Deceased - 2013
Eric Stephen Gray - Wyong RSL
Eric Stephen Gray, formally of Wyong RSL Sub Branch has been posing as a Vietnam Veteran for a number of years. He has walked the walk and talked the talk. He convinced all those around him that he had been a Sergeant in 8 Field Ambulance, Australian Army, in Vietnam for a year in 1967 to 1968.
He even posed for a photograph in the local Express Advocate, Wyong Edition with a Slouch Hat in front of the Australian Flag, following the gesture from a kind anonymous donor who volunteered to pay for a medical procedure for him. We wonder if she did this in sympathy, due to his claims of false military service. Although he does not state in the article that he is a returned serviceman, he certainly continues the charade by waving the slouch hat in front of the Australian flag.
As he claimed to be a Veteran with cancer, and also a Welfare Officer, he would have known that he was entitled to submit a claim for a disability assessment at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He did not do this as he obviously knew he was not entitled
He joined the Wyong RSL Sub Branch, but as required, he could not produce a Discharge Certificate. He claimed that this was lost when he moved house from Manly to Wyong some years ago. He claimed that he was a full time reservist with a Sydney University Regiment. He produced a photocopy of a Certificate of Service dated the 9 April, 2003. He also produced a letter from the Australian Army Soldier Career Management Agency dated the 14 April 2003.
He then claimed to Wyong RSL Sub Branch officials, that he transferred from Citizens Military Forces to the Regular Army and was sent to Vietnam where he was attached to 8 Field Ambulance as a Sergeant.
Following acceptance by the RSL, he was made a Welfare Officer at Wyong RSL. He marched on Anzac Days wearing his Vietnam ribbons and was accepted by RSL returned service members as the genuine thing. He was however investigated regarding the wearing of Vietnam medals in 2003. He was suspended from the Sub Branch for three months and warned not to wear them again. Why he was not ejected from the RSL movement altogether at that time is a mystery.
In the post 2003 photograph below, Gray is marching at Wyong with his RSL Blazer adorned with what appears to be the BEM (British Empire Medal and the Australian Defence Medal.) as well as other trinkets.
He claimed to have been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) and was a current Justice of the Peace (JP). He handed out Lions Club business cards with these prestigious letters written on them. "BEM. JP."
It was only last year that on completion of an audit of Sub Branch members by the RSL executive, it was ascertained that former Sergeant and wannabee Vietnam Veteran Eric Stephen Gray was a fraud and a liar.
He was a civilian Ambulance Driver for a short time when he was younger. He then became a Security Guard at various locations, where he wore Vietnam campaign ribbons on his shirts. He is a fraud, who has for a long period attempted to take the honor of genuine Vietnam veterans.
On being confronted by Wyong Sub Branch Executives, Gray admitted to his lies, including his Vietnam service, his awards of a BEM and J.P. He claimed that he was given the British Empire Medal by a colleague so he decided to wear it. He stated that he was a JP but he thought that it had lapsed some years beforehand. We have been reliably informed that Gray witnessed numerous documents as a Justice of the Peace at the Wyong RSL. Unfortunately his JP signature was worthless, as are the documents he signed, and action should be taken by the RSL through the Department of Attorney General and Justice to bring this matter to their attention.
This is clearly an offence under the Oaths Act 1900 – Section 21A which states -;
21A Penalty for taking and receiving statutory declaration without authority.
Any person who, not being by law authorised to take and receive a statutory declaration:
Falsely pretends to be so authorised, or
Takes and receives a statutory declaration, shall be guilty of an offence against this section.
Any person who takes and receives a statutory declaration in any capacity in which the person is not by law authorized to act shall be guilty of an offence against this section.
Any person who is guilty of an offence against this section shall on summary conviction before the Local Court be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to a penalty no exceeding 2 penalty points.
We doubt that Gray has ever held the position of a Justice of the Peace.
The Sub Branch referred Gray’s false military claims to RSL Headquarters, Sydney.
Wyong RSL Sub Branch’s present committee are to be congratulated for finally weeding out this wannabee and preventing fakes lurking in their midst. Simple timely audits can reveal the truth and RSL Sub Branches should follow this example.
In February, 2012, Gray was finally expelled from the State Returned Service League movement after a hearing at RSL Headquarters, Sydney. However, with the new rules governing associate membership, Gray may come bouncing back sooner than we think.
Wyong RSL wrote Gray a letter formally inviting him to apologise in person to the members of the Sub Branch for his despicable behavior. He declined their invitation.
Be careful Gray does not come knocking on your Sub Branch door.
Welcome to the Web Site Eric Stephen Gray.
This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.
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.
Stan Bryant was born in New Zealand on the 12 June, 1949. He emigrated to Australia and worked in various jobs before settling at Kandos, near Mudgee, where he became the proprietor of Bryant's Saddlery, 1 George Street, Kandos. From all accounts he was a well respected member of the community.
In particular, all his friends and acquaintances in the town of Kandos and surrounding towns believed that Stan Bryant was an Australian Army Vietnam War Veteran, who had been awarded the Military Medal for his bravery in that war.
Below is a photograph of Bryant wearing the following medals,
From left to right -;
1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 (AASM) with clasp Vietnam.Not entitled.
2, The Vietnam Medal, Not entitled.
3. The Australian Defence Medal,Not entitled.
4. The Vietnam Campaign Medal,Not entitled.
5. The Military Medal. Not entitled.
The photograph is from his current Facebook page and had been posted there since at least 2012.
The above photograph is the Military Medal.
Until 1993, the Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land.
The medal was established on 25 March 1916. It was the other ranks' equivalent to the Military Cross (MC), which was awarded to commissioned officers and, rarely, to warrant officers, although WOs could also be awarded the MM. The MM ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army.
The Face Book photograph of Bryant was tagged,“Here is a photo of me with my Nam medals.”Then followed a stream of congratulatory emails from his friends and acquaintances complimenting him on his service to the Nation and some saying how poorly, he and his Vietnam Veteran friends were treated on their return home from the War Zone.
Bryant revelled in these comments, most likely feeling like the Kandos town war hero.
Bryant however is just an out and out fraud. An imposter of the highest order. An immoral person, who has stolen the honour of all those who have served in the Australian Army in Vietnam, and other fields of conflict.
Bryant has never served in any capacity in the Australian Army, Navy or Air Force, let alone serving in the active war zone of South Vietnam. To make matters worse, he poses in the photograph with the prestigious Military Medal for bravery.
Coincidentally, it was the Military Medal that aroused the suspicions of genuine veterans that reside in the Kandos-Mudgee areas of New South Wales. Bryant wears the Military Medal last in the set of medals he purchased. The Military Medal should have priority and be worn first. Not having any idea about military medals wearing protocols, Bryant just pinned it to his chest as he saw fit.
Posting fraudulent photographs of themselves wearing un-awarded medals, imposters like Bryant, thrive on the attention they receive. They use words like “Nam” to project an image of their false military service.
Bryant did nothing to correct the wrong. He accepted the adulations of his friends and colleagues on Face Book on Anzac Days, Remembrance Days and Vietnam Veterans Days, for many years.
We sent Stan Bryant an email and invited him to respond to allegations that the medals he wears were not awarded to him.
This is his reply -;
Guilty as charged.
I have never served in the army.
I can offer no explanation for posting that photo other than stupidity.
I had no idea of the signifcance (sic) of the medals and had allways (sic) thought they were not real.
The photo was taken about 1998 and was part of a comercial (sic) photo shoot.
I was given the jacket with medals attached, the walking stick the dark glaseses (sic) and told how to pose etc.
I appoligise (sic) if I offended anyone and will never post this again.
Like all imposters we expose on this site, Bryant is a liar. The only thing Bryant is sorry for is the fact he was caught out. He now faces a mammoth task, trying to convince all of his family and friends that he is not a Vietnam Veteran at all, but only wore the medals as some sort of "photo shoot".
Also, the problem for his story, is that in the photograph that we have edited, two young ladies also appear either side of Bryant. However, they correctly wear ancestor’s medals on the right hand side. Would they have been given their coats and medals to wear as well for a “photo shoot?” Not likely.
Another problem for Bryant is that on his Face Book page he has posted the following entry on the 1 April, 2016.
April 1 •
I wore this with pride!!! so will post as often as I bloodywell like
From Andrea (surname deleted) - You have a lot to be proud of Stan.
From Sue (surname deleted) - Yes, you should and Andrea is right , you do.
From Val (surname deleted) - Go for it.
So by his own admission, Bryant was claiming false Vietnam service in the Australian Army in 1998 when the original photograph was taken, up until the above Face Book entry with the supportive comments from his friends, Andrea, Sue and Val, who obviously believe his lies in 2016. Bryant has therefore been a Vietnam Veteran Imposter since 1998, or 18 years. So much for his "photo shoot excuse."
Following our communication with Bryant, he has now removed his Face Book page photo, where he wears purchased Vietnam medals, and all the praiseworthy comments from his friends, along with it.
Stan Bryant, you are a low life military imposter, who steals the honour of all those who have been to war, and those who have been awarded the Military Medal, both living and deceased.
You have never laced up an Australian Army boot, and you would have no idea what servicemen and women endure to qualify for the medals that you illegally wear.
Bryant has committed offences under the Defence Act 1903, Sections 80A and 80B in falsely representing himself to be a returned serviceman and wearing military medals that have not been awarded to him. These offences each carry a $3,000 fine and or six months imprisonment.
Bryant, you are more than worthy of having your name placed on this website forever.
John Mark Smets is 51 years of age. He resides at Arana Hills, a suburb of Brisbane. He had 21 years service in the Royal Australian Navy, where he performed the duties of a Combat Systems Operator. (Sonar) He discharged in 2004 as a Leading Seaman and then joined the RAN Reserves.
John Smets is Medal Cheat, a Valour Thief, a Fraud and a Love Rat. He has preyed on vulnerable generous women, who have believed his heroic war stories of being a Naval Clearance Diver, in Iraq and Afghanistan. He uses the disability of war caused Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder to convince these women to give him money and lodgings. When he cannot use them anymore, or they refuse to give him more cash, he moves on to next victim.
Below is a photograph of John Mark Smets.
In the above photograph, Smets is wearing the following medals -;
1. Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with 3 clasps. (East Timor – ICAT – Iraq 2003.) Entitled to AASM with one clasp only – East Timor.. He is not entitled to wear the ICAT clasp (International Coalition against terror) or the Iraq 2003 clasp.
2. Interfet Medal. - Entitled.
3. Afghanistan Medal. – Not entitled.
4. Iraq Medal – Not entitled.
5. Australian Service Medal (ASM) with 3 clasps. (Unknown) - Entitled to ASM with one clasp- Kuwait. Whatever the other two clasps are, he is not entitled to them.
6. Defence Force Service Medal with a 5 year clasp. (DFSM) - Entitled.
7. Australian Defence Force Medal. (ADM) - Entitled.
8. United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor Medal (UNTAET) – Not entitled.
Above his medal rack, Smets is wearing a Royal Australian Navy Parachute qualification badge. He is not entitled to wear this adornment. He never commenced or completed this course.
The image above is of the Royal Australian Navy’s Parachute Qualification Badge, awarded to sailors who have not completed the SAS selection and CT training cycle, but have completed para training and awarded the standard RAN parachutist wing. This includes the Clearance Divers who now form part of the east coast based TAG-E which is structured around the Sydney based 2 Commando Regiment.
He is also not entitled to wear the above blue coloured United Nations beret and hat badge.
Smets served on a number of ships during his RAN service as a Combat Systems Operator (Sonar). However, he never served in Iraq or Afghanistan in a prescribed war like period, and he is not entitled to wear those medals. He also did not serve for 90 consecutive days in East Timor to be eligible to wear the UNTAET medal.
The above medal is the un-awarded Iraq Medal.
The above medal is the un-awarded Afghanistan Medal.
The above medal is the un-awarded UNTAET medal.
UNAMET/UNTAET medal was established on 9 December 1999. The ribbon has two outer bands of UN blue, representing the UN presence in East Timor. Inside the two bands, there are two equal bars - closest to the blue, the bar is crimson, with the bar closest to the center being sunrise yellow. These colours represent the brilliant and spectacular sunrises and sunsets experienced in East Timor. The center of the ribbon is a band of white, traditionally the colour of peace and hope, the goal this Mission seeks to achieve. Qualifying time of service for the reception of UNAMET/UNTAET medal is 90 days.
Smets was never a Clearance Diver with the Royal Australian Navy. That statement is also false.
Smets has been an incorrigible liar for many years. We have been sent statutory declarations from a number of extremely generous women who invited him to live in their homes, because of his alleged acute battle fatigue and lack of finances.
We know that we have only touched the surface with these statutory declarations and we have been assured, that there are many other ladies out there, who are willing to provide further statutory declarations about this Fraud, and his despicable behaviour.
The statutory declarations we have been provided, detail outlandish lies by Smets to ladies to ingratiate himself with them, gain their trust and sympathy and then request financial assistance from them, that he never repays. This behaviour has continued over many years and he has left a trail of disheartened and angry people in his wake.
His lies include -;
• He was a qualified elite RAN Clearance Diver for 20 years.
• He was “dux” of his class at the Clearance Divers Course, and his name is engraved on their Honour Board.
• He became a RAN Clearance Diver Instructor and trained and tested potential clearance divers in Sydney Harbour.
• He served in war like theatres in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan as a RAN Clearance Diver.
• He shot a female in Afghanistan who was subsequently found to have explosives on her.
• Whilst in Afghanistan, he held down the femoral artery of a wounded colleague, and applied pressure for as long as he could, before watching his colleague die.
• He cleared IED’s (Improvised explosive devices) in Iraq and Afghanistan by laying on his stomach and scratching the ground with his fingers, to recover the device.
• He suffers acutely from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
• Due to the clandestine operations he was involved in, all his military records are classified as “Secret”, and they cannot be accessed by anyone.
• He was a RAN Clearance Diver during the Brisbane Floods.
• Although he has acute PTSD, he went to Bond University and qualified as a Solicitor and a Barrister. He came first in his Law Class.
• He is a qualified DVA Pension Officer and Advocate.
• He needs money to send the body of his recently deceased father back to Belgium to be placed in the family vault.
• He is suffering Testicular and prostate cancer, and needs money to pay for his ongoing treatment.
• He does not attend Anzac Day ceremonies now, as he gets too depressed.
We have also been advised by senior Redlands Returned & Services League (RSL) Sub Branch (Qld) officials, that Smets tried to ingratiate himself in their Sub Branch affairs. He claimed that he was a Barrister, and was giving advice on Department of Veterans Affairs pensions, to their members. Most of the time, the information supplied was was found to be incorrect. It was subsequently revealed that he was never a Barrister, a Solicitor, a qualified Pension Officer or an Advocate. He was immediately given the boot by the Redlands RSL, once his fraudulent claims were discovered.
Above are further recent photographs of Smets for the information of any other women or RSL Sub Branches, who could fall prey to John Mark Smets.
We welcome Mr Smets to the growing list of frauds, military imposters and love rats who appear on this site.
In the above photograph, Simone Campbell is shown, on ANZAC Day, 2015, wearing the Australian Defence Medal, and no campaign medals. She is missing the Defence Long Service Medal, which she was awarded, on 01 May 2010.
Campbell, after RAAF recruit training, went on to train as a clerk administrative. However, after a short time, she transferred to the steward mustering. Following a few years as a steward, she was accepted for crew attendant (flight steward) training. Campbell was then posted to Number 34 Squadron (34SQN), March 1999, as a crew attendant, on DA900 Falcon, VIP aircraft, ferrying members of the Federal Parliament, on their business activities. Subsequent to Campbell’s 34SQN posting, she was posted to 33SQN, as a crew attendant, on Boeing 707 aircraft.
Following several more postings, to ‘ground jobs’, Campbell resigned from the RAAF, on 04 August, 2008 and transferred to the RAAF Active Reserve, where she continues to serve, with the rank of sergeant.
On 11 January, 2016, an article appeared in the newspaper, the ‘Illawarra Mercury’, about Campbell’s exploits. In the article, she made some very unusual and interesting claims, about her RAAF service.
Excerpt from 'Illawarra Mercury':
‘Sergeant Simone Campbell was with the Royal Australian Air Force for 17 years and flew on missions in and out of Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor. And was a member of support teams following the Bali bombings and tsunamis. She has personally endured many challenges. Now the work she does with youth and some of the six million Australians who suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is helping many.’
Further in the article, Simone claims:
‘In September 1999 her aircraft was loaded with Special Forces bound for East Timor. It landed at night between two mountains and with no runway lights. She could see shots being fired. She did that for the next six months and learned to live with fear.
That was followed by support missions after the Bali bombings and tsunamis before being sent to the War on Terror. When she finally returned she found it hard to re-adjust. “I had to find ways to control the memories. I do have night terrors. Living with the horrors of what you have seen…is quite traumatic.”
Analysis of Claims:
Campbell claims that, in September 1999, her aircraft was loaded with Special Forces troops, bound for East Timor;
In fact, in August 1999, Campbell was on conversion course, at 34SQN, Canberra. The DA 900 Falcon aircraft, which she was training for, was not involved in any East Timor tasks. Actually, the Boeing 707 aircraft, of 33SQN, her much later posting, were engaged in ferrying SF troops from Townsville to Darwin only, where the B707 tasks terminated. Those tasks were then taken over, by 36SQN and 37SQN, C130 Hercules aircraft. Further, on 19 October 1999, Campbell had just completed the four week, RAAF Combat Survival course. Something does not add up, with her timing.
Campbell’s claims, of seeing ‘tracer bullets’, and landing between two hills, are pure fantasy, as she was never there.
We hold evidence, from an earlier and unrelated investigation, where a former senior Australian Army member, who was deployed in East Timor between 16 September, 1999 and 21 April, 2000, who has stated:
“I was there from 16 September 1999 to 21 April 2000. If there was any small arms fire (separate to the shot fired at a runaway prisoner), I must have slept through it."
"Timor kicked off on 16 September 1999 and Dili (and the surrounding areas) were secure by 23 September 1999. I can tell you that the entire area, including the airport, was secure.”
Campbell’s other claims of being in Iraq and Afghanistan, are a total fabrication. There is no evidence that she was ever posted to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO).
The ‘Defence Act 1903, Part 80A’ states:
‘Falsely representing to be returned soldier, sailor or airman
(1) A person commits 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.’
The first Bali bombing occurred on 12 October, 2002. One month prior, to the bombing, 10 September, 2002, Campbell was posted to 285SQN, a training squadron at RAAF Base Richmond.
The second Bali bombing, occurred on 1 October 2005 and, at that time, Campbell was posted to Headquarters, Air Command, at Glenbrook, NSW, to be the valet, to the Air Commander Australia. That posting was effective on 10 January, 2005, well before the second Bali bombing. Which Bali bombing are you referring to, Sgt Campbell, as neither fit your timeline?
Another of Campbell’s claims, is her involvement in the ‘Boxing Day Tsunami’, which occurred on 26 December, 2004. On 10 January, 2005, Campbell went on the ‘ground’ posting, mentioned above. At that stage, the 33SQN Boeing 707 aircraft were not yet involved in ‘Operation Sumatra Assist’, subsequent to the tsunami and, when they were involved, such a large aircraft would have been restricted to major, undamaged airfields, nowhere near the devastation.
Campbell’s claims are categorised as valour theft, by ‘gilding the lily’. However, to make such claims is distorting the truth, and manipulating the facts, to suit her personal agenda.
Campbell was asked to provide evidence of her involvement, in what she claims, by sending scans of her ‘Aircrew Flying Log Book’, which would have solved the matter, outright. Unfortunately, she refused to do so. Aircrew log books have no security classification, whatsoever.
The full article, in the ‘Illawarra Mercury’, is at:
Members of the Australian Defence Force, police, fire and ambulance services, put their lives on the line, every day. Do they boast about it? No way – they just get on with the job. The point is that they have plenty to boast about, but choose not to. ANZMI have found, with vast experience, that those who have done the least boast the most.
There must be something in the Wollongong water, as another fitness instructor, Lee Thomas Carr, also appears on ANZMI, for telling tall stories about his ‘nothing’.
Maybe Carr and Campbell should get together and swap war stories.
Simone Elaine Campbell: There is no doubt that you have served your country well, during your RAAF service, and have contributed to your community, with your involvement in assisting people with emotional problems.
Unfortunately, you have made false claims about active service, in East Timor and the MEAO, to enhance your standing in the community, and to influence people to attend your training classes, by inventing non-existent 'heroics'. Because of that deception, you will remain, in these pages, for a very long time.
Anthony John (Tony) Flaherty, was born on the 5 May, 1944 at Renmark in South Australia. He is the current Mayor of the District Council of Mallala, South Australia, having been elected to this position in early 2016.
He resides in Two Wells, a small town, 40 kilometres north of Adelaide. He is the President of the Two Wells Returned and Services League (RSL) Sub Branch. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2005. He is also the Mallala Citizen of the year 2016.
Flaherty is a glory hunter and a valour thief, who has for at least 46 years, been relating to others, outrageous lies to convince them that he is a Vietnam War Hero.
As a result of these preposterous lies, he was voted in as Mayor of that District in 2008 and again in 2016.
He is now seeking high office within the RSL South Australia State Branch as a State Board Member. He is asking for support from South Australian State RSL executives and members to vote for him at their next upcoming State Board election.
Tony Flaherty is a long time fraud.
Included on his personal resume for election to that office, he has claimed, inter alia, the following -;
TONY FLAHERTY OAM JP
• Regular Army 13 years.
• Army Reserve 10 years.
• Active Service Malaya 1967 – 1969. 8 RAR.
• Vietnam 1969 -1970. Served with 8 RAR in Long Hai Mountains. Operation Hammersley, Platoon Commander role, 8 Platoon, C Company, liaison appointment US Forces at Long Dien.
Tony Flaherty enlisted in the Australian Regular Army about 1963. Following Recruit Training he was selected for Australian Army Catering Corps duty as a Cook. He progressed through the Catering Corps ranks and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
He claims Active Service in 8 RAR (8 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment) Malaya from 1967 – 1969. At this time, he was a member of the Australian Army Catering Corps and not an Infantry Battalion. He was never a member of the 8 Battalion RAR in Malaya. That statement is a lie.
Australian Active Service for Malaya concluded on the 30 September, 1967 and not 1969. Therefore, he did not have active service in Malaya. That statement is also a lie.
In any case, 8 RAR arrived in Malaya in October, 1967. If he was attached to 8 RAR at the time, it was as a Cook in the Catering Corps.
Flaherty was subsequently posted to the then Republic of South Vietnam on the 19 November, 1969. He completed his tour and returned to Australia on the 5 November, 1970.
The above document is a copy of the Vietnam Nominal Roll entry for Anthony John Flaherty.
Flaherty was posted to Vietnam as a Sergeant, with the duties of a Cook, Australian Army Catering Corps. He was attached to 8 RAR during his time there. He was never a member of 8 RAR., or any other Infantry Battalion on this posting, or any other posting during his entire Army service.
He falsely claims that he served with 8 RAR in the Long Hai Mountains on Operation Hammersly in Vietnam as a Platoon Commander. Another lie.
In early 1970 8 RAR took part in Operation Hammersley, a reconnaissance operation in the Long Hải area. This operation began on 10 February and on 18 February it captured a large bunker complex after the Vietnamese Communist defenders withdrew following air raids. The operation continued until 9 March, with the battalion carrying out patrols and conducting ambushes in order to engage Communist troops. These operations were successful, and 8 RAR was awarded the South Vietnamese Government's Meritorious Unit Commendation, including Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation for its role in the operation.
In the above photograph Flaherty can be seen wearing the South Vietnam Government's Cross of Gallantry, with Palm Unit Citation ribbon decoration. (Right side of coat lapel) He is also wearing the Australian Infantry Combat Badge above his medals.
With regard to Operation Hammersley, members of 8 Battalion RAR used hard (field) rations from tins and packets during this operation.
There was no requirement for an Executive Chef or Maitre D where these men were fighting. They were engaged in heavy contact with the enemy in the Long Hai Mountains.
Alas, our highly trained fighting machine Tony Flaherty was not with them on this occasion, and certainly not leading any Platoons of hardened Infantrymen, as he claims.
As indicated, Flaherty also wears the Australian Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) with his medals in addition to the South Vietnamese Governments Meritorious Unit Commendation mentioned above -;
The Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) is awarded to serving members of the Australian Army for service as an Infantryman in warlike operations.
The ICB was first established in July 1970 for recognition of infantry service in battle or on operations, following the decision of the Military Board in January 1970. The role of the infantry is to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and to hold ground, to repel attack, by night and day, regardless of season, weather or terrain. The purpose of the ICB is to recognize this unique role and the particular training, skills and hardships attendant upon service as an infantryman. In exceptional circumstances, the ICB may be awarded to members of other corps, where they have qualified for it as infantrymen.[1
Any member of the Australian Army who:
• was on continuous full-time service as an infantryman at the time of deployment;
• has given satisfactory service as an infantryman;
• has served either a continuous or an aggregate of 90 days satisfactory service on warlike operations for a single deployment or operation; and
• has not been previously issued the ICB.
Under exceptional circumstances, the Approval Authority may approve the issue of the ICB to members on exchange/attachment duties for service with allied units who meet the criteria, and/or to members who would have met the criteria had they not been killed, wounded, disabled or evacuated.
Flaherty does not meet any of the above criteria.
Since Flaherty posted his resume for the RSL State Board election up on the internet, there has been a furious reaction by former senior Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officers, who were attached to 8 RAR at the time of the Battalion’s deployment to Vietnam, and who were directly involved in Operation Hammersley.
We have been forwarded copies of Statements from very concerned former senior members of the Battalion, who state the following, inter alia -;
1. (excerpts Witness 1) Sgt Flaherty was a Sgt Cook and a good one. However,. He was jealous of his peer group wishing to acquire the stature and involvement of an infantry soldier and not as a cook. Though he desired and made no secret about it, Sgt Flaherty never commanded a unit or su¬b unit of C Coy in Vietnam. If he is doing this then it is purely his desires and imagination and it is not true.
2. (excerpts Witness 2) This bloke has been making claims that he ‘commanded’ platoons of C Coy 8RAR for many years. He has even some how wangled, I believe, to get himself issued the ICB despite being posted to 8 RAR, as xxxxx has advised, as a cook. Regarding his claim to have commanded 8 Pl on Op Hammersley, pages 52 and 53 of The Grey Eight in Vietnam, 8 RAR’s unit history, clearly show Lt Chris Sinclair leading men of 8 Platoon as xxxxx has quite rightly stated.
3. (excerpts Witness 3) I have read Tony Flaherty’s claim that he was a Platoon Commander of 8 Pl on Operation Hamersley and find it totally offensive to all who served in that platoon. My memory of these events are clear and I recall that 8 Platoon consisted of Chris Sinclair as Platoon Commander, xxxxxxxx as Platoon Sergeant with Chad Sherrin, ‘Opie’ O’Brien and xxxxxxx as Section Commanders.
4. (excerpts Witness 4)) I served for 30 years in the Infantry Corps and served on active service with C Company 8 RAR as a section commander with 9 Platoon C Company for the entire tour in 1969-¬70. I am concerned of the continuing statements that Ex Sgt Tony Flaherty of the Royal Australian Army Catering Corps (RAACC)is making regarding his war service record, he has made these statements for many years and has been the cause of many discussions amongst the C Company veterans. My memory is clear that Sgt Tony Flaherty was the C Company Sgt Cook and definitely did not serve in any capacity, command or other with 8 Platoon OR ANY OTHER PLATOON at any stage of the tour. The only time that I saw Sgt Flaherty on Operation Hammersley in February 1970 was to visit the 9 Platoon ambush position on the morning of 16th February with the CHQ group after a large action that resulted in a large number of enemy killed. Sgt Flaherty arrived and spent the majority of the short time that the CHQ was there taking MANY photos of the dead enemy until he was advised to stop. I am aware that Sgt Flaherty did accompany some TAOR patrols from the main base at Nui Dat when the company was on operations as part of Rear Details.
Witness 4 states that, “I am aware Sgt Flaherty did accompany some TAOR (Tactical Area of Responsibility) patrols from the main base at Nui Dat when the Company was on operations as part of rear details”
At most, even if Flaherty did accompany some perimeter patrols around the base, he was certainly not on full time duty as an Infantryman at the time of his deployment, and did not serve a continuous or aggregate of 90 days on deployment or operation. (as an Infantryman) He has no entitlement to wear the ICB whatsoever.
These infrequent functions were commonly known as “swannies” in Vietnam. Accompanying trained Infantrymen to patrol a perimeter"outside the wire" as a “rear detail” on a few “swannies” does not justify his wearing of an ICB.
Another witness has provided documentary evidence that at his acceptance speech for the 2016 Mallala Citizen of the Year award, Flaherty informed the gathering, how “he was on Patrol in Vietnam in command of his 8 Battalion RAR Platoon, when it came under heavy enemy fire, and that he had to personally call in artillery support to save the day”. Another lie.
Flaherty was also called to account regarding his false claims, by a former 8 RAR member, who had been seriously wounded in combat in Vietnam. He is still suffering the effects of his injuries.
In this regard, we have another signed statement -;
(Excerpts Witness 5.) “You will note in all cases the individuals making these statements in regards to Flaherty’s claims in two cases highly decorated for gallantry, and in all cases went on and enjoyed commissioned rank. It would be very foolish of the RSL to ignore these statements after complaints had been made by xxxxxxxxxx and a seriously wounded member of that platoon. More so that Flaherty through a Director of the RSL called the wounded soldier a liar. The battle scars carried by this soldier is a bit more factual than the fantasies and stolen valor of ex Sgt Flaherty. Reports indicate that Flaherty has been living this lie for some 46 years and it must be stopped. Stolen valor and false claims of this kind are an insult to those that have done the hard yards, lost close friends, been wounded and in some cases decorated for their actions and this individual is not fit to walk in their shadow let along (sic) be appointed a director of the RSL”.
Flaherty claims on his resume a “Liaison appointment to US Forces at Long Dien”. This is just another outright lie. Can you possibly imagine an Australian Army Cook with the rank of Sergeant being appointed to liaise with United States Army Forces personnel at Long Dien. Maybe he was swapping recipes with our American allies and advising them how to cook up some bangers and mash with damper. Glory be!!!
It is beyond belief that this imposter can steal the valour of so many honourable Australian Infantry soldiers for so long. And not just those still living.
He is an absolute disgrace and should be booted out of the South Australia RSL completely, let alone being appointed to the State Board of the S.A. State RSL Branch, where he would create further disgrace to that organisation, if elected.
He should resign from his Mallalla Mayoral duties immediately, and hand back his 2016 Citizen of the Year award. The Mallala Council and community should notify the office of the Governor General, Canberra, to take action in regards to the Order of Australia award he was presented.
Flaherty needs to publically apologise to all 8 Battalion RAR personnel, particularly the former wounded soldier he offended, all Vietnam Veterans in general, the constituents who voted him in as Mayor, all the members of the Two Wells RSL Sub Branch, and the RSL South Australia State Branch.
He should just then resign all positions he holds. He has no credibility.
In fairness to Flaherty, we sent him three emails, to offer him an opportunity to provide evidence of his claims, or explain his version of the allegations made against him.
We have received no reply.
We continue to expose executive office holders of RSL Sub Branch positions in Australia as being frauds. RSL New South Wales under the new leadership of State President Rod White and CEO Glenn Kolomeitz are trying to do something about it.
Lets hope they get some support.
We look forward to completing an update of this valour thief and imposter in the near future.