In the past 18 months we have exposed four Victorian RSL Presidents for embellishing their military service, manufacturing their military service or wearing medals that have not been officially awarded to them.
One in particular had no military service at all. These four have either stood down and/or been ejected from their respective Branches of the Returned Services League, Victoria.
Well unfortunately, here we have number five.
John Malcolm Griffiths, DOB. 12 January, 1936, is the President of the Essendon RSL Sub Branch, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.
Griffiths was a member of the Royal Air Force (RAF) from between 1952 and 1965. In the above photograph he wears four medals. They are from left to right. -;
1. The United Kingdom (UK) Active Service medal. Tin commemorative medal. purchased.
2. The UK General Service Cross. Tin commemorative medal, purchased.
3. The UK Jordan Service medal. Tin commemorative medal, purchased.
4. The UK QE Golden Jubilee medal. Tin commemorative medal, purchased
The Active Service medal above is an unofficial tin commemorative medal that can be purchased from the Internet from medal dealers in the United Kingdom. The cost is 60 pounds sterling. It is intended to signify active service in the British Military.
It is in similar vein to the tin meaningless "Front Line Service" medal (crossed rifles) that can be purchased from an Army Unit Association in Queensland, Australia.
If you have genuine active service, then you would not have to purchase a medal would you, or are we missing something here!
The General Service Cross
The General Service Cross is a tin commemorative medal that is intended to signify those men and women who have given service to Britain and the British Commonwealth during hostilities and in Peacetime and whose service has gone unrecognised. The Medal Dealer site states "By not serving in a war zone and not serving long enough for a Long Service medal many serving members go unrecognised".
This medal can be purchased for 65 pounds sterling.
This medal description flies in the face of the previous medal that Griffiths wears. On the one hand he is wearing an "Active Service medal" and the very next medal he wears is for "Not serving in a war zone." Bit confusing!
The Jordan Service Medal.
The Jordan Service medal above is an unofficial tin "thankyou" medal from King Hussein 1 of Jordan to military personnel who served in and around his Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 1948 and 1958. It can be purchased for 38 pounds sterling from UK medal dealers.
The QE Golden Jubilee medal above is a tin commemorative medal intended to signify anyone who has served their country in any role during the fifty year reign of Queen Elizabeth 11. It can be purchased for 42 pounds sterling.
It has therefore cost John Malcolm Griffiths 205 pounds sterling or $367.00 Australian dollars to parade around in his purchased medals on Anzac Day and other official ceremonies.
It is quite apparent that Griffiths has no entitlements to any officially awarded medals for his RAF service. If he did, he would wear them.
However, in order to impress those at the Essendon RSL Club who elected him as their President, he has purchased 4 tin commemorative medals from the UK and worn them on the left side, to signify to his colleagues that he is a genuine veteran of the Royal Air Force. If you have to pretend to be a veteran, then you do not have the credibility to be a President of an RSL Sub Branch.
Commemorative and other unofficial medals should be worn on the right side. There are strict protocols from the office of the Governor General in respect to these matters.
We contacted Griffiths, who like other medal cheats and imposters, claimed that he was ill and could not remember his active service details. He informed us that he was entitled to wear all his medals, but he could not remember where or when he was officially awarded with them or what they were awarded for because it was so long ago. He then threatened us with legal action and warned us "to be very careful what we do!"
He could have just told us the truth.
Griffiths should stand down as the President of this Club. As a President, he is expected to uphold the proud traditions and protocols of the Australian RSL. He should be leading by example and cease being a medals cheat and imposter.
If he does not stand down, he should be shown the door.
If you had to buy the medals, you did not earn them. Simple as that!
We advise all RSL Sub Branches, particularly those in Victoria to audit their members on a regular basis to ensure that they comply with proper protocols. If the Committees and Secretaries decline this task, they are condoning the behaviour.
In the last edition of the Victorian RSL Mufti newsletter, Major General David McLachlan, AM, State President of the Victorian Branch of the RSL, stated that stringent new rules had been introduced whereby proper probity checks would be investigated to ensure that those holding executive positions of RSL Sub Branches and Memorial Clubs were in fact entitled to wear the medals pinned to their chests.
The RSL dictum of "The price of freedom is eternal vigilence" is certainly treated in an apathetic fashion at the Essendon RSL Sub Branch and at least the other four Victorian RSL Sub Branches that we know of, where we have exposed fraudulent RSL Presidents.
Anzmi will continue to support the efforts of Major General David McLachlan AM, and continue to locate and weed out all medal cheats, imposters and wannabees from all Ex Service Organisations in all States and Territories of Australia and New Zealand.