Stolen Valour

Stolen Valour

Surname: Keaton
Christian Names: Graham Frederick
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Unknown
Service: Army
Branch: Storeman
Case Notes:

KEATON, Graham (or Grahame) Frederick. ex- 217183. Born 1948.
This man was photographed at a dining in night with an Air Force Cadets unit while wearing the Infantry Combat Badge and the General Service Medal, he is not entitled to either. 
He says he was an Infantry Sergeant in Vietnam with the Third Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, when in fact he was a Temporary Corporal storeman and served his tour in the relative safety of his 25 Supply Platoon store at Vung Tau with the occasional visit to Nui Dat.  January 1968 to January 1969.

 

Graham(e) Frederick Keaton (217183) served in Vietnam with RAASC (Royal Australian Army Service Corps) as a Technical Storeman.
We appreciate the way he hitched up the left sleeve of his Mess Dress jacket to clearly display his miniature medals and ICB  for the photo but he was not an Infantry Soldier nor is there even a remote chance that he spent time serving outside the wire on warlike operations in an Infantry-like role. Therefore he is not entitled to wear the coveted Infantry Combat Badge.

The second medal on his breast, from your left, is the General Service Medal 1962-66. The problems being that the entitlement for this award ceased on 28 May 1964 for Vietnam service and 11 August 1966 for Borneo and the Malay Peninsular.

Keaton didn't serve in any of these countries and also,  didn't join the Army until 21 November 1966.
The last three medals are self purchased trinkets worn for the purpose of extending the row of a Vietnam Veteran and impressing the uninitiated.  Keaton is a wannabe who impressed the said uninitiated and got away with it for a long time.

This website has been closed downbut the information below was obtained beforehand.

 http://www.aafc.adfc.gov.au/221sqn/fsgtkeaton.htm

FLIGHT SERGEANT (AAFC) GRAHAM KEATON
FSGT (AAFC) Keaton joined the Australian Air Force Cadets as an instructor of cadets in 1992. Starting his staff position with the rank of Corporal (AAFC) due to previous service with the military.
Flight Sergeant (AAFC) Keaton served in the Royal Australian Army Infantry from 1966 through to 1972 attaining the rank of Sergeant. In January 1968, SGT Keaton was posted to Vietnam, fighting with 3 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and survived the tour to return a year later.

[We understand that the ambiguous "to return a year later" refers to him returning to Australia, not Vietnam] 

We have copies of Keaton's Army records which were obtained in June 2004 from National Archives by an executive member of the RAASC Association who noted that there were no entries regarding Keaton's claimed service with 3RAR in Vietnam or service in Borneo-Malaya. This search was prompted by a Veteran who was obviously very interested in Keaton's claims but he decided to let the matter rest for a while. 

The fact remains that Keaton was a Lance Corporal/Temporary Corporal, Technical Storeman in Vietnam and served from January 1968 to January 1969 with 25 Supply Platoon, RAASC.
RAASC was the Royal Australian Army Service Corps, the storemen, the drivers, the deliverymen. They were vital logistic support soldiers but not combatants in the true sense of the word.

Keaton wanted to continue on in the Army with Service Corps after his posting to Singapore in November 1970 but this was vetoed in May 1972, he returned to Australia in August 1972.
His Army service was so inglorious that another entry was made in his records.

"NOT TO BE RE-ENLISTED - BY AHQ (Army Headquarters) DIRECTION"   Dated 29 November 1972.

He must have really fouled up during his Singapore posting, he was virtually booted out of the Army still a Temporary Corporal.

Keaton was recently promoted to Wing Warrant Officer. Here are the details as published by the AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE CADETS, February 2006.

WOFF(AAFC) G. Keaton 8021558 HQ2WGAAFC is appointed Wing Warrant Officer
2WGAAFC (WGWOFF 2WGAAFC) WEF 1 Feb 06 until 31 Dec 08 inclusive with an option for a further two year appointment until 31 Dec 10 exercised at the discretion of OC2WGAAFC.
AUTH: CDR-AAFC.


The workload for a man in this position, Wing Warrant Officer,  would be quite hefty, the criteria for promotion to the rank are well documented and we have a copy of the duty statement. He's considered to be unable to work and is in receipt of a DVA pension due to this, we find it odd that he couldn't find a civilian job with even less work pressure...................or did he?

Keaton's posing was brought to the attention of high ranking Air Force Cadets Officers in 2004 but they did nothing in the hope that the problem would "simply go away".........It didn't.

This sort of behaviouris inexplicable and could be viewed by some as aiding and abetting wannabe behaviour, for a senior officer to be aware of such a problem and do nothing borders on disrespect for the veteran community.

21 March 2006

We delayed publishing the following for a few reasons, one of them being that we were waiting for a newspaper report on Keaton and his former boss at 2 Wing AAFC. The article can be viewed below.

"Wing Commander" BAIN will appear in his own story on our Cases page soon.

This is published in the interests of fair play and allowing all War Veterans, particularly Vietnam War Veterans, to accept or reject the apology to the Veteran Community at large

We received three apologies [two almost identical] from Grahame Keaton on Monday 13 March 06, 48 hours after we published information on his activities.   The first is to the Veteran Community, the second must be to Australian Air Force Cadets units and the third to a RAASC Association of which he is a member.

A policy statement from our INFO page.

What if an impersonator repents?

In the case of civilians who wear military honours and awards to which they have no entitlement, they are permanent residents of the site. In the case of genuine vets who embellish their service and wear unentitled honours and awards, their stories are only removed from the site when three criteria are met;

  1. They offer a written apology to the veteran community at large, and

  2. They offer a written apology to their unit/ship/muster

  3. The offended Veterans accept the apology.

Once those conditions are met, the story is removed from the site.

Mr. Keaton has complied with points 1 & 2. Point 3 is now up to you.

All comments received at information@anzmi.netup to 1200hrs 20 April 06 will be taken into account.

From: Grahame Keaton
Sent: Monday, 13 March 2006 5:08 PM
To: information@anzmi.net
Subject: Grahame Keaton

Sir

1        Yes I am guilty of wearing  "tin medals" (miniature) at the Dining In Night I was lead to believe that these  could be worn but when I found out at a later date that they could not be worn with the awarded ones they  were gotten rid of.  I am also guilty of weraing non awarded medals as If memory serves me right I was actually doing an assessment of Basic stage cadets  in Service Knowledge as I asked them prior to this night to  watch for things that were wrong with dress etc. In foresight maybe I should not of worn  the wrong ones and only wore the real  ones on the wrong side, as I say I plead guilty to this and on reflection am a  fool

2        Yes I am guilty of the things written in 221 Sqn Web site as I believed that the cadets were actually "hamming it up" doing interviews about  everyone as the cadets were really laying it on thick about each other and as a result I joined the fray and hammed it up as well, unfortunately things must of gotten out of hand and as I have never seen the site they must of written what I had said

3        I appologise to the Veteran Community for these acts of stupidity and am now aware of the rules etc to the wearing of  "purchased medals" after carefully reading  the articles written.

4        I also wish to  appologise to my comerades at 25 Supply  5 Coy RAASC for these acts of stupidity as well.

5         As a result of these actions I have resigned from the AAFC immediately and appologised to the OC  for  my actions

Regards

Grahame Keaton

Monday 13 March 06.
 

Letter of Apology to Unit

 

I Grahame Keaton ex T/Cpl  RAASC wish to apologise for my inexcusable behaviour  by wearing non issue medals and comments made by me.

I have let my family, the Veteran Community  my comrades and my former RAASC units that I served in and myself down  by doing this.

My stupidity has caused me to resign from the AAFC and stand down as Wing Woff 2 Wing AAFC.

Once again I cannot appologise enough  for the embarresment caused by me to all veterans  and my family.

I am now aware of the rules in wearing foreign, tin and non awarded medals and apologise once again.

Thank you

Grahame Keaton

Monday 13 March 06
 

Letter of Apology

 

 

I Grahame Keaton ex T/Cpl  RAASC wish to apologise for my inexcusable behaviour  by wearing non issue medals and comments made by me.

I have let my family, the Veteran Community  my comrades and myself down  by doing this.

My stupidity has caused me to resign from the AAFC and stand down as Wing Woff 2 Wing AAFC.

Once again I cannot appologise enough  for the embarresment caused by me to all veterans  and my family.

I am now aware of the rules in wearing foreign, tin and non awarded medals and apologise once again.

Thank you

Grahame Keaton

ANZMI C0MMENTS.

Mr. Keaton has not been totally honest in these apologies .

With reference to why he wore non awarded medals; he makes this appear to be a one-off event , a training exercise, when in fact he hadbeen seen to wear the ribbons of the medals on many occasions while in service dress. He makes no definite mention of the Infantry Combat Badge he wore with the ribbons while impersonating a qualified Infantryman, which he did on every occasion he wore the ribbon bar with ICB , not onlythat one night.

Keaton's activities were reported to the 2 Wing OC in 2004 and while heordered the matter to be dropped, we must imagine that Keaton had to front the OC and explain himself.  We find it hard to believe that he has never seen the web site and his "bio".  As for "hamming it up" with the Cadets (point 2, 1st apology) we have a report of Keaton claiming he had " entered a tunnel and shot some VC".  He stated this at a completely different time, not at the supposed "interview" session.    

Keaton has actually resigned but we'll have to wait and see if the illegal wearing of the General Service Medal  62-66 is swept under the carpet by the AAFC............ again.

It appears that Keaton believes his greatest mistake was wearing what we refer to as Tin Medals, purchased trinkets. We did touch on these briefly in the main story but deemed them to be so unimportant to the overall exposure that we didn't even bother to name them.  We must make one thing abundantly clear, Keaton does not appear on our web site for wearing "purchased medals"

The only hard and fast rule about wearing "Tin" with awarded decorations is the rule of common sense.

Keaton says he is now aware of the "rules" about wearing non awarded decorations butthey are actually Federal laws which could see him charged with the offence , ie wearing the GSM 62-66 while in the uniform of an Australian Defence Force sanctioned and controlled Air Force Cadet unit.

If found guilty he would face maximum penalties of $3,300 and/or six months gaol.

One "rule" he was aware of, and disregarded, was that while in receipt of a pension for disability he shouldn't have been working in a civilian type job as well. We imagine that the Department of Veteran's Affairs will have something to say about this.

 

It's now up to the Veteran Community and the War Veterans of the AAFC units and relevant associations to accept or reject Mr. Keaton's apologies.

 

29 Apr 2006
 

The thirty day deadline for responses to Keaton's apologies has expired and we allowed extra time for late responses.  
Of twelve respondents, 9 have rejected them outright.  [ this number does not include people attached to ANZMI ] 
1 is not sure .
1 accepts but doesn't think they're genuine...??
1 is reluctant to accept.
 
Accordingly, the Grahame Keaton story will remain on our website for the term of his natural life.
More information on Keaton and his posing will undoubtedly be received and will be published as updates.
If the new penalties for wearing unauthorised service medals are imposed, he should face heavy fines and-or imprisonment.
 
Should you discover a flagrant wannabe in your midst such as KEATON, ask your State Police to charge him with the offences because the Federal Police will do absolutely nothing, calling on them for action is a futile exercise. 
Contact us for the appropriate Act under which these people may be charged.
ANZMI

28 May 2006

In KEATON'S apologies he stated that he wore the General Service Medal and Infantry Combat Badge (ICB)   only for the reason of training Cadets. We don't know how many people may have believed this story but recently we found some photographs on the 221 Squadron web site dating back to 1994 that completely deny this absurd claim.
This one for example which appears to be the most recent photo of him in uniform.

    

Above right. His miniature medals from what appears to have been an earlier date.

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.

 

Surname: Hawkins
Christian Names: Peter Stanley
Country: Australia
State or Province: Unknown
City or Town: Unknown
Service: RAAF
Case Notes:

Peter Hawkins enlisted into the RAAF, 10 Feb 1967, served as an Airfield Defence Guard at Ubon, Thailand,  arriving 15th Dec  1967 returning to Australia after 6 months on compassionate grounds.  On return he remustered as a Physical Training Instructor serving in numerous units as expected of a long serving member of the RAAF and then he eventually remustered again finishing his career as a Warrant Officer, Discipline. WO(D)

An Airman of such standing and integrity, someone young Airmen & women could look up to and to aspire to become, a role model for the young officers to emulate, someone who's leadership they could epitomize.

A WO(D) is the equivalent of a Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) in the Army and above we have described some of the attributes that can/should be expected from such a person.

Warrant Officers' are often charged with the duty of Guardian, preserving and enshrining the traditions and history of their Unit and Service. Such a person only receives this appointment because he was held in high esteem. One would think that after taking the uniform off he would have maintained such dignity.

Not so for Peter Stanley Hawkins, it is alleged that on occasions, he has embellished his service with stories that are far fetched but, as these cannot be substantiated we will not go into details, unless of course a reader of this can confirm and substantiate any such stories.

He claims to have served in South Vietnam as seen on an application to transfer from one RSL Sub Branch to another below.
 



 

Peter Hawkins, you have been caught out wearing the Vietnam Medal and Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with clasps Vietnam which, you are not entitled to.  You have been caught wearing what appears to be Tin at the end of your medals rack as well.  If you must wear tin to enhance your service then the appropriate area to wear them would be on the right breast and well below any NOK medals you may be able to wear.



  



Why would a man with such an exemplary career would resort to embellishing and tarnishing his long service is something we here at ANZMI cannot fathom. It is the actions of a fool, one who needs help.  If you need to dress yourself up to be something you are not after a 35 year career it possibly indicates a low esteem and dissatisfaction within yourself.

You should have been proud to wear the Australian Active Service Medal with clasp Thailand, the Defence Force Service Medal with 20, 25, 30, & 35 year clasps and the National Medal. There should be no reason to embellish your career as those medals speak for themselves.

Peter Stanley Hawkins, you once were a leading example of integrity, a founding member of the Blue Eagles where you are held in high regard.  You have let your peers down and you have insulted veterans who do not need to embellish themselves.

Under the Defence Act 1903 you were appointed to the rank of Warrant Officer and to carefully and diligently discharge your duty as required by Military Law and to conduct yourself in a manner to ensure respect for lawful authority and to uphold the honourable tradition of the rank, "Warrant Officer".

Under the Defence Act, something you would have advised on and were required to administer, it is an offence to wear medals one is not entitled to. By wearing these medals you are not entitled to, you have shown contempt and disregard to all your former peers and fellow veterans and dishonoured yourself. Remove these medals from your rack before you perpetuate your dishonour.

Peter Stanley Hawkins was sent a letter from ANZMI asking him to prove his entitlement to wear these medals. He was also given an opportunity to repent and apologise to the veteran community. He did neither instead he chose to ignore the letter.

Peter now resides here and the "war service" he claims is now available to the world.

29th May 2011

 

We have managed to identify the un-official tin medal that Peter Stanley Hawkins is wearing as well as other RAAF personnel who also wear it. The medal is known as the Ubon Medal, a worthless medal obliviously struck up by ex RAAF persons that served at the RAAF Base Ubon Thailand during the Vietnam War.

Whoever designed the medal should have chosen a different ribbon for two reasons; the first is that the colours chosen are that of the Thai National Flag. Using the colours of a National flag to make up worthless piece of junk for these glory hunters to make them selves look like they are some kind of heroes by wearing extra medals they are not entitled to, is an insult to service personnel who have earned their official medals.

The second and this is just as insulting more so to the Thai people is the ribbon had been used for an official Thai medal in 1933 named “The Safeguarding the Constitution Medal” and was awarded to those who assisted in suppression of the 1933 rebellion against the constitution and the newly formed constitutional monarchy of 1932.

On the observe is a radiant two-tiered pedestal bearing the Constitution within a floreate wreath. On the Reverse is the deity Pra Siam Taewathirat (Lord Protector of Siam).

The top bar is inscribed in Thai “Sacrificing Your Life” and on the suspension “For The Country”

Our recommendation to these ex RAAF personnel, who wear the medal, is to remove it as it is highly offensive to the people of Thailand. It should also not be worn with official awarded medals.

You will see in the photograph taken in 2007 in Perth other ex RAAF personnel wearing the same tin medal and one member has it mounted in front of an official medal. Obviously some ex RAAF personnel have no knowledge re the protocol of the wearing medals which does not say much for their pride or intelligence.

 

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth obtained from Service records.

 

Surname: Donovan
Christian Names: Steven James
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Ipswich
Case Notes:

Steven James Donovan is now purporting to be a spokesman for a group who are calling themselves the "Sydney Discovery Project", and putting forward some dubious claims of knowledge of the location of the HMAS Sydney, sunk in mysterious circumstances off the West Australian coast in 1941.

Their alleged "known" location is hundreds of kilometres away from the area generally accepted by long standing researchers to be the actual site.

 

Enquiries about Donovan and the Sydney Discovery Project have brought to light a number of media reports and statements from ANZMI supporters about some of the bizarre activities of Steven James Donovan.

In Brisbane's "Courier Mail" on 24 April 2002, the paper reported that the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) declined to prosecute Donovan for wearing bogus military decorations. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) confiscated the bogus medals and sent a brief of evidence to the DPP, who eventually decided not to prosecute Donovan. The DPP decision drew criticism from the Queensland RSL. The newspaper goes on to state that in May 2001, Donovan was accused of stealing a statue of a Fallen Soldier from an Ipswich memorial, then hacking down plants that he later claimed were "obscuring the view" of another monument, and defacing a sandstone memorial by painting it with coloured paint, effectively ruining the sandstone.

Another report from the "Courier Mail" on 7 February 2005, details how Donovan contributed articles to a locally funded colour brochure entitled "Ipswich's Wartime History in Our Streets".

The brochure had to be withdrawn after printing because of factual errors made in the brochure. Donovan claimed he was not the sole contributor and denied any knowledge of the errors. The chairman of Ipswich Heritage (and town councillor) Paul Tully, said that it was astounding that Mr Donovan, an impostor well known to genuine Ipswich veterans, was ever consulted or allowed to contribute to such an important historical document.

ANZMI has statements from persons who verify that over at least four years, Donovan has made many and varied claims to military service, including being a commissioned officer in the Special Air Service

(SAS) and as a peacekeeper in Cambodia, Somalia, and Western Sahara.

Steven James Donovan's real military career is somewhat less glamorous than his inflated claims. His records show:

Service Number: 183101

Enlisted: 27 January 1985

Discharged: 15 February 1994

Rank and Unit on Discharge: Trooper, 2nd Cavalry Regiment. (Private soldier equivalent)

There is nothing to suggest that Donovan's real military service was anything other than honourable, and once again we see a genuine serviceman who should be proud of contribution to Australia attempting to enhance his service with fanciful claims and false medals.

Steven Donovan has again appeared in the public eye, this time purporting to represent a group called "Sydney Discovery Project" and has made claims that he knows the location of the wreck of HMAS Sydney, sunk in 1941. He has approached the Curator of WA's Maritime Museum with his claims, however the Museum is reluctant to accept these claims without further proof.

The claims that this group knows the location of HMAS Sydney go back some time. Among the public records are mentions of "Sydney Discovery Project" on the ABC's "Stateline" program in South Australia on 11 March 2005. This program was repeated in Queensland on 1 April 2005, essentially unchanged from the SA edition. In the TV interview, Dr Mike McCarthy, of WA Maritime Museum states that the group has not provided the museum with any verifiable information, and whilst not dismissing the claims out of hand, he is waiting on further information from the Group.

Again and more recently, on 17 January 2006 the "Bulletin" weekly news magazine published a letter to the editor written by "S. J. Donovan, Sydney Discovery Project, Brisbane Qld" with more opinions on the fate of HMAS Sydney.

The location of the wreck of HMAS Sydney and the fate of the 645 crew is a matter of national concern, and even more important to the families of the deceased crew members. The Sydney Discovery Project is one of the many organisations, both official and private, that are researching the true facts. When one of these groups has a spokesman who is a known military impostor, it would be very prudent to demand concrete evidence of that group's findings before allocating public funds to them, and raising hopes of families who have never learned the fate of their loved one.

Recent advice from the Office of Australian War Graves confirms that ownership of the wreck of the HMAS Sydney is vested with the Australian Government in line with Australian legislation and the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) even if the shipwreck is found in international waters.

Australian States have a system of control under the Historic Shipwrecks Act, 1976 and are responsible for monitoring access to these sites.

In addition, the Minister for Environment and Heritage has publicly stated his intention to immediately declare HMAS Sydney an historic shipwreck and a protected zone as soon as the actual site is discovered.

A reputable search group is currently analysing data from an extensive aerial search.

If any person or group, including Donovan's, has intentions of exploiting the wreck site or somehow gaining financial advantage from either government funding, salvage rights, or commercial dive use, they will be badly disappointed.

 

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the  Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.

 

Surname: Sangster
Christian Names: Perry Stuart
Country: Australia
State or Province: Unknown
City or Town: Unknown
Service: Citizen Military Forces
Case Notes:
 

 

Perry Stuart (Lofty) SANGSTER has associated with veterans for many years, as a member of various motor cycle groups in the Northern Territory and South Australia, including the H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) in Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide, Australia Patriots M/C and Southern Cross M/C.  Sangster has regaled members of these clubs with stories of his extraordinary service in South Vietnam, with the SAS (Special Air Service) and the U.S. 5th Airborne, and of the war wounds he received to his back and legs.

His further claims of having served in Somalia and Gulf War 1 have been dismissed as the ramblings of a complete fool.

Sangster's story, as told to his wide circle of friends and acquaintances, is as follows:

He served in the Regular Army as a  Royal Australian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (RAEME ) mechanic, but later transferred to SAS. 

He served in Vietnam with SAS and the U.S. 5th Airborne, fighting at the Battle of Long Tan, and being decorated for his exploits during that battle. 

Sangster has 'dodgy' knees and other serious health issues that he attributes to his service in Vietnam.  He further attributes his severe medical problems to the shrapnel that has been removed from his back and legs.

He is unable to claim benefits for the injuries he received in Vietnam, under the Veterans Entitlements Act, which is administered by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. 

His records are sealed due to the extremely sensitive nature of his duties with SAS and the U.S. 5th Airborne. 

He cannot disclose details of these covert operations because some of them are very close to criminal activities. 

His service file and medical file are unavailable to him, so he cannot prove his present disabilities are caused by the shrapnel wounds to his back and legs. 

The only evidence he holds for a veteran's claim is his discharge certificate, but that unfortunately doesn't show his "special service" deployments.

Sangster wears the ribbons of the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) , Vietnam Medal and Vietnamese Campaign Medal, on his leather vest.  He also wears a SAS cap badge and SAS para wings on the vest, along with a Vietnam Veterans Association (VVAA) embroidered patch and a number of patches identifying membership of various motor cycle organisations.  His Harley Davidson motor cycle is adorned with a sticker on the rear mudguard, depicting the Vietnam War service ribbons he wears on his vest, and he has RAEME badges affixed to the bike.



 

Now that you have read what Lofty Sangster has to say, let's look at the facts. 

Perry Stuart SANGSTER was born in Adelaide on 21st November 1946.  During his schooling at Prince Alfred College he served in the School Cadets for three years, attaining the rank of Cadet Sergeant, prior to being discharged from the School Cadets  when he left school. Sangster was educated to Intermediate Certificate standard ( 3 years of High School)  and took up an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic at Somerton S.A. in 1964.

The above information was taken from Sangster's Army records and the Personal Data Sheet he completed when he enlisted in the Australian Military Forces.


 



Sangster didn't enlist in the Regular Army, he enlisted in the Army Reserve, then known as the Citizens Military Forces.  Perry Stuart SANGSTER joined the RAEME - LAD (Royal Australian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers - Light Aid Detachment) of the 3/9 SAMR (South Australia Mounted Rifles) on the 25th January 1965, being issued service number 446655.  His service concluded when he was discharged on the 22nd May 1968.

Sangster's only military service totalled three years 4 months, as an Army Reservist, during which time he held the rank of Craftsman, the RAEME equivalent of Private.


 

Sangster regularly travels between Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide practising his occupation of diesel mechanic.  He attends biker rallies and regales all present with his tales of heroic deeds and moans about his war ravaged health, for which the government gives him no support.  The more alcohol he consumes, the more heroic the deeds become and the more bitter his rhetoric against the government.

Many people over the years have taken pity on Sangster and have tried to help him apply for a Disability Pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, but have been fobbed off with the story that 'his records are sealed'.  On at least one occasion we are aware of, he was advised by a concerned ex-serviceman that all service records are available after 30 years, so he could now apply to have his records released, enabling him to extract evidence in support of his claim for a Veterans' Affairs pension.  Sangster claimed that his records contain such sensitive information that they are sealed for longer than 30 years.

Knowledgeable ex-service personnel have been suspicious of Sangster's claims for years.  Very few have challenged Sangster, who is somewhat intimidating at 6' 4 (193 cm) tall, and those that have done so got the 'sealed records' story.

Apart from the erroneous, romantic, 'James Bond' notions that files are 'sealed forever', there are too many inconsistencies in Sangster's yarns to deflect suspicion by veterans, who have made numerous reports to ANZMI in recent years.

The action at Long Tan has been so heavily researched and written about, that anyone claiming to have been involved can be found out very easily, from the mountain of evidence available.

Any person claiming to have been awarded conspicuous bravery or service awards or decorations relating to their military service, can also be easily checked out, by searching the following web address: 
http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au

Sangster seems to have watched the wrong movies, or scrambled the information he has acquired from movies or books, to support his fantasies.  His constant referral to his service with the " U.S. 5th Airborne" is a dead giveaway to any service  personnel who have ever had anything to do with the U.S. Special Forces  There was no such unit.

Sangster tells everyone that his activities with SAS and U.S. 5th Airborne, are top secret, and 'hush-hush', because he participated in activities bordering on the criminal.  Fair dinkum!!!  Would any self respecting small time criminal tell anyone he participated in crimes, but he can't tell you what they are?  That Sangster admits any of the rubbish he spruiks has already breached any security that might have once existed.  So, what did you do in the war Lofty?

Many veterans are aware of the extremely wide contacts that ANZMI maintains with ex-service organisations in Australia, New Zealand and Internationally.  Claims made of SAS service can be quickly checked against nominal rolls and confirmed or refuted, by ANZMI simply sending an e-mail.  Similarly, claims of service with overseas units, like the U.S. 5th Airborne, are just as simply and quickly confirmed or refuted. 

If any visitor to our ANZMI site is suspicious of stories they have heard from any individual 'super soldier', e-mail us at: 
information@anzmi.net   and we will assist you to establish the facts, or offer you advice on where you can search for the information you seek.

Falsely claiming to be an ex-serviceman and wearing non-awarded service medals or ribbons are both criminal offences under the Defence Act and are punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.

DEFENCE ACT 1903

Impersonation and Service Medal Offences

Section 80A creates an offence of falsely representing oneself to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman.

Section 80B creates an offence of improper use of service decorations.


We at ANZMI have been aware of Sangster's claims for some years, but until now have not been able to obtain statutory declarations from witnesses, to support the information we had in our possession.  We carry out research and obtain documentary evidence, e.g. service records, to support all claims we make on the site.  When we have compiled sufficient evidence to overwhelmingly prove our case, we then contact the person we have investigated, offering them the opportunity to deny the claims made against them, or to provide evidence such as their service records, to prove their innocence.  If suitable evidence is provided we abandon the case, otherwise, we ask that a written apology, addressed to all units and service personnel involved, be sent to ANZMI so we can forward it to the people concerned, for their acceptance, or otherwise, of the apology.. 

Only after this process is conducted will we consider displaying a person on our 'Cases' pages.

Sangster was sent a letter from ANZMI as outlined above.  We decided to extend the time we allow for an answer to our communications to a full month, in recognition that Sangster's work often takes him away from his base.  We have not, to this date, received any reply from Sangster, either by post or e-mail.  Should Mr Sangster offer suitable evidence in the future that his claims are true, he will immediately be removed from the site.

If Lofty Sangster ever tells you his tales of heroic deeds, and/or his hard luck story of being abandoned by the government, which refuses to give him treatment for his war disabilities, just tell him you have seen the facts on the ANZMI website, and suggest he might like to avail himself of professional help to sort out his personality disorders.

Should anyone tell you their records are sealed, locked up, under a 100 year secrecy embargo, or never to be revealed, the first words you should think of is........."bloody b......t".

While we may never know the full nature of some SAS operations, or who carried them out, those personnel had a parent unit, and their records from that unit are available after the 30 years secrecy embargo.  

Scroll down to our Brian Day story, we have his complete SAS records and we would have Lofty Sangster's as well, if he ever served in the unit.

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.

 

Surname: Herriott
Christian Names: Harry Francis
Country: Australia
State or Province: Qld
City or Town: Cairns
Service: Army
Case Notes:

Harry (Hal) Francis Herriott gave many interviews to reporters with false tales about his war service and on the 15th April 2006 he gave this story to the Cairns Post.

 

Statements from the newspaper.

"Mr Herriott fought in Greece, Crete, Syria and Papua New Guinea with the 2/11 Infantry Battalion".   -   At no time did he "fight" with the 2/11 Infantry battalion.

"They dropped 3,000 German paratroopers on us, we were 500, and it was 10 days of hand to hand fighting. No quarter given none asked a defiant Mr Herriott said"  -   He was not there on 20 May 1941 when German paratroops opened Operation Merkur (Mercury) on Crete, Herriott was 1,000 kms (600 miles) distant at 1Aust. Convalescent Depot , Kafar Vitkin, Palestine where he remained until 26 May 1941.

"We joined the Freedom Fighters in the Mountains"- "We wore German uniforms and boots, used German weapons and ammunition"  -  Obviously he did not.

"For five months Mr Herriott fought with the Antarties Freedom fighters, living in caves and stone huts by day and ambushing the Germans by night"  -  All of his time is accounted for from 9 April 1941 when he departed Egypt for Greece. He was in Australian Army Service Corp (AASC) units and in hospitals during this five month period.

"Mr Herriott and six other fellow infantrymen escaped Crete on a small fishing boat still wearing German uniforms"."Picked up at sea by a British submarine"     

Herriott claims to have been "picked up" five months after the 20 May 1941.  During the relevant months Herriott was, from 27 Sep 1941, in hospital with catarrh, jaundice and boils........ From 13 October 1941 with Services Training Regiment...... On 24 October 1941 transferred to Petrol Company AASC, 6 Australian Division until 13 January 1942 when he was transferred to No. 2 Company AASC.

His claim of fighting in the mountains and leaving Crete on a fishing boat is remarkably similar to this recently published story.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/verbatim/stories/2004/1011693.htm

The 2/11 Battalion, which Herriott was very briefly a member of, fought a heroic battle alongside New Zealand, British and Greek troops against German paratroopers during Operation Merkur (Mercury) at Retimo, Crete, commencing 20th May 1941.  

Below is an eyewitness account of the opening of the operation from an ordinary soldier who was there

"It was a spectacle that might have belonged to a war between the planets. Out of the unswerving flying fleet came tumbling lines of little dolls, sprouting silken mushrooms that stayed and steadied them, and lowered them in ordered ranks into our consuming fire. And still they came, till all the fantastic sky before us was filled with futuristic snowflakes floating beneath the low black thundercloud of the processional planes - occasionally flashing into fire as if struck by lightning from the earth."

"These little dolls were highly trained and motivated German paratroopers of General Kurt Student's XI Air Corps. For ten days they and the elite mountain troops that were sent to reinforce them hunted and were hunted by the Australian, New Zealand, British and Greek soldiers, as well as Cretan farmers, townspeople and police. Fighting was savage and bloody, with little quarter given or asked. Men fought to the death in solitary duels or in major engagements. Their bodies cluttered the narrow streets of the towns or lay among the olive trees and creek beds of the countryside.

Herriott is stealing the honour and valour of Soldiers of the Battalion while never having to endure the same hardships. He was not part of the unit at that time, he spent only thirty-six days with the 2/11 whilst it was inactive in Egypt, three months before it was deployed to Greece and Crete.

He joined the army on 26th April 1940 at Northam in Western Australia. After training he arrived in Palestine on 13 October 1940, then completed a Signals Instructions course and was sent to Australian Imperial Forces Staging Camp, Line of Communications at Beit Jurja on the 8 Jan 1941.   

On the 18 January 1941 Herriott marched into the 2/11 Battalion at Amiriya Egypt, was promptly marched out again on 23 February 1941 and transferred to Petrol Company Aust. Army Service Corps, (AASC), he then remained with AASC units until his discharge in Victoria on 7 September 1945. 

On 9 April 1941 Herriott embarked for Greece from Egypt as part of the 17th  Brigade Composite Company AASC.  
On 2 May 1941 he was admitted to 2 Australian General Hospital which had already been evacuated from Greece in late April 1941 and relocated back in Palestine. Apart from perhaps travelling via Crete during evacuation from Greece he never served on Crete at all. He remained in 2 Australian General Hospital Palestine until 16 May 1941.
He was then transferred to 1st Australian Convalescent Depot Palestine where he stayed until 26 May 1941andon release from the Depot he was transferred to Services Training Regt AIF  (This unit is shown to be located in the Middle East).  

(Operation Merkur 20 to 30 May 1941)

How likely then is his statement?"When we went to Greece we went to Kalamia and were evacuated from there on a Royal Navy cruiser that dropped us off at Crete, they must have got the records wrong or assumed I came back on another ship."
He did not address the "picked up by submarine" claim.
We can only rely on his service records that say he was in Palestine (Middle East) during the Battle for Crete, if they're wrong it's up to him to have them corrected. We, however, believe them to be correct.

Between early May 1941 and January 1942 he alternated between hospitals, (always a non-battle casualty) the Services Training Regiment and Number 2 Company AASC until he embarked for Ceylon then onto Fremantle Western Australia, arriving on 28 Jul 1942.

On 30 Nov 1942 as a member of the AASC he again departed Australia and arrived New Guinea 4 Dec 1942. On 20 Dec 1942 he was evacuated (non battle casualty) on the hospital ship MV Duntroon and disembarked at Gladstone Queensland on 6 January 1943. He did not "fight" with the 2/11 Battalion in Papua New Guinea either and spent only 16 days there as a member of the AASC. After evacuation from Papua New Guinea he spent the rest of his service in Australia.

Whilst Hal Herriott, through rewriting the history of his service, thought he was a "hell of soldier" it is obvious from reading his service record that he was in fact the "soldier from hell".   He clocked up at least twenty charges for offences and spent a great deal of time in and out of hospitals with non-battle caused injuries or sickness spending more than three hundred days on sick lists.   For the majority of his service he could be described as troublesome and well below average. Herriott has been living off his dishonourable stories in the Atherton, Queensland area for many years. He presents himself as a heroic Infantry soldier when in fact he has the track record of an ineffective burden on the Australian Imperial Forces during time of war.  

Late news to hand says that his friends at the Returned Services League Club where he is a committee man and former Secretary, subsidised a trip to Crete for him to attend commemorative events as a representative of the Battalion that fought so bravely in defence of the island and subsequently endured many hardships including imprisonment in German Stalags.   As is usual with our exposures of RSL executives, we discovered that some of the members of Herriott's club were suspicious of his tales of service and great valour but nothing came of this.  The RSL could apply to have him charged with obtaining financial benefits by deception but they won't and we don't suggest they do. 

Herriott has made three trips to Crete and Greece as a 2/11 Battalion representative and was in Greece only last year for another memorial service.  We are reliably informed that he has another trip already booked to Greece where he will present the Order of Australia Medal to a Greek citizen.   The Australian Embassy there would be interested in this story of ours because they fully believed his yarns about the Battle for Crete and the aftermath and had arranged enough trips, commendations, medallions, awards and recognition from the Greek, Crete and British governments to be highly embarrassed about this deception. 
The forthcoming OAM presentation will be the final insult, if it goes ahead.

The Commonwealth could also have him charged with offences under the Criminal Code because what he has done is deceive Commonwealth Officers, ie Embassy staff, to gain benefits, but they won't and again we don't suggest this be done. Removal from his possession of all deceitfully gained awards made by foreign governments would be sufficient. Perhaps a better home for them would be Western Australia where the 2/11 Battalion was raised rather than on his chest and in his living room.

Wannabes beware, obtain benefits by deception and you could find yourselves in a lot more trouble than you ever imagined.

31Jul 2006

"They must have got the records wrong" (Hal Herriott 20 July 2006) 

"The war records must have been stuffed up....there is no truth to the allegations as far as I'm concerned" (Hal Herriott 26 July 2006)

Herriott has rejected our allegation that he is an impostor, read the Tablelander (25 July 06) and Cairns Post (26 July 06)  newspaper reports.

 

 

Note 13 trips to Crete, 10 more than we knew of.

"Outcry" "Herriott in hospital" We can't find any evidence of any "outcry" this reporter writes of, he appears to be the lone voice.  A report from the Atherton area tells us that most people there agree with our version of events because they've been suspicious of Herriott's wild tales for years.  We've yet to receive any other reports from Cairns but it could be due to total disinterest.  Herriott booked himself out of hospital on 26 July 2006 without undergoing an amputation and doubts have been cast on this "leg amputation" being the reason for his hospitalisation in the first place.   This deemed ploy to gain the sympathy vote was published twice in two days by the Cairns Post but it won't work, too many people are aware of Herriott's ways now.

 Herriott says his Army records are wrong, what else would he say? This is a standard first response from a wannabe who has been caught out.  We can't find any other Herriotts, or names with similar spelling, on the WW2 nominal roll who served with the 2/11 Battalion or the Australian Army Service Corps, 6th Division, also there are no similar names with Harry Francis as the first and second names.   His Army records from April to September 1941, which is the period he says he was on Crete, involve entries showing him to be elsewhere and were made by many clerks and were initialled by almost as many officers as being correct. Could they have all made the same mistakes? Not likely. Just one example is his admission to, and discharge from, 1 Aust. Convalescent Depot in Palestine, two entries made on 17 and 27 May 1941 by two different clerks and signed off by two different officers. Would he have us believe this was a conspiracy to disguise the fact that he was actually on Crete fighting a guerilla action dressed in German uniform?   Perhaps some people who know Herriott heard some stories of him being on an "X-List". This sounds a bit like something special but being on that list only meant the soldier was absent from his parent unit, in Herriott's case a Service Corps Petrol Company, and we know exactly where he was and it wasn't near Crete. Herriott was on seven such lists during his Army service and always due to hospitalisation or convalescence.

 Perhaps Herriott could produce two Japanese swords he reportedly stole and lodged in a Sydney bank for safe-keeping. They are said to be the ancient family samurai swords of the Japanese Commander of the 18th Army and his aide who surrendered to an Australian General near Wewak, more precisely Cape Wom, New Guinea in August 1945. This theft is said to have  occurred just before the surrender ceremony.   History tells us that this particular Japanese surrender, there were others, took place on 13 September 1945 but Herriott had moved the month forward to August to suit his own needs i.e. his discharge date.  We remind you of what we wrote in the initial story.           On 30 Nov 1942 as a member of the AASC he again departed Australia and arrived New Guinea 4 Dec 1942. On 20 Dec 1942 he was evacuated (non battle casualty) on the hospital ship MV Duntroon and disembarked at Gladstone Queensland on 6 January 1943. He did not "fight" with the 2/11 Battalion in Papua New Guinea either and spent only 16 days there as a member of the AASC. After evacuation from Papua New Guinea he spent the rest of his service in Australia.  (Herriott discharged from the Army on 7 September 1945, five weeks before the surrender)

Representing the 2/11 Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division. The cost of this trip was heavily subsidised by his RSL club.

Photo, May 2005, Crete. When this photo was first published by the Tablelander newspaper the caption was "Kairi WW2 veteran Hal Herriott is comforted by Colonel Mark Blatherwick, British Military Attaché to the British Ambassador to Greece after the Rethymno (Retimo) memorial service"

Cairns Post 28 July 2006. Quote from the Minister for Veteran's Affairs, Bruce Billson.

Perhaps a few of our readers could heed Mr. Billson's urging. If anyone has genuine doubts as to the validity of a person's war service, take the information to the nearest DVA office and let us know the outcome via our guest book but please don't name names.

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the  Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.

 

Surname: Bayley
Christian Names: Graeme Maurice
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Melbourne
Service: Army
Case Notes:

 

Graeme Maurice Bayley

Thanks to the press and a 4 RAR veteran, another Ex-Service Organisation "Executive" has been exposed.  It was not enough that this man served as a genuine veteran, he felt a need to wear more than his legal entitlement regarding war service medals and to lie about how long he spent in Vietnam.   May he reap the recognition he deserves.


 

Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance - August the 18th 2001, guest speaker - Graeme BAYLEY voiced to all in attendance: " It is time for Vietnam veterans to move on, the past is the past.  There is no point dwelling on it" 
A very easy thing for him to say because he didn't endure what the majority of Vietnam Veterans had to endure and by this we mean a long time away from family and loved ones in a strange country embroiled in a nasty war.

BAYLEY was a senior member of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA) and the several hundred Vietnam Veterans in attendance heard his advice echo around the pillars of the most sacred edifice in Victoria - after all - he was an invited guest speaker, and why would anyone doubt his credentials?

In March 2006 ANZMI was contacted by several irate members representing the 4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment,  these veterans had been handed newspaper clippings of BAYLEY's appearance as guest speaker five years earlier, and the target of their anger was BAYLEY wearing  a medal he had no entitlement to - and still wears - the "Vietnamese Campaign Medal" awarded to veterans who served more than six months "in-country" - 



 

"on the front line within 5 months"
The period between his enlistment and arrival in Vietnam was 8 months which disproves this statement. His claimed 5 month  time frame was a virtual impossibility for anyone of his rank and Corps. 
BAYLEY enlisted (was conscripted) on 1 May 1968 and arrived at 1ARU, Nui Dat, Vietnam, 6 January 1969.   He spent 40 days at this Reinforcement Unit, a notably long period of time.  20 to 22 days was the norm for Infantrymen who displayed any ability since capable reinforcements were always required by the Battalions as soon as possible.

"serving 9 months with the 4th Royal Australian Regiment"
He was posted to the 4th Battalion on 18 February 1969 and began his return to Australia on 19 May 1969. The length of this posting was 3 months and totally denies his fanciful claim.   Had he served on Operations Federal, Overlander and Stafford with the Battalion, he could have spent a total of 58 days in the bush but we don't have any definitive information on his actual duties within the unit. Not all Infantrymen posted to Battalions went outside the wire on warlike operations.

"He found fitting back into life at home was easier for him than others"
BAYLEY departed for Australia with 4RAR aboard HMAS SYDNEY on 19 May 69....why?
His total Vietnam service was 4 1/2 months, a lot shorter than the majority of Infantry tours which were 1 year.  The reason for this is unknown but what is known is that some Infantry posted to Battalions took the option of an early return with their unit while many more were posted out to other units to complete a normal tour.
There is no indication that BAYLEY suffered from any disability which may have prompted this early return, it would appear that he took up the option.

ANZMI contacted BAYLEY and requested he clarify the situation - as he is a genuine veteran he was given ample opportunity to prove or disprove his illegal wearing of the medal - he neglected to reply to our correspondence and now will remain on the CASES page as evidence that the Veteran Community will not suffer this type of offender.
Should he offer an apology to the relevant people and units, it will be treated as all others have been.

If not for the alertness of a 4 RAR veteran this charade would have continued unreported.  BAYLEY would be fully cognizant that he commits an offence against the "Defence Act" each time he "medals up" - here is an opportunity for the VVAA/RSL to recommend charges be laid....or will they close ranks around him?

Graeme BAYLEY - you have been exposed by your own battalion mates as a poseur and a fraud - may you reap what you have sown.

Allegedly there is a lot more to this man and his dealings with Veterans that cannot be published by us. We look forward to some interesting guest book entries about Mr Bayley.

Updated 27 Aug 06
 

GRAEME BAYLEY wrote...."Would you please consider removing me from the cases file" Our answer is yes, we will, but only if a majority of Veterans agree that we should.

BAYLEY sent the following email as a reply to correspondence from us.  In it, he offers information on how he came to be in possession of  the Vietnamese Campaign Medal and offers an apology.

He was asked to reply before 6 July 06 but his first email reply of 30 June was not addressed correctly and obviously wasn't received by us. Further emails, one with the same apology and an admission as to "the error of his ways", were sent to the correct address after his story was published on 15 August 06. We contacted him to make sure we had copies of every email he sent to either correct or incorrect email addresses.

We find it very difficult to believe that a person who has been involved with ex-service organisations as long as he has would be unaware of the requirements and protocols surrounding this award. 

"Given to me by a regular Army mate" The Australian Government didn't give him one but his mate did so he feels he can legally wear it. What a bloody ridiculous statement.

He was "the Secretary of the Melbourne Sub Branch of the VVAA for about 8 years" and apparently not once in that time did he become aware of the requirements for the award nor the protocols.

"Because I took no notice of protocol, or learning what was right or wrong with medals I now apologize............"

Pull the other one Mr BAYLEY.

He also said that he has no idea where the statement about him being on the "frontline" 5 months after his call up date came from. It was published in the newspaper, he would have read it and anyone else who read it would reasonably believe it came from him, if it was an incorrect quote he'll have to take it up with the editor and have a retraction published.

Nowhere in his emails does he fully address this statement from the news article "serving 9 months with the 4th Royal Australian Regiment"
He asked us why he would lie about his time spent in Vietnam when there is a possibility of being found out because the Vietnam Veterans nominal roll is freely available.

The answer to this is, in our experience we've found that lies about war service became very difficult to explain after the first nominal roll was published in 1996, wannabes were caught in a trap of their own making and had to carry on with their charades. They're sometimes executives within ex-service organisations, as BAYLEY was or still is, and more often than not they resort to threats of litigation against anyone who questions them.

With regard to his ,now admitted, very short tour, he did tell us that he asked a 4RAR Company Clerk where he would be posted to next as the Battalion was leaving Vietnam, he was informed that it was Battalion policy to take married veterans home at the completion of the tour and therefore he had no choice in the matter.

We looked into this supposed 4RAR policy and can find nothing to support his claim. This explanation is more than highly unlikely and we stand by our version of events which is that he opted out of the war while others fought on.

This is from another email and should be taken into account when considering this person's apology.

"I am a genuine man who is proud of my service, albeit short, in Vietnam with 4RAR.I am now aware of the error of my ways in wearing the Vietnam medal, however it was not worn with any intention to deceive, but to be a constant reminder of an event that took place between me and a very close colleague in a contact with the enemy"

The issues here are:

1...For many years, possibly 19 years, BAYLEY wore the Vietnamese Campaign Medal while never having served the required 6 months in Vietnam to be recognised by the Australian Government for the award. An offence punishable by law.

2...By wearing this medal and by allegedly making false statements to the press, he enhanced his war service in the eyes of others by claiming to have been fully trained and "on the frontline within 5 months" and also by extending his 3 months in a fighting unit to 9 months.

His apology is made to any member of the veteran community who is genuinely upset by his behaviour.

Any Veteran of any conflict who wishes to personally accept or reject his apology should email us at information@anzmi.net

Please provide your correct name and where served as only replies from genuine Veterans will be taken into account, if you had your name removed from any nominal roll, your reply will be ignored, sorry. Your city or town should be noted as well, thank you.

Replies from ex-service organisations will count as one reply. Personal details will not be published, your anonymity is assured.

If you can still read this on or after 1 October 06, you'll know the result of our poll.

______________________________________________________________________

Dated 30 June 2006 but incorrectly addressed, re-sent by BAYLEY and finally received at ANZMI ON 22 August 2006.

Dear Sir

In response to your letter received today I put the following to you for consideration.

I heard about this complaint about a month ago and was waiting for the people involved to to approach me about it, as I would have expected fellow VV's to do, however, as usual they have opted to take the cowards way out.

I know the original problem was started by a group of people involved with the Goulburn Valley Veterans Service Office.

I would be very surprised if the complaint originated from the 4RAR Association as I am not a financial member, and cannot remember ever being one and also I hace attended Charlie Company reunions since 1987 and my medals have never been an issue.

I would like to give you some of my history before I go into the wearing of the medal in question.

I have never been an executive member of the GVVVA, however I was it's welfare officer and pension officer for some time.

I was in fact the Secretary of the Melbourne Sub Branch of the VVAA for about 8 years before moving to Shepparton. Again, medals were never an issue there.

I am extremely disappointed in this matter as I have prided myself on the work I have done in the area of welfare and pensions for veterans. I have worked tirelessly for their benefit and have had a lot of success in both the pension and welfare areas both here and in Melbourne and it hurts me to think that fellow vets don't have the courage to face me, but prefer to take this course of action. It hurts even more that they have chosen to hide behind the 4RAR Association's banner.

I had, until a month ago never given much thought to my medals and the dates stated in your letter are correct and therefore I am not entitled to wear the Vietnam one. 

I can remember this medal being given to me by a regular army mate who was in my section. He also gave me a miniature of the same medal. I put these medals, plus the original one in a draw and did not see them again until the Sydney welcome home in 1987.

With the passing of time and concentrating on other work in the veteran community, the wearing of medals did not rate highly with me.Obviously, I was wrong.

Because I took no notice of protocol, or learning what was right or wrong with medals I now apologize unreservedly to any member of the veteran community who is genuinely upset by my behavior.

In closing, I congratulate you on the work you do and assure you that I never intended to deceive anybody.

I trust this explanation is satisfactory.

Yours sincerely

Graeme Bayley

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

 

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