HEPBURN

Date of Entry: 21/08/2021
Surname: HEPBURN
Christian Names: William
Country: Australia
State or Province: Tasmania
City or Town: Winkleigh
Service #: 63230
Service: Australian Regular Army
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: 1978
Completion of service: 1979
Case Notes:

 

William Hepburn was born in 1958, and according to him, joined the Australian Regular Army in 1978, where, he, served for twelve months in Australia and in Rhodesia. In Rhodesia he went on special missions and the other soldiers with him were killed, and he is the only survivor. He is being treated for severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his special missions.

 

HEPBURNW1


Hepburn claims that after completing training at Recruit Training Battalion Kapooka, and Infantry Training Centre Singleton, he was posted to 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR).

In 1978, as a member of 6 RAR, Hepburn and five other Private soldiers were deployed to Rhodesia, for special operations and to train "local soldiers". They were seconded to the British Army, and from there were further seconded to the Rhodesian Army

The six traveled to Rhodesia by C130 Hercules aircraft, and on arrival were dispatched to a remote camp, where they lived in "hutchie" tents and remained for six weeks. During the six weeks, groups of "local soldiers" carrying an assortment of weapons would arrive for training and then randomly disappear as others arrived. As previously stated his five fellow soldiers were killed in action during this time.

A researcher spoke to Hepburn on four occasions, on the first three occasions Hepburn spun some graphic yarns about his twelve months in the Australian Army, which included being deployed to Rhodesia on a special mission in 1978. During the fourth discussion, the researcher suggested to Hepburn, that he was a liar. After much humming and hawing, Hepburn, said he was sure he had done the service, but may be "mixed up". He followed up with the email shown below:

" Good morning xxxxxxxx,
in regards to our recent phone conversation ,firstly thank you for your time and for being so straight forward with me, i am struggling to come to terms with this. i have lived with the belief that this actually happened for all of these years and now that you have given me the facts that it didnt i am totally confused.
it has never been my intention to falsely claim anything in regards to benefits or recognition, i dont know what to say . i am both ashamed and confused .
Xxxxx please accept my humblest apologies ,i dont have the words to say how i am feeling or even comprehend any of this .
if it is ok with you i would like to keep in touch from time to time .

Bill"

Hepburn says he is very sorry, but as is often the case with wannabes, and liars, he is only sorry, that he has been caught out after many years of basking in the kudos, of his false heroic military adventures in Rhodesia

It is of interest that 152 Australian Army Officers and Non Commissioned Officers, including some from 6RAR, were involved in the Peacekeeping Operation "Agila", in Rhodesia, but it was in December 1979.

"Operation Agila : The Commonwealth Monitoring Force in Rhodesia 1979–1980

In December 1979, the Commonwealth Monitoring Force (CMF) was established by the British Commonwealth, with troops drawn from Australia, Britain, Fiji, Kenya and New Zealand. The operation was codenamed AGILA. The role of the CMF was to keep the peace between the Rhodesian Government's Security Forces and 22,000 Patriotic Front guerrillas during the run-up to the 1980 general elections which would establish the governance of a new independent state. The elections were held in February 1980, with the two major parties being Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union and Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union".

It appears that Hepburn has decided to join the operation a year early, and without doing the hard yards. As would be expected from an inexperienced private soldier with minimal service, his lies are easy to identify.

Hepburn has said he is being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), relating to his Rhodesia service, and he suffers constant nightmares and flashbacks. He is not associated with any Veteran organizations, however, he is being counseled by the Tasmanian State Government sponsored, Veterans and Veterans' Families Counselling Service (VVCS) located in Launceston, Tasmania.

He has basked in the kudos of his false service, and conflict caused PTSD for more than thirty years, he can now experience the infamy of being a caught out liar, and wannabe.

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