken at such a service, conducted in the small Hunter Valley town of Medowie. Arthur Batt, a local Vietnam veteran is reading a poem during that service.
Batt was a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
In early 1965, the Australian Government agreed to dispatch an infantry battalion to South Vietnam. The leading troops of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), landed on 3 June in a chartered Qantas aircraft. This was the first use of Qantas charters to move troops into (and out of) South Vietnam, and ‘skippy flights’, as they came to be known, would continue at regular intervals almost until the end of Australia’s commitment to the war. Another significant event occurred on 8 June, when the transport ship (converted aircraft carrier) HMAS Sydney, with destroyer escort HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Duchess, arrived at Vung Tau on the first of what became regular naval logistical support operations.
1RAR, the only infantry battalion deployed to Vietnam that was comprised wholly of regular troops, was deployed in Bien Hoa with the US 173rd Airborne Brigade. It was soon built up to a battalion group with artillery, armoured personnel carriers, army aviation and logistical support units. The battalion group saw some heavy fighting, suffering twenty-three men killed during its one-year tour of duty.
For their involvement, they were awarded the US Army Meritorious Unit Commendation, the citation reads:
By the direction of the Secretary of the Army, the Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to the 1st BATTALION, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT GROUP for exceptionally meritorious achievement in the performance of outstanding service:
The 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, distinguished itself in the conduct of military operation in the Republic of Vietnam from 5 May 1965 to 16 May 1966 while attached to the173rd Airborne Brigade(Separate) of the United States Army. As the first ground combat unit in-country, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and its assigned and attached units conducted extensive combat manoeuvres in the Bien Hoa area and in the Viet Cong strongholds of War Zone D and the Iron Triangle during the period 5 May 1965 to 4 May 1967. In every confrontation with the stubborn insurgents, the 173rd Airborne Brigade displayed marked aggressiveness which enabled them to neutralize enemy strongholds and capture thousands of logistical items. In addition to remarkable skill and tenacity in combat, the sky soldiers of the brigade carried on an extensive civic action program characterised by sincere compassion for the suppressed local populace. During each of the brigade's combat operations, the sky soldiers immeasurably aided the allied counterinsurgency effort by winning the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. The remarkable proficiency and devotion to duty displayed by the members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect distinct credit upon themselves, the Armed Forces of the United States, and the Armed Forces of Australian and New Zealand.
The Unit Citation, as shown below, can be worn with pride by those members of 1RAR.
1RAR was relieved by the First Australian Task Force (1ATF) during May-June 1966. It returned to Australia in June.
After the Medowie memorial service, Batt was photographed and appeared in an online media publication, “News of The Area”. For those of you who have read this article, it refers to Batt having been involved in the Battle of Long Tan, this has been identified as an error on behalf of the reporter, the fact being Batt left Vietnam before this event. This is supported by the below extract from the Vietnam Veterans Nominal Roll, which is available in the public domain.
In the previous photograph, Batt is wearing the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM).
The RVCM 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 authorised this medal to be awarded to Australian servicemen and women and, like any award, there is a qualifying criteria.
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.
Accordingly, for Batt, the evidence is in, namely:
- He returned to Australia, along with his Unit, from Vietnam on 01 Jul 1966;
- He served a total of 173 days in Vietnam; and
- He was not a casualty of that conflict.
In summary, Batt is not entitled to wear the RVCM. Surely, like all others who have served in the defence forces, Batt understands there are rules and regulations, they are there for a reason and they are ‘black and white’.
To conduct yourself with such disrespect to fellow Veterans, aggravated by the fact you did it on such an occasion, namely the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, is quite disgraceful and has earned you a place on ANZMI with your fellow fraudsters and honour thieves.
Kenneth Colin Cullum never saw active service, however he was called up for National Service and trained in artillery. He continued his service to the country and community through various organisations. In 2000, he was awarded the Emergency Services Medal for his service with Queensland State Emergency Service (QLD SES).
Cullum has also held executive positions in ex-Service organisations, his most recent, as Secretary of the National Servicemen’s Association of Queensland, Redlands Branch.
One would think that after many year’s involvement in such organisations, Cullum would be aware of medal protocols, or he simply chose to ignore them, as the following illustrates.
The above photograph was taken at the 2015 Remembrance Day service at Redlands, Queensland.
Cullum is wearing the following medals:
1. Emergency Services Medal – awarded in 2000 for service to the QLD SES.
2. National Medal – entitlement unknown as the medal was never officially awarded.
3. Australian Defence Medal – entitled.
4. Anniversary of National Service Medal – entitled.
5. International Year of the Volunteer Medal – an unofficial commemorative medal and not to be worn with official medals.
The National Medal was established on 14 February 1975 as one of the original elements of the distinctive Australian system of honours and awards. The Medal recognises long and diligent service in organisations that protect life and property at some risk to their members. Many, but not all, eligible groups are uniformed. The Medal is awarded to persons for long service in eligible organisations who fulfil the primary function and meet other criteria. Fifteen year’s eligible service is necessary to qualify for the Medal. Clasps are available for each additional 10-year period.
The Governor-General awards the National Medal. Nominations are made by the chief officer of the nominee’s organisation. The chief officer of each approved organisation also administers the medal for that organisation. The award recognises long service in approved organisations that protect life and property at some risk to their members. Many, but not all, eligible groups are uniformed. Fifteen years’ service is required to qualify. Clasps are available for each additional ten years’ service.
Cullum may very well have qualified for the award of the National Medal, by virtue of his service with the QLD SES, however, until the medal is applied for in the correct manner and approved for issue, then he is not entitled to wear it.
The above shows the result of a search of the Australian Honours and Awards database. Cullum has been awarded the Emergency Services Medal, but not the National Medal.
The United Nations (UN) passed a resolution on December 2000 declaring that 2001 would be the International Year of Volunteers (IYV). This resolution adopted by the General Assembly was endorsed and co-sponsored by 60 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Malta and The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The colours of the ribbon depict the light blue, being the Internationally recognised colour of the United Nations Medal and the orange, being the colour for the International Year of Volunteer Medal.
In short, this is not an official medal, it is no more than a decorative trinket and is not to be worn with official medals.
Kenneth Colin Cullum, you have had an outstanding life of community service, for which you have been appropriately recognised. However, your actions in respect of your medals has sullied this service, disrespected veterans and, perhaps, even disrespected yourself.
The fact that your actions took place whilst an executive member of an ex-Service organisation compounds your culpability and casts a cloud over those organisations that continually turn a blind eye to such practices. You are now among like-minded colleagues on the ANZMI website.
This is the story of Ronald Frederick Holden.
It details how an individual can convince the Department of Defence, 42 years on, that he had qualifying active service in the Republic of South Vietnam, following an alleged tropical cruise to Vung Tau, for a few days, as a guest of the Commander of HMAS Derwent.
His story has only been published after careful deliberation, examination of current records, enquiries with Honours and Awards, Canberra, the Department of Defence and communicating with Ronald Frederick Holden himself on numerous occasions over the past couple of months.
It is complex, a little long, but we hope that our readers can understand the issues involved and the facts uncovered.
From Holden, we have been given the run around, stalling tactics, false information, and an incredible tall story of a 50 calibre machine gun manning, Australian Army 2nd Lieutenant, officially on deck, and officially on duty, in Vung Tau Harbour, South Vietnam, defending the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship HMAS Derwent, from enemy attack, whilst she lay at anchor.
Originally, ANZMI received information from concerned former servicemen, who reside in the Cairns area of North Queensland, Australia. Their concern was that a photograph of Holden had appeared on social media wearing Vietnam medals and the Returned from Active Service Badge, when he had no entitlement to do so. (Photo above.)
At the initial stage of our inquiries, we had been given advice from Mr Alex Garlin, President of the Queensland National Serviceman’s Association, (NSA), that Ronald Frederick Holden, who is on the “Nasho Roll” Queensland, as a Vietnam Veteran, was accredited on their records, with Vietnam War service awards.
The below document is the official National Serviceman’s roll, and is dated the 16 November 2016. It is compiled by administrative members of the National Serviceman’s Association, following information they receive from applicants, who have completed application forms, providing their particulars of military service and medals awarded.
In this case, former Australian Army 2nd Lieutenant Ronald Frederick Holden.
Name Holden , Ronald Frederick
Service Number 1736273
Rank 2nd Lieutenant
Date of Birth 20 06 1947
Place of Birth Cairns Qld
Date of Intake 28/1/1970
NS Training 3 T B
Follow Up Training 6 RAR Singapore Platoon Commander
Basic Training Singleton NSW
Next of Kin at time of Service Mr Holden
Operational Service Vietnam
Medals AASM 45-75 / Vietnam Medal / ADM /ANSM / Vietnamese Campaign Medal
On the application form, Holden has notified the National Serviceman’s Association, that he was a 2nd Lieutenant 6 RAR Singapore Platoon Commander. He also claims "Operational Service Vietnam".
In regards to medal entitlement, Holden then detailed in his application that he has been awarded the -;
AASM 1945 – 1975 Vietnam Medal/ ADM/ ANSM/ Vietnamese Campaign Medal. (Should be Vietnam Campaign Medal)
Note.- Vietnam Medal.
Qualifying service for the Vietnam Medal for the relevant period 29 May 1964 to 27 January 1973 includes:
• 28 days in ships or craft on inland waters or off the coast of Vietnam;
• one day or more on the posted strength of a unit or formation on land;
• one operational sortie over Vietnam or Vietnamese waters by air crew on the posted strength of a unit; or
• official visits either continuous or aggregate of 30 days.
Note - Vietnam Campaign Medal is awarded for 181 days or more service in the Republic of South Vietnam.
Following our initial contact with Alex Garlin, he informed us that he had then made inquiries from Holden’s service records and ascertained that Holden was not really a Vietnam Veteran at all, but must have had his name and medals placed on the roll by his staff in error.
Garlin stated that he then adjusted his records accordingly, and removed all reference of Holden’s Vietnam service and medal entitlements. Garlin has now told us however, that Holden is indeed a Vietnam Veteran and served for a short time in Vietnam. He has now re-adjusted his records again ! It is clear there has been communication between Garlin and Holden, following our initial contact.
Interestingly though, when we initially contacted Holden, regarding the particulars he supplied to the National Serviceman's Association, (NSA) he confirmed all the information, but stated that he may not be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal. (For 181 days service in South Vietnam or S.V waters.). He also claimed that they omitted to place on their records the fact that he attended Scheyville Officer Cadet Unit, information that he had also provided.
Ronald Frederick Holden was born on the 20 June, 1947. He completed an Engineering Degree at Queensland University. In 1970, at age 22, Holden was conscripted into the Australian Army under the provisions of the National Service Act. The normal age for conscription was 20 years. Holden was deferred for 2 years due to his studies. He attended 3 Recruit Training Battalion (3RTB) at Singleton, New South Wales. He extended his two year commitment by six months and was discharged on the 27th July, 1972.
During 1970, Holden attended Scheyville, an Officer Training Unit in New South Wales, where he underwent further training. He graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was then posted to 6 Battalion RAR , at Townsville, North Queensland.
In the above photograph Holden is wearing the following medals.
1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945 – 1975. With clasp Vietnam (AASM.) Not entitled
2. Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal. (VLSM.) Not entitled.
3. Australian Service Medal 1945 – 1975 with clasp South East Asia. Entitled.
4. Australian Defence Medal. (ADM.) Entitled.
5. Anniversary of National Service Medal. (NSM) Entitled.
He is also wearing the Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB) above his medal rack. He is not entitled to wear this badge.
The name of Ronald Frederick Holden does not appear, and has never appeared on the Vietnam Nominal Roll, Australian War Memorial, Canberra. This roll has been available for public knowledge since 1998.
We made inquiries with 6 Battalion RAR Association. We were informed that Holden was a 2nd Lieutenant, Platoon Commander in Singapore, during his time with the Battalion. However, he did not serve in an official capacity in Vietnam with 6 Battalion RAR, or any other Infantry Battalion during his time in the Australian Army.
We have been reliably informed that Holden has indicated to others that he served in Vietnam about May, 1972. He has also varied this story and indicated that he served for only 3 days in Vietnam. Even this statement flies in the face of his claim to the Vietnam Campaign Medal, which is awarded after serving a minimum 181 days or more, in South Vietnam.
In fairness, we contacted Holden and invited him to provide us with details of his Vietnam War service, dates, Unit, Commanding Officer etc. A simple request. He told us that he was on holidays in Vietnam at the current time and he could not provide any answers until he arrives home in late December, 2016.
Following a further request, he stated that whilst based in Singapore with 6 Battalion RAR, he volunteered for service in Vung Tau (Vietnam) for a "particular operation". He states that he then went to Vung Tau in May, 1972, from Singapore.
The problem with this “particular operation” in Vietnam, is that the last Battalion of Australian Infantry left Vietnam on the 7 November, 1971. A handful of Australian Army Advisors and Signallers of the Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam AAAGV, remained in Vietnam until late 1972. A few Infantry personnel also stayed on in Saigon as security for the Australian Embassy
Importantly though, 1 Australian Logistic Support Group Base (1ALSG) at Vung Tau, where Holden claims he went in May, 1972, was vacated and closed in late February - March, 1972. What was left of the Australian Army 1ALSG component had departed. They had boarded HMAS Sydney for home. This was two months before Holden claims he went there on a “particular operation", in May 1972.
FROM DVA WEBSITE. AUSTRALIAN MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN VIETNAM WAR - TIME FRAME.
5 March: The last units of 1ALSG depart Vung Tau. Australia’s commitment to South Vietnam is now limited to about 150 troops of the AATTV and Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam (AAAGV).
Holden’s name also does not appear on the Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam Roll - AAAGV, that remained in Vietnam from 6 March, 1972 until the 18 December, 1972. Also, he was never a member of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. AATTV
In a follow up email to ANZMI he stated -;
"If DoD (Department of Defence) have stuffed up in awarding me something I am not entitled to, let’s let them explain that to us both. From what you say, I may not be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal and if this is the case they will be able to confirm that. I need the file reference to be able to contact them and I do not have that with me".
Holden was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army. The Vietnam Roll has been available to the public on line now for almost 20 years. It is accurate. He would know that his name has never appeared on it in all that time. He now says that he MAY NOT be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal (181 days service in Vietnam) and he is now blaming the Department of Defence. He knows that he was never entitled to that award.
Holden must have been concerned about what he had told us, and he then sent another email to ANZMI claiming that -;
"The operation to which I was attached was the withdrawal of an RAE unit by the RAN. I was assigned to HMAS Derwent to provide assistance to the RAN through and under the command of its Captain, Cdr McNaught. My main duty on board was to man one of the 50 cal machine guns whilst we were in the war zone including in Vung Tau harbour and to assist the skipper in any other way that he directed. My service was later certified by Cdr McNaught. I do not have the dates with me but I recall that the operation is on the public record somewhere.
I have not committed my discharge date to memory but it was late July 1972. I have a record of this at home but I do not think that it mentions the above. Many years later someone advocated that I apply for my medal entitlements which I did and I believe that I allowed DoD to determine what my entitlements were, if any. That is how I ended up with what I have".
So here we have a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army - 6 Battalion RAR based in Singapore, seemingly ending up on HMAS Derwent in Vung Tau Harbour, whose main duty was manning a 50 calibre machine gun in May, 1972. Also, the last recorded visit to Vung Tau by HMAS Derwent was 6 - 8 November, 1971. It is also surprisingly apparent that there was no Derwent crew member qualified to man the ships 50 calibre machine gun, so Army 2nd Lieutenant Ron Holden was recruited from the Army in Singapore to travel with the ship to Vung Tau Harbour.
Another problem for Holden in his story is that there was indeed a Lieutenant Donald McNaught, (Vietnam Nominal Roll), Seaman Branch, who served on the Derwent from the 4 November, 1971 to the 8 November, 1971, (4 days) , calculated from the time Derwent left Singapore until it returned to Singapore. However, McNaught was not the Ship's Captain, and he certainly should not have signed anything to certify Holden's alleged operational Vietnam service. Holden's assertion that Lieutenant McNaught was the Commander of Derwent is a lie.
The Ship's Commander from 1971 until early June, 1972 was Commander Rory W. Burnett. He was replaced by Commander Malcolm D. Jackson about the 2nd June, 1972. (Derwent's Report of Proceedings.)
The below information is from Wikipedia.
- After spending the early part of 1971 on training exercises in Australian waters, Derwent sailed to South East Asia in June. In late September, Derwent met Sydney en route to Vietnam for the ship's twenty-second time, delivering a cargo of defence aid and recovering equipment and personnel from multiple units during 6 to 8 October. Derwent returned home late in the year, and visited multiple Australian ports before docking at Williamstown for refit. The refit continued until March 1972, and Derwent remained in Australian waters until August, when a four-month deployment to South East Asia commenced. In addition to port visits and SEATO exercises, Derwent and HMAS Brisbane took part in the first Australian-Indonesian naval exercise in November.
Note. The dates Wikipedia have detailed regarding Derwent's visit to Vung Tau Harbour from the 6 - 8 October 1971 are incorrect. Derwent did not visit Vung Tau in October, 1971. The last recorded visit to Vung Tau Harbour by Derwent was the 4 - 8 November, 1971. On this occasion the ship accompanied the HMAS Sydney. Derwent anchored in Vung Tau Harbour at 6.45am on the 6 November, 1971 and departed 16 hours later at 11pm that night.
Derwent was nowhere near Vietnam in May, 1972. Holden's assertions are lies.
*** If however, we accept the fact that Holden has his dates wrong, and he allegedly visited Vung Tau Harbour on Derwent’s last deployment between 4 - 8 November, 1971, (6 months earlier), the following information, some of which he provided to us, must be taken into consideration.
1. From Holden - He initially informed us by email that when he was on Derwent, it accompanied HMAS Melbourne to Vung Tau Harbour. That is false, the Melbourne never went to Vung Tau Harbour.
2. From Holden - As a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army, he was ordered to man a 50 calibre machine gun on Derwent, whilst the ship was in Vung Tau Harbour.
3.. FACT - He was never a crew member of this ship.
4. From Holden - He claims that another Army Officer was with him, but he cannot be contacted to verify anything, because he is suffering from PTSD over this visit.
5. From Holden - He knows two former Brigadier Generals who can verify his story, but they are in their eighties now. He cannot contact them as they deserve their quiet time.
6. From Holden - His Commanding Officer, who provided written confirmation to him of his Vietnam active service was Commander McNaught.
7. FACT - A Lieutenant McNaught served on the Derwent at the time. Commander Rory Burnett was the Commander, and Captain of the ship.
8. FACT - There are no official records available of Holden’s trip to Vung Tau, including his personal Service Record or Discharge Certificate, which he claims he has lost.
9. FACT - There is a “HMAS Derwent Record of Ships Proceedings for the month of November, 1971”, where Commander Rory Burnett indicates that several unnamed members of the Australian Army were on board his ship for the trip to Vung Tau as a “reciprocal gesture” for the Army, jungle training some of his sailors in Singapore. He states, that a small number of Army personnel were permitted to land briefly to visit Army installations.
FACT -This was not an official "Staff visit or inspection of Australian Forces or equipment in Vietnam" as required by Department of Defence for operational service. Any claim that it was, is false.
10. FACT - Holden was not “allotted for Duty” to a Unit, or as an individual to the operational theatre of South Vietnam. Any claim that he was, is also false.
11. FACT - At the most, he would be classified as a guest of Commander Burnett, due to the “reciprocal gesture”.
12. FACT - He was never posted to Vietnam for a “particular operation” as he has claimed. That is also a lie.
13. FACT - We asked Holden to provide us with evidence that should appear on his discharge certificate, detailing the number of active service days accredited to him on that certificate?
14 From Holden - inter alia, I do not have my discharge certificate. I have moved many times over the last 44 years, and it is the only thing that has gone missing.
15 FACT - Holden’s presence on a tropical voyage, if he did go at all , as a guest of Commander Burnett, was not known by the Department of Defence until 2013, following his application for the AASM 1945-1975, the VLSM, and the RASB.
16. FACT - These trips were commonly known and described by Army personnel during the Vietnam War as "Swannies" or "Junkets".
17. FACT - Therefore, 42 years later, Holden must have arranged some written documentation from "someone", that he was either force assigned or allotted for duty to South Vietnam as an individual, for his application to be accepted, and Vietnam medals awarded.
18. FACT - If this has occurred then one could conclude, that something has taken place, perhaps a conspiracy, by Holden and others, to falsify or embellish his role, e.g. to place him on official duty, in a War Zone, manning a HMAS Derwent 50 calibre machine gun, in order for him to receive those medals and the RASB, from Department of Defence, with all the ensuing Department of Veterans Affairs active service benefits, including service and disability pensions etc, that he will be now eligible to claim for life.
For example, his unnamed Army Officer colleague, who Holden cannot now contact because of his PTSD, caused by this "Swannie."
19. FACT Holden, on request, has failed to provide ANZMI with any supporting documentation from Lieutenant McNaught, or anyone else that confirms his alleged visit to Vung Tau Harbour, Vietnam.
On the 15 December, 2016, Holden sent the following email to ANZMI following his return from his overseas holiday -;
I am home and I have opened my file to be reminded that I have not been awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal or the Vietnam Medal. I do not have copies of them. I could therefore never have worn them. I have also checked my actual full size and miniature medals and they are correct.
Amazing! In December, 2016, Holden has finally realised that he was never awarded and has no entitlement to the Vietnam Campaign Medal or the Vietnam Medal. (As per the National Serviceman’s application information he provided).
However, he continues to claim operational Vietnam service.
On the 19 December, 2016, he sent the following email and attachment to ANZMI -;
I have never shared this letter before since I regard it as being private and personal to me. I have had to have it scanned since I got back to make this copy. I could not have sent it to you without the scan. Defence awarded these based on their own research but obviously failed to update the Nominal Roll. It is this information and that update that I am seeking from them.
Holden states that "Defence awarded these based on their own research but obviously failed to update the nominal roll" That statement is also not true. The Department of Defence awarded the medals and RASB, based on information that was provided to them by Holden. It was his responsibility to provide the proof, not the Department of Defence.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Repatriation Handbook specifies that -;
“Where the claimant contends that he was allotted for duty in an operational area , and this is not confirmed by his service documents, further information will need to be obtained from the relevant service”
As there was no confirmation of Vietnam service on the records of Holden, or his Discharge Certificate, Department of Defence have obviously awarded him the medals, and the RASB following false documentation submitted by Holden in the year 2013.
Holden by his actions, has contended that he was officially allotted for duty to Vietnam. If you disregard his ridiculous assertion, that his main duty was assignment to a 50 calibre machine gun for the entire time the ship was in harbour in the War Zone, then he had no other allotted duties to perform. He was not there for an official visit or inspection. He was not a HMAS Derwent crew member. He was there following an invitation by Commander Burnett as a good will gesture. Thats all.
ANZMI say documentation submitted by Holden is false and dishonest. He should not have been awarded the AASM 1945- 1975 and the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM) by Department of Defence.
In a previous email to ANZMI, Holden categorically denies ever having claimed to have been a Platoon Commander in 6 Battalion RAR in Vietnam.
However, we located the following current document. -;
The below resume is from a Health Care Action Group website named COUCH WELLNESS CENTRE, based in Cairns, North Queensland.
Holden, who is a Director of this organisation, also claims on the Directors section of the website that he served for two years as a Pioneer Platoon Commander in the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Singapore/Malaysia and South Vietnam.
Ron Holden – Director Since 2013
Ron Holden was born in Cairns and attended the University of Queensland and completed a Bachelor of Engineering. After earning a commission at the Officer Training Unit, Scheyville in 1970, Ron Served for two years as a Pioneer Platoon Commander in the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Singapore/Malaysia and South Vietnam.
Holden never served as a Platoon Commander 6 Battalion RAR in South Vietnam. That statement is also a lie.
We believe that Holden is entitled to wear the -;
1. Australian Service Medal 1945 – 1975 with clasp South East Asia, for 30 days or more peacetime service in Singapore.
2. The Australian Defence Force Medal,
3. Anniversary of National Service Medal.
He is not entitled to wear the rest, and if he has been officially awarded them, then he should hand them back. They were issued on false information provided by Holden to the Department of Defence.
In our last communication with Holden, he informed us that "one of the other 6RAR Officers who was on the same deployment has been awarded the same medals. He is being treated for PTSD and I will not be consulting with him either."
If you believe Holden, it must have been one traumatic trip. Manning machine guns in Vung Tau Harbour could cause all sorts of mental health problems. Especially when it was an in country Rest and Convalescence (R & C.) town for our genuine fighting troops.
We hope that the entire crew of Derwent, who were there at the same time, are not suffering identical effects as Holden's colleague from that traumatic visit.
Incidentally, Commander Rory Burnett in Derwent's Record of Proceedings, for that day, does not indicate that any traumatic incident occurred at all in the ships short 11 hour visit to Vung Tau Harbour.
We have notified Honours and Awards, Department of Defence, Canberra, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. They have advised us to also notify the Police with the factual evidence that we possess.
It is these Departments that should be commencing their own inquiries into investigating alleged evidence of outlandish false claims of "active service" by individuals or groups, We did it all on the public record.
So should they.
Holden is a shameless imposter, who has had the gall to apply for Vietnam Active Service Medals in 2013, that he knows he did not earn, 42 years beforehand.
As a former Commissioned Officer with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army, Holden should apologise to all his former colleagues in 6 Battalion RAR, the National Serviceman’s Association, Queensland, and everyone else he has treated with contempt, including his friends at COUCH WELLNESS CENTRE, for wearing unearned Vietnam campaign medals, the RASB, and claiming active service in South Vietnam, when, at the very most, he was a guest of Commander Burnett as a good will "gesture." His PTSD colleague should do the same.
Welcome to the site, former 2nd Lieutenant Ronald Frederick Holden, 6 Battalion RAR.
Kenneth Edward ENGLISH Update 19 Dec 16
English has now departed from the Sub Branch committee and the RSL Memorial Club Board of Directors.
In 2016, English was directed by NSW RSL State Branch to resign all positions he held at the Sub Branch, and to never stand again within the RSL movement in any capacity. He subsequently resigned as Junior Vice President.
As a consequence of this decision, members of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club, where English held the position of Senior Vice President, then put the Executive Directors on notice that they wished to hold an Extraordinary General meeting for English to explain his lies about his claimed Vietnam service to members.
When English was notified of this discontent, he resigned the position forthwith.
He is still an ordinary member of the RSL Memorial Club and Sub Branch.
Warren Thomas, close friend of English, and the President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch, tried to cover this matter up for a number of years. Thomas was reprimanded by NSW RSL State Branch, for the attempted cover up and inaction. Thomas continues in that role for the present time.
Both Thomas and English should hang their heads in shame for allowing this matter to continue for so long without notifying NSW RSL State Branch, the membership of the Sub Branch or the Memorial Club.
KENNETH EDWARD ENGLISH UPDATE. 17 June, 2016.
We exposed Kenneth Edward English, Senior Vice President, Cronulla RSL Memorial Club and Junior Vice President, Cronulla RSL Sub Branch, as a Vietnam Veteran imposter to the world in 2014. Over many years he persisted with his deceitful, immoral and illegal behaviour. On six known occasions, he claimed that he was a Vietnam veteran who had returned from active service in January, 1968.
In fact, he had not one day of active service, in Vietnam or anywhere else.
His abhorrent and disgraceful behaviour was overlooked and covered up by his close friend Warren Thomas, the current President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch. Thomas is also a Director of Cronulla RSL Memorial Club Ltd.
English was duly reported to the senior executive of the New South Wales Returned and Services League of Australia, State Branch, Sydney as an imposter by the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia. (VVFA) and others.
English finally resigned his membership of the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, Granville in 2015, due to their concerns regarding his fraudulent claims, and our last exposure where we provided conclusive evidence that he was, and is, a Vietnam veteran fraud who had joined that organisation by telling lies about his Royal Australian Navy Vietnam service. He also removed the three VVFA medal riband decal stickers that he had purchased and placed on his motor vehicle.
Following the report to the RSL NSW State Branch, an investigation concluded that English had falsely claimed Vietnam operational service in the Royal Australian Navy.
This was in contravention of the Defence Act 1903 Section 80A. (Falsely representing himself to be a returned sailor, soldier or airman)
As a consequence, English was summoned to RSL NSW State Branch, Sydney, on the 22 February, 2016. He was then directed by the State Branch Executive to, resign his Junior Vice President position of Cronulla RSL Sub Branch, and any other Sub Branch positions immediately, in lieu of such determination being enforced by State RSL.
This was on the basis that his false claims will bring further discredit upon the League and Cronulla RSL Sub Branch. He has been further instructed that "this is to be a permanent termination and he is to never again stand for any position within the RSL organisation".
His President and friend Warren Thomas, who attempted to cover this matter up for years has also received official notification of this direction.
Thomas, photo above, was officially reprimanded by RSL NSW State Branch for his part in the cover up, as was one other Committeeman. However, Thomas continues as President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch and Director of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club Ltd.
Thomas has no credibility and should also resign his positions for knowing that whilst English was holding an executive position on the Sub Branch committee, and Senior Vice President of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club Ltd., he was a Vietnam veteran imposter. Thomas did nothing about it. He then supported English and protected him for years after English was originally exposed as a fraud and a liar.
Like most imposters and their supporters, Thomas has threatened to sue ANZMI for our factual disclosures.
Sometimes the truth is difficult to accept.
Following his resignation from the VVFA Granville, English finally resigned from all positions on the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch committee on the 15 March, 2016 in accordance with the RSL NSW State Branch direction.
He still remains an ordinary RSL Sub Branch member, and incredibly Vice President of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club, a different entity,for the moment.
As the current Memorial Club Vice President, he still receives a generous yearly cash honorarium , free trips away, free meals, free drinks and other benefits. Benefits that ordinary members do not receive.
English was elected to the Memorial Club Board on the false premise that he was a "former Royal Australian Navy (RAN) rating, with active and emergency service". This false information was included in his resume for election to the Memorial Club Board. We have a copy. Just more lies.
The Cronulla RSL Memorial Club President and committee members should demand the resignation of English from their Board immediately, to save further embarrassment by bringing the Memorial Club into disrepute as well.
He is still the Secretary of the The Sutherland Shire Naval Association, Sydney. That body should also demand his resignation for his lies.
The new executive of RSL NSW State Branch have made an emphatic statement to those who desire to join that organisation and seek executive Sub Branch office by claiming false military service. If you falsify your service, you will be caught out, disciplined and/or expelled.
Mr Rod White, President of the RSL NSW State Branch and Mr Glenn Kolomeitz, CEO, RSL NSW State Branch have made it abundantly clear in their mission statement that core values of integrity and honour will be strictly adhered to.
These values will hopefully encourage younger veterans from Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, the fourth wave of veterans, to join their local RSL Sub Branches and participate in continuing the proud traditions of the RSL organisation.
It is their future and their families future as well.
We will gladly support Mr Rod White and Mr Glenn Kolomeitz in continuing with these ideals by weeding out imposters and their supporters at executive level or otherwise, who are detected within the League or other ex service organisations.
ENGLISH UPDATE - 17 Apr 15
Since our recent disclosure of imposter Kenneth Edward English, the Cronulla (Sydney) RSL Club Sub Branch Junior Vice President and RSL Memorial Club Senior Vice President, he surprisingly continues to hold both of these senior executive positions, even though he has been proven to be a Vietnam Veteran fraud.
We have received notification that members of the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia are amazed that English still retains both executive positions after records disclosed that he is an imposter. He has not contacted the VVFA and apologised for his lies or resigned his Vietnam veteran membership.
English not only lied about his Vietnam active service to the then Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, but also on his Cronulla RSL Sub Branch resume, to a local St George Leader newspaper Reporter, several other places including RSL Sub Branch members, but we have since been sent his original resume for the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club by concerned RSL Memorial Club members, where he holds the executive position of Senior Vice President and obtains substantial monetary benefits.
In this document, where RSL Memorial Club members are informed of the committee person's credentials, and vote accordingly, English again claims that he had "12 years RAN (Royal Australian Navy) with, "Active (service) and emergency reserve (service) capacities."
We remind the reader that English had no active service whatsoever.
Not one day.
He has deceitfully claimed active (operational) service again to enhance his standing within the membership and community to gain positions on both committees and attract votes to acquire generous benefits. His deceit has happened on at least six occasions that we know of, and have been mentioned above.
English is cunning.
Now that he is entrenched in his positions for another three years, he has altered his false Cronulla RSL Memorial Club resume and deleted the words "active and emergency reserve (service)capacities",following suspicions from RSL Memorial Club members and committee members. He has also altered his Cronulla RSL Sub Branch resume where he told blatant lies about his "active service in the Far East and New Guinea" whilst he was in the Australian Navy.
Frauds like English use every means to get themselves voted on RSL Club committees, but quickly remove any tell tale signs of deception once they are elected and established in their positions, where they then seek further advancement to an executive role and increased benefits.
Like English, they even stand for President.
When caught out, they just shrug their shoulders and hope life goes on just as before because of the support they gain along the way.
We have also been notified that English has continued to lie about his RAN Vietnam service since he was originally discovered as a fraud in 2011.
Following our original disclosure in 2014, he was subsequently reported to the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch President in writing by a highly respected local resident, that he falsely claimed to him that he went to Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney. This was three years after he had been originally reported for telling Sub Branch members lies about his false Vietnam service and bringing his RSL Sub Branch into disrepute.
We have received further reports from Memorial Club members of how he told them that he was a crew member of HMAS Sydney when it went to Vietnam, however he was "put off at Brisbane due to illness".
English is an incorrigible liar and has been for years. Medical experts may classify his condition as "mythomania or pseudoligia fantastica", a psychiatric condition where the person loses personal judgement and distorts reality. He considers himself a tall poppy.
Others might say he is just an imposter and a glory hunter chasing further recognition.
Members of all Ex Service Organisations (ESO's) expect their committee representatives to be scrupulously honest.
English is a proven imposter, yet he maintains his prestigious rewarded positions with support from his President and a few of his Sub Branch committee mates.
English has not been ordered to resign by his friend, the President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch committee Mr. Warren Thomas.
Our advice to Thomas is that if you protect an imposter, you can consider yourself an imposter. You are just one step away.
Thomas in an e mail he sent to Anzmi stated -;
"We at Cronulla share your concerns about anyone obtaining benefit or kudos by purporting service in our armed forces that is untrue."
This edict must only apply to others, but somehow not for his mate English.
Thomas should also resign for his double standards and lies. He lacks leadership. He has threatened ANZMI with legal action, but he knows that what ANZMI have published is the truth and is supported by documentation. That is difficult to get over. We welcome any legal action that he or English are willing to pay for. They know how to contact us.
We do not usually get involved in Club politics but when RSL Presidents defend blatant imposters and then threaten us with legal action, it behoves us to get the truth out there.
Particularly when they are disrespectful of other genuine Vietnam veterans as indicated below.
Another Executive Cronulla RSL Sub Branch Committee member, again defending English, recently sent an offensive e mail to Mr. Bill Hobson, of ANZMI regarding Bill Hobson stating, "all he did was cook baked beans on the Vampire." and denigrating his Naval Vietnam service.
Is it true that Bill Hobson claims to be a Vietnam Vet but all he did was cook Baked Beans on the Vampire"
Also, in 2014, Cattell posted the following message on a website called "Cav's Blog".
Cattell, oblivious to the fact that Bill Hobson is a pseudonym, lambasted him in another e mail posted on the internet, in that,
"This little pr-ck Bill Hobson was a Cook on the (HMAS) Vampire and spent 16 days in the South China Sea. Think he got a medal. Wounded by baked beans".
"Kerry Cattell May 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM
I agree wannabees need to be outed but ANZMI outs brothers. I wrote to Hobson about outing Keith Joyce. Now Joyce wears some medals incorrectly but this guy was THERE. MM and Army commendation Medal (US) for valour. This little prick, Bill Hobson, was a cook on the VAMPIRE and spent 16 days in the South China Sea. Think he got a medal , Wounded by Baked Beans.He would understand that some brothers have PTSD and if they want to wear a Sheriff's tin star with their medals it doesn't worry me."
Denigrating Royal Australian Navy Cooks on widely read social media is not a very smart comment to make from an RSL Executive Committee member. You could make a lot of enemies with that attitude.
There is a William Hobson who was a "Royal Australian Navy Cook" on the Vietnam Nominal Roll, and who served honorably on the HMAS Vampire, but we can assure you that it is not Bill Hobson Anzmi.
Importantly, William Hobson the Navy Cook went to Vietnam. English, who Thomas and Cattell are defending did not. English claims to have gone, but decided to go on holidays instead, knowing the ship was leaving for Vietnam in a few days. English is the imposter here. William Hobson, Royal Australian Navy Cook, HMAS Vampire IS NOT.
He is a genuine Vietnam veteran, who does not need the disrespect of Cattell denigrating his Naval active service on at least two occasions that we know of.
We are certain that every RAN cook who ever served in Vietnam waters or elsewhere, and was accredited with active service or not, would not be very impressed with Cattell's comments. When censured by ANZMI for these highly offensive remarks, Cattell later recanted and stated that "someone must have used his e mail address (to send these messages) without his knowledge". That excuse is like "The dog ate my homework."
We here at ANZMI respect all genuine servicemen and women who have contributed to this Nation. We do not discriminate as to what Branch of the Services or positions they hold or held in their honorable service. They all support each other.
We do however, have a problem with wannabees, frauds and all those who defend them. Cattell denigrates the Vietnam service of others to protect his mate.
Cattell also mentions, " If some brothers have PTSD and want to wear a Sheriff's tin star with their medals, it doesn't worry me". Cattell adopts the position that you can wear what you like and say what you like about your alleged military service. If Cattell ever becomes in charge of an RSL Branch, it will be open slather. All the imposters and wannabees will love him.
We get dozens of e mails from young Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor veterans who inform us that they decline to join the RSL movement due to wannabees holding controlling positions within the organisation. This situation is not helped by the likes of RSL Presidents and others we have exposed as imposters recently, who have gained their positions by deception.
Lance Mailer Smith, President, Glenroy RSL Victoria,
David Hugh Edwards, President, Leongatha RSL, Victoria,
John Malcolm Griffiths, President, Essendon RSL., Victoria,
Geoffrey Phillip Lyles, President, Kyneton RSL, Victoria,
Douglas Craig OLoughlan, President, Bright RSL Victoria,
Alexander Robert Fullarton, Former President/Secretary, Carnarvon RSL, Western Australia,
Graeme Rex Caesar, Interim National President, Submarines Association of Australia, Queensland,
and of course -;
Mr Kenneth Edward English, Vice President, Cronulla RSL, NSW.
However, in spite of what ANZMI does in exposing RSL and other ESO frauds, we encourage those younger veterans to join the respected RSL organisation, participate, stand for committees, and continue the fight against wannabees and medal cheats and report them to ANZMI, to safeguard the legacy of what has been handed down by genuine returned RSL veterans over decades.
Whilst they are out there, and whilst we have your support, we will continue our exposures and provide regular updates of all imposters who continue to hold ESO committee positions and those who defend them.
The truth is our ally
Being exposed by Anzmi as a military fraud and a wannabee has no time limitations. Some of the imposters we have placed on site here have lived the lie for years.
We try and correct that by exposing the truth. The truth is our aim and the truth is our motive.
We continually remind Ex Service Organisations and in particular RSL Clubs to monitor and regularly audit their members for claimed military service and medals entitlements. Without these protocols, an anything goes situation prevails.
One organisation that regularly audit their records and require stringent documentary proof of military service of applicants who apply to join their organisation is the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia. (VVFA)
Kenneth English is another example of how imposters get themselves elected into executive positions on Returned Services League (RSL) Club committees and enjoy the fruits of their deceit for years until they are caught out.
R95543 Kenneth Edward English, Born on the 9 October, 1950, joined the Royal Australian Navy on the 9 July 1966. He enlisted for 12 years as a junior recruit.
Following his training, he became an Ordinary Seaman, (Stores Assistant). He eventually served on HMAS Sydney from 29 June, 1967 to 10 December, 1967, when he took leave and was then posted to HMAS Moresby, following completion of his leave on the 1st January, 1968.
These dates are significant as you read on.
He is currently the Senior Vice President of the Cronulla Returned Services League Memorial Club (RSL), and the Junior Vice President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch located in Sydney. He is currently the Secretary of the Sutherland Shire Naval Association. He considers himself a "tall poppy".
English has claimed Vietnam Naval active service on the HMAS Sydney in December, 1967, but in fact he had none.
The integrity of Kenneth Edward English has come to the attention of ANZMI investigators that confirm that he is a long time imposter and fraud.
Members of the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, (VVFA), formerly Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, (VVAA), and others, are concerned that English is not who he claims to be.
On the 22 May, 2008, English completed details on an application form for membership of that organisation falsely claiming to be a Vietnam Veteran with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) service on the HMAS Sydney, on dates between the 29/6/67 to 2/1/1968.
This application was accepted on the basis that the information he provided was the truth. The Vietnam Nominal Roll was checked and his name appeared on it.
His application was approved on that basis.
He was then granted membership as a Vietnam Veteran of that organisation and as such, he applied for and purchased Vietnam War Ribands bumper bar stickers for his vehicle, and the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia Lapel badge.
A copy of his VVFA record disclosing the information he provided is shown below.
The document below is the erroneous Vietnam Nominal Roll entry from the Australian War Memorial records, that his application was checked against and approved.
The executive and members are not too impressed when imposters fraudulently misrepresent themselves to join their great long standing organisation and claim the honour of Vietnam veterans to gain benefits when in fact, they had no Vietnam service at all.
A spokesperson told us that -;
"When we came home from Vietnam a lot of military personnel would not even admit to being a Vietnam veteran because of the way we were treated. Now people falsely misrepresent themselves and cash in on it to get benefits and courtesies that they don't deserve and steal our honour. He slipped through the system somehow by telling lies."
His records at the VVFA still have him registered as a Vietnam veteran with HMAS Sydney, Royal Australian Naval Service as indicated above.
At the time English joined the VVFA in 2008, his name had been included on the Australian War Memorial, (AWM) Vietnam Nominal Roll, Canberra, in error since 1997.
He was aware at the time he joined the VVFA that his name had been placed on the Roll in error. He did nothing to correct the mistake. For years he then delicately tip toed and in fact crossed the line of ethics and integrity in respect to his alleged Royal Australian Navy “active service”, knowing his chances of being caught out were minimal.
Over the years, he managed to build up a false image that he is a Vietnam Veteran, including joining the VVFA. He has then used that misinformation to gain key positions on committees to gain undeserved financial benefits and increased standing in the community.
During his naval service, Ordinary Seaman Kenneth English served in the Far East Strategic Reserve in a non combatant peacetime capacity and also in New Guinea as a Stores Assistant. At the time English served, these areas were non war like and not classified as active duty.
In June, 1967, English was a crew member of HMAS Sydney.
HMAS Sydney was a retired Naval Aircraft Carrier, but due to Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, the ship had been re-commissioned in 1962 as a troop and transport ship. From May, 1965, the ship was engaged in the highly important role of transporting troops, supplies, ammunitions, vehicles and other war time necessities from Sydney to Vung Tau Harbour, Vietnam. It was affectionately known as the Vung Tau ferry.
On the 11 December, 1967, whilst a crew member of HMAS Sydney, Ordinary Seaman Kenneth English availed himself of 21 days annual leave. His leave record is shown below.
A few days later, HMAS Sydney commenced its voyage from Sydney via Fremantle, Western Australia, to Vung Tau, Vietnam with its necessary provisions for the war effort.
This was the HMAS Sydney’s 8th voyage to Vietnam.
English at this time was enjoying his annual leave, whilst his shipmates were training and readying themselves for whatever lay in front of them on active service in Vietnam waters.
The Ship's records indicate that on this particular voyage, HMAS Sydney was accredited with 15 days active service from the 20 December, 1967 to the 3 January, 1968. The ship transported 3 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment to Vietnam.
Every Naval crew member posted on the ship at the time was accredited with the equivalent active service days, and this was accrued from when the ship left the last Australian port of Fremantle to when it returned to Fremantle 15 days later.
In 1997, the records of all Australian servicemen and women, Army, Navy and Air Force, who had served in the Republic of Vietnam or Vietnam waters, were posted on the Australian War Memorial (AWM) Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans web site for public viewing.
In a massive task undertaken, some errors were made.
One particular error was the inclusion of naval rating R95543 Kenneth Edward English, Ordinary seaman, stores assistant, who was credited with 15 days active service on the HMAS Sydney from 20 December, 1967 to the 3 January, 1968 when the ship departed Fremantle for Vung Tau, Vietnam and returned to Fremantle.
He was in fact on annual leave during this time.
English became aware of this glaring error, but as stated, did nothing to correct it. In fact, some years later, he used the incorrect information to his own advantage when applying for positions on RSL Club executive positions.
Positions that reward him with cash honorariums, meals, drinks and trips away. Benefits that other normal members do not have access to.
In the document above , his Curriculum Vitae (C.V) for election at his local Cronulla RSL club indicated that he saw “active service” with the “Far East Strategic Reserve and P.N.G.”
The Far East Strategic Reserve was only classified by the Australian Government as “active service” if, in the case of the Royal Australian Navy, the ship had qualifying service in prescribed war like areas. His description would indicate to the reader/member that he had served in a war zone. The only prescribed war zone at the time English served in the Navy was Vietnam. He certainly did not go there.
He was on holidays!
As for performing "Active Service" in Papua New Guinea in the 1960's, no further comment is required. He would have known that, due to the fact that he would have been entitled to be awarded with the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM).
The above document is an extract of an article that appeared in the local Newspaper. In his role of Sub Branch Vice president, English was a Master of Ceremonies at Munro Park Memorial, Cronulla, in regards to the commemoration of the death of an Australian Soldier, who had been killed in action in Afghanistan. When interviewed, English told the reporter that he (English) was in fact a Vietnam War veteran. This was included in the local newspaper write up.
A Newspaper spokesperson has been contacted by ANZMI, who confirmed that the reporter would not have accredited English with being a Vietnam War veteran unless the reporter was told by English himself.
We were told, "How else would our Journalist know, you just don't fabricate things like that."
The above photograph is English wearing the Vietnam Veterans lapel badge he purchased from the VVFA.
English also placed the VVFA bumper bar "Vietnam war riband" sticker on his personal vehicle disclosing to all that he was a Vietnam veteran with active service.
He would have known that when the VVFA made inquiries to confirm the legitimacy of his claimed Vietnam service with the Australian War Memorial, they would have located his name on the Vietnam Nominal Roll. He knew that his particulars had been placed there in error, therefore, he had nothing to fear and he did nothing to correct it.
We have also ascertained that English directly told some Cronulla RSL Sub Branch members that he went to Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney in December, 1967.
ANZMI recently contacted the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch President to ascertain the outcome of a reported investigation initiated by concerned members that English was not who he purported to be and was not a Vietnam veteran at all.
However, the President, Warren Thomas reported in writing that the matter was finalised.
Thomas stated that "Some time ago it was reported that Mr English appeared incorrectly on the nominal roll of Vietnam Veterans along with some other "hear say" about his Vietnam service" Thomas stated that they are aware of the matter, but the investigation has been finalised. In other words, no further action. Thomas further responded in writing that,
"We at Cronulla share your concerns about anyone obtaining benefit or kudos by purporting service in our armed forces that is untrue."
If that is the case Mr. Warren Thomas, why did you allow English to carry on in executive positions within the RSL Memorial Club and Sub Branch after it had been brought to your attention and proven that English was an imposter claiming Vietnam service when he had none. Why would you do that?
By concealing the facts, Thomas is treating his fellow Memorial Club and as far as we know Sub Branch committee members with complete disrespect, arrogance and contempt.
Our inquiries have revealed that the New South Wales R.S.L. State Headquarters has not been notified by Thomas of any investigation into the fraudulent activities of English.
As a consequence, English continues to hold positions and gain benefits at Senior Executive level at both the Memorial Club and the Sub Branch as though nothing has happened. Recently, he was re-appointed as the Senior Vice President of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club for another three years. He had previously stood for President but was defeated.
He has never been reprimanded. We have been assured that he and Thomas have never revealed his deceptions or apologized to the RSL Memorial Club Committee and members or, as far as we know, the Sub Branch Committee and members. They are all unaware of his unethical behaviour and his “wannabee” status.
We recently contacted English. He stated that he apologised to the Sub Branch members who he told he was a Vietnam veteran, however after several requests, he refused to provide us with the names of these members and we are unable to confirm the truth of his statement. Why won't he tell us? You can make your own mind up about that.
Our investigation has revealed that as a result of him being reported to the Sub Branch President Thomas as an imposter , he finally organised the removal of his name from the Vietnam Nominal Roll, after he knew it was incorrectly listed there for 17 years.!!!
However, no one at either Club is the wiser and he still obtains the benefits.
When asked for any further conditions imposed upon him, both English and Thomas declined to respond.
English stated however, that "This is clearly a tall poppy syndrome attack and a witch hunt based on hearsay."
Well we do not consider English to be a "tall poppy" and we certainly do not think it is"hearsay". Far from it. He has acquired his so called "tall poppy" positions at the RSL Club by producing misleading documentation on his c.v. regarding his "active service" , untruths to members and deceit. He has also misled voting members who placed their trust in him by his behaviour. "That is not hearsay"
He lied to the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia in May 2008 by claiming false Vietnam Royal Australian Navy service when he had none. "That is not hearsay either."
English had every opportunity to travel to Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney. However, he took annual leave instead for his own reasons, knowing that the ship was leaving in a few days time. He subsequently became aware of the administrative error at the AWM and used this error to his own advantage to claim Vietnam active service for many years.
He has used the honour of his genuine shipmates who left for Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney in December 1967 and Vietnam Veterans in general, to enhance his own status in the community to gain undeserved substantial financial benefits and rewards for years.
He should write to the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia immediately and apologise for his deceitful conduct and resign his membership.
There was no misunderstanding. English claimed to that organisation that he was a Vietnam War Veteran with RAN service on the HMAS Sydney on the dates indicated when he applied for membership, and then purchased the war ribands sticker for his car and VVFA badge.
The Memorial and Sub Branch committees should also take action against wannabees lurking in their midst and not conceal the facts from their members.
English should resign from all his self described "tall poppy" positions at the Club immediately. If he does not, then he should be shown the door. He should also publicly apologise to all Vietnam veterans for stealing their honour.
It is an offence under the Defence Act 1903 to claim to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman.
DEFENCE ACT 1903 - SECT 80A - Falsely representing to be returned soldier, sailor or airman
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person represents himself or herself to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman; and
(b) the representation is false.
Penalty: 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months, or both.
(2) For the purposes of this section:
(a) returned soldier means a person who has served abroad during any war as a member of any Military Force raised in Australia or in any other part of the British Empire, or as a member of the Military Forces of any Ally of Great Britain.
The President who made the poor decision to cover up for English in this fiasco, knowing full well that he is a Vietnam veteran imposter, should also resign from his positions for the integrity of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club, the Sub Branch and the NSW State RSL Headquarters.
Genuine Vietnam veterans have struggled with mental issues and other major disorders for years because of what they endured.
Those who steal their honour are not fit for executive office in the RSL organisation.
Live: 04 Nov 2013
Updated: 19 Nov 2013
Ronald Samuel Workman OAM, of Palm Beach, Queensland for the past 20 years, has been Chairman of the Board of the Currumbin Returned Services League (RSL) and the President of the Memorial Club.
A216946 Ronald Samuel Workman, served one tour in Vietnam with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a Loadmaster with RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam, which was later renamed 35 Squadron. It was also known as Wallaby Airlines for just less than seven months. The aircraft was a twin engine Caribou, which was used to transport troops and supplies all over South Vietnam during the war by both RAAF and United States Squadrons
You would expect a man holding such high positions would set an example to the members by adhering to the correct protocol of wearing medals, which seems to be lacking in a lot of Sub-Branches of the RSL in Queensland.
The medals Ronald Workman is wearing from left to right are-;
Medal of the Order of Australia. (entitled)
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75. (entitled)
General Service Medal 1962. (entitled)
Vietnam Medal. (entitled)
Australian Service Medal 19445-75. (entitled)
Centenary Medal. (entitled)
National Medal. (entitled)
Australian Defence Medal. (entitled)
United States of America Air Medal. (entitled since 2008)
Republic of South Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Silver Star (not approved)
Republic of South Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross (not approved)
Vietnam Campaign Medal (Republic of South Vietnam medal entitled)
A number of Australian servicemen were offered awards by the Government of the Republic of South Vietnam during the war, but only a small number were approved by the then serving Australian Government, following recommendation by the Australian Defence Department. That is not to say that they could not keep them as a memento, but they could not be worn on the left breast with official medals approved and awarded by the Australian Government.
In that situation, they should be worn on the right breast.
Ronald Workman does not appear on a list of names from all three armed services that served in Vietnam as having been awarded any foreign medals.
The list contains all the awards which include Imperial (British), United States of America, Republic of South Vietnam and Cambodia, and was compiled from researching all records of the three services and overseas involvement.
He was only awarded the United States Air Medal after years of negotiation between RAAF Associations and American Associations to seek approval from the United States to award the medal to 35 Squadron. The same representations cannot be applied to the South Vietnam Gallantry awards, as that Government ceased to exist after the fall of the Republic of South Vietnam, when the North overran the country in 1975.
Below is a speech made recently in regard to matters involving the Queensland RSL.
In the speech he made and interesting statement;
“I’ve shot people and I’ve killed people and I know how to stand my ground.”
We know that the squadron flew missions all over South Vietnam carrying troops and supplies. This included missions to remote bases where the aircrafts were shot at. The job of a loadmaster is to unload or load the aircraft as quickly as possible in high risk areas so that the aircraft could lift off the ground hastily and reduce threats of incoming fire from the enemy. The forces on the ground are responsible for protecting the aircraft and its crew.
As already stated, Queensland Sub-Branches seem to be the worst for members wearing medals that they are not entitled to.
Two members of the Southport RSL, who also appear on our site, Mark Tull and Sydney Keith Boese, have been voted into executive positions of Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
Maybe the Queensland RSL should look at other Sub-Branches in regards to members wearing unofficial or not approved medals.
Ronald Workman, you have earned the right to appear on our site for the lack of leadership and integrity for a man in your position.
Updated: 19 Nov 2013
We have received a number of enquiries regarding Ronald Workman being a qualified Loadmaster whilst in Vietnam and the wearing of the General Service Medal 1962 (GSM).
Firstly, Roanld Workman was a qualified Loadmaster whilst in Vietnam, but at the time they did not have a Muster for Loadmaster which is why he is shown as an Engine Fitter.
The GSM 1962 has two clasps on it which cannot be read, he also has two clasps on his Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 which indicates he should only have one clasp on his GSM if he served in the Malaya Peninsula or Borneo.
Only the members of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam are entitled to the clasp VIETNAM as any RAAF personnel awarded the GSM 1962 Clasp Vietnam were withdrawn and replaced with the Vietnam Medal by Royal Warrant dated 8 June 1968.
If Ronald Workman is wearing the clasp Vietnam with his GSM 1962, he should remove it.
This is published in the public interest, veterans of all conflicts, in particular 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.
Persons appearing on our site that are now deceased will not be removed, but the case will have the word "Deceased" placed next to their name when we are advised.
Ronald Samuel WORKMAN update. 19 Dec 16
Rambo Ron Workman is at it again with his heroic stories of Vietnam service as a Caribou Loadmaster in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Following our exposure in 2013, where he was exposed as a medals cheat and a liar, for purchasing and wearing the Republic of South Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the Republic of South Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross, Workman has now participated in a Currumbin RSL video interview, making outlandish claims of his Vietnam service. His Vietnam service is recorded on the Vietnam Nominal Roll, Australian War Memorial, from the 17 February, 1965 to the 15 October, 1965. (8 months or 241 days.)
The video was part of a series in which Currumbin RSL Sub Branch members are interviewed and tell their war related stories to members of their RSL or anyone else who is interested in watching.
In his latest dribble, Workman makes the following claims to his adoring followers, who must now be concerned about his mental health or ability to retain his executive position of President of the Currumbin RSL Sub Branch.
The video can be accessed at Australiaremembers.com.au - Veterans Stories - Ron Workman remembers. We encourage all our readers to view it.
Talking about himself and his mates, Tiddles Pinkerton, who “got” the Military Medal, (he was actually awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal) and Shorty Williams RAAF, who Workman said “got” shot in the arm. Workman claims to the interviewer, that he (himself) “got” the Cross of Gallantry.
The last sentence is true. Workman “got” the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry” He “got” it after paying approximately 50 Australian dollars at a Medals Shop or he “got” it in the mail after a purchase he made on EBay. This is also how he “got” the Republic of South Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross, and paid a similar amount. He would have then paid about 400 dollars to have his medals “court mounted”
His supporters should request the paperwork that always accompanies these medals when they are officially awarded. He has no paperwork.. ANZMI requested it 3 years ago and we are still waiting.
Workman claims that he was involved in 1200 or more missions in South Vietnam. Workman spent 241 days in Vietnam for his claimed 1200 or more “missions”. If you take in to account that Workman would not be expected to work 7 days per week, we could reasonably state that he would have had at least one day off per week. That equates to about 34 days off. Then he would have had about 5 or 6 days R& R or in country R&C, Total 40 days at the very minimum.
From those figures ANZMI estimate that Workman must have been involved in at least 6 “missions” per day, every day that he was on duty. Now that is a lot of missions. He further states that he also had to buy his own survival knife. Apparently they were not on issue! Hopefully it was a tax deductable item.
His video story does get better though, and becomes increasingly dramatic with his shooting of an unarmed Viet Cong prisoner on a RAAF Aircraft.
Workman relates a horrific story where - “he was giving a Vietnamese girl mouth to mouth resuscitation after she had the top of her scalp blown off by Viet Cong. He had the three Viet Cong prisoners on board his transport aircraft. One of the Viet Cong prisoners started laughing at Workman so Workman stated ‘I shot him, I did not kill him, but if you say it again you are dead.”
Now that could have been a perilous decision to the aircraft and crew safety to shoot the Viet Cong prisoner whist he was on Workman’s aircraft. What if he had missed?
We have contacted a few of Workman’s former colleagues who cannot remember this incident, let alone being told about it.
Confessing on a publically accessed video to shooting an unarmed Vietnamese prisoner may well be considered a war crimes atrocity. Workman should seriously consider this, the next time he visits Saigon or Hanoi on holidays.
Workman states in the video that he was so depressed regarding his service, that he later sought the assistance of a Psychologist in Burwood, Sydney. He later refers to him as a Psychiatrist. Workman states that he made four audio tapes of his Vietnam service and handed them to the Psychiatrist to listen to, whilst Workman went to the pub and had 6 beers. “When he returned to the office, the Psychiatrist walked out of his office, as white as my shirt,” and said to him, “Sorry I cannot help you.” Workman states that he then left the office and threw his tapes away. Now we at ANZMI think that this Psychiatrist should be struck off. It must have been heart wrenching for Workman to be dismissed so cheaply and then have to discard his tapes. It may well be that the Psychiatrist was so affected, that he had to make an appointment with his own Psychiatrist.
At this stage of the dramatic video, Workman’s Currumbin RSL Sub Branch followers must be rolling around the floor having a good old belly laugh.
We repeat, we have been waiting 3 years for President Workman to send us proof of his awards of the South Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the South Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross. We will not hold our breath. Maybe he could just send us his receipts.
Workman is a disgrace to the RSL movement. He should be booted out immediately.
It is individuals like Workman, who hold senior executive positions within the RSL, and who wear purchased gallantry medals, that the younger 4th wave of veterans from Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan refuse to join the RSL movement. Who can blame them?
In our original exposure Workman claimed that -;
“I’ve shot people and I’ve killed people and I know how to stand my ground.”
He continues to tell preposterous stories of his toughness to gain some sort of recognition, including “shooting and killing people.” even in a RAAF aircraft!
Returned & Services League of Australia, Queensland State Branch President, Stewart Cameron CSC, should direct Currumbin RSL executives to remove this ridiculous video from their website, and “retire” Rambo Ron Workman, for the embarrassment he has caused their Club and the RSL in general.
RSL State Branches publicise “Mission Statements”, “Visions” and all sorts of other philosophies to their constituents.
One of the core “Vision” statements of the Queensland RSL State Branch is -;
1. Maintain a proper standard of dignity and honour among all past and present members of the Defence Forces of the nation and to set an example of public spirit and noble hearted endeavour
This “visionary statement” flies in the face of their lack of action in regards to Currumbin RSL Sub Branch President Ron Workman wearing un-awarded gallantry medals for years, and his claims of shooting unarmed Viet Cong in RAAF aircraft to big note himself.
ANZMI will follow this matter up and disclose to our readers, what action Queensland RSL State Branch take in respect to Workman and his ridiculous claims.
Just when we thought we had cleaned up the Navy's propensity to wear tin medals, along comes Kenneth Edward Neath a prime example of wearing "Vanity" medals that are nothing more than worthless tin junk.
Neath has been awarded four medals for his service, but wears six. The last two are self purchased duplications of the second and third medals.
He was awarded these:
Australian Active Service Medal(AASM) for service in Vietnam
VietnamLogistic and Support Medal(VLSM), for service as a member or crew of a ship in the prescribed area of operations of Vietnam in support of Australian forces
Australian Service Medal(ASM) with Clasp FESR for his service with the Far East Special Reserve for service in South East Asia and
Australian Defence Medal (ADM)for completing his enlistment period in the RAN
Here are the worthless duplications of his second and third awarded medals:
These medals are Commemorative self purchased junk created by Navy Associations. As such if they are to be worn at all, they should be worn on the right breast. These two medals would have cost Neath more that $120 and do nothing more than feed his vanity to be seen as a Veteran with six medals instead of four.
Neath also wears his Return from Active Service Badge (RASB) together with his genuine and fake medals.
This is a common fault in the Veteran Community and whilst not a big offence it is not what the badge was meant for. See here:
Despite our efforts to eradicate the wearing of "Tin" Vanity Medals we are sure that soon we will be publishing more offenders
We welcome Kenneth Edward Neath to our ever expanding list of medals cheats.
UPDATE ON KENNETH EDWARD NEATH 19 Dec 2016
The appearance of Neath on the ANZMI site in 2014 does not seem to have fazed him at all. On top of that, successive RSL Sub-Branch Executives seem to have turned a blind eye to his continual attendance at commemorative services in Eden and Merimbula, wearing the abomination medals and perpetuating his dishonesty.
Neath pops up at the 2015 Centenary of ANZAC service in Eden, still with all his medals on show.
In 2016, Neath once again pops up, this time at the Vietnam Veterans Day service in Merimbula. Once again he is wearing his dodgy medals. He even gets interviewed for the local media (Merimbula Magnet online), with the following being reported about his Vietnam service:
“Vietnam War veteran Ken Neath from Eden was in the crowd. He worked in the engine room of the HMAS Melbourne in 1967 while it was flying night operations into north Vietnam, then on the MV Jeparit in 1968 – the “most controversial ship in the war”
Neath was posted to HMAS Melbourne for the period February to August 1967.
Every month, the Commanding Officer of HMA Ships will provide a Report of Proceedings (ROP), to the Admiral, summarising the activities of that ship and other noteworthy items. ROPs for vessels involved in all Australian conflicts, up to Vietnam, are a matter of public record and can be viewed on the Australian War Memorial website.
An inspection of HMAS Melbourne’s ROPs for the period of Neath’s posting, shows:
Alongside Garden Island undergoing refit.
1-17 Alongside Garden Island undergoing refit.
17-31 Sydney/Jervis Bay area performing workups.
1-30 Workups and exercises on East Coast.
1-9 Passage to Rabaul (commence FESR duties).
10-18 Passage to Subic Bay, Phillipines.
19-25 Passage to Yokohama, Japan.
29-31 Passage to Kure, Japan.
1-3 At Kure, Japan.
3-21 Passage to and alongside Hong Kong.
21-30 Passage to and alongside Singapore.
1-5 Singapore to Manila, Phillipines.
7-26 Exercise SEADOG with US Navy.
26-31 Passage to and alongside Singapore.
1-8 Singapore to Fremantle (cease FESR duties).
8-11 Alongside Fremantle.
11-31 Passage to and alongside Sydney.
As you can see, there were no “flying night operations into north Vietnam” during this deployment. How long Neath has perpetuated this falsehood is anybody’s guess, but they say that if you lie to yourself often enough, you start believing that lie.
One may think that is all, but as they say on the TV, “But wait, there’s more”!
Neath can also be seen wearing the Australian Defence Medal (ADM).
The Australian Defence Medal was established on 20 March 2006 by Letters Patent. It recognises qualifying efficient service of current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) Regular and Reserve personnel, including National Servicemen, who have served since the end of World War II.
As for any medal, there are regulations and criteria for its award, namely:
The eligibility criteria requires completion of an initial enlistment period or four years service, whichever is the lesser. The criteria also includes those who could not serve the four-year qualifying period or complete an initial enlistment period for one or more of the following reasons:
- he death of a member during service;
- the discharge of the member as medically unfit due to compensable impairment;
- the discharge of the member due to a prevailing discriminatory Defence policy, as determined by the Chief of the Defence Force or his or her delegate.
The Service Records for sailors who joined the Royal Australian Navy prior to 1970, are digitised and available to the public on the National Australian Archives (NAA) website.
The above copy of the front page of Neath’s “Ratings Record of Service Card” shows that he enlisted on 22 October 1966 and that enlistment period was for 9 years.
The rear of this document shows quite clearly that Neath received a “Free Discharge” (being one at own request) on 29 May 1969.
Neath did not complete his initial enlistment, nor did he complete at least 4 years service, having discharged just over 2 years and 6 months after enlistment. In no way has Neath qualified for the award of the ADM, another lie he has perpetuated.
Kenneth Edward Neath, you have already been called out once for your behaviour, but you have continued your charade and brought yourself attention once again.
To have been detected on the day of the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan Commemorations, makes it even worse in the disrespect you have brought on your fellow veterans.
However, the blame cannot lay entirely with you. The fact that successive executives of various RSL Sub-Branches have knowingly and willingly let you partake in commemorative services is a clear indictment on their own integrity and fitness to hold such responsible office.