Surname: Simpson
Christian Names: John Hiller
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Melbourne
Case Notes:
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Jhn Hillier Simpson came to the attention of the Vietnam veteran community in Melbourne over 20 years ago. He told of suffering severe head wounds from a Viet Cong mortar blast that altered his life permanently. As he explained, the Army actually informed his next of kin (NOK) that he was killed in action (KIA) - only to return two days later to advise he was critically wounded. "Simmo" was accepted by the brotherhood of returned ex Vietnam vets because of his typical "problematic" behaviour; - alcoholism, divorce, unemployable and an extremely anti-social attitude. He was shown mateship and comfort - ranging from financial support to overnight and weekend accommodation to ensure he was given a decent feed - the kind of treatment any veteran would offer to a comrade, especially one with a steel plate in his skull from a mortar wound.



 This veteran help still continues for this hero as even after exposure it would appear that some veterans still feel sympathy for him as indicated in his apology letter below

Several veterans banded together and bankrolled their "mate" in a printing business which still operates in metropolitan Melbourne under the blanket of "Vietnam Veterans working in the community" and the business became fully operational with "Simmo" as the figurehead. Numerous R&SL establishments, understandably, contracted their printing needs to a fellow veteran

So accepted into the veteran mainstream, Simpson became a member and later a committee man of the Melbourne R&SL, Duckboard House, and even had business luncheons at the Naval and Military club where he touted for business. He seemed to like rubbing shoulders with the members of this elite establishment and considered joining. Life was progressing well for this "rags to riches ne'er do well".

Telling the odd war story and happily reminiscing of his war service with the 2nd battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, (2RAR) on ANZAC Days and Vietnam Veterans' Days, "Simmo" would proudly wear his Vietnam medals and Infantry Combat Badge (ICB).

being the preferred dress for his day out. If you weren't a "crunchie" (an Infantryman) you weren't a real soldier according to this wounded veteran and many a punch up and insults were started by him. Any veteran who was on the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) pension was, in his opinion, a weak bludger who couldn't handle the pace....... and so this was the lifestyle of our fortunate veteran, until his fantasy fell apart recently.

Melbourne R&SL, under the shadow of the state Headquarters, ANZAC House, performed a perfunctory check of its Executive and Committee. Something was not adding up with Mr Simpsons' military past. He certainly did serve in the reserves - the Citizens Military Forces (CMF) as it was then known for nine months in 1966/67and was then called up for National Service 1967/68. He served for 12 months and was medically discharged with NO Vietnam or active service.

His entire fraudulent life was exposed and when confronted by an R&SL official he admitted to his bogus past and consequently, is no longer on the committee, or welcome at Duckboard House.

When Simpson's fraudulent past became known, numerous veterans were reviled and furious at being taken in by this manipulating conman. One such person is a very close friend of CPMH, a Vietnam Veteran who devoted countless hours and effort in establishing the printing business for Simpson. This friend was one of the partners in the initiative and at the time said simply, "Did what a vet should do to help out a fellow veteran". He required psychological counselling when he was informed of the true situation. "This bastard has openly let real veterans butter his bread for him and all the while would have been laughing up his sleeve," he said. To this day Simpson is still operating the printing business.

A member of CPMH was approached by four veterans who complained of Simpson's activities. He explained that this site exists solely to expose these types of people to the world. "We have provided the Federal Police with the details of several bogus veterans we have uncovered and reside on these pages but whilst the Federal Police are sympathetic to our cause, The Director of Public Prosecutions, Victoria, considers the prosecution of fake veterans "not in the public interest"

 This is most disappointing as in other Australian states, particularly Queensland we have evidence of guilty findings and fines, trivial as they may be, of $400 and $500 being handed down. The actions of bogus veterans (wearing non awarded medals and purporting to be a returned serviceman) are a Federal crime against the Defence Act".

The problems caused by the fraud of the likes of Simpson's ilk who inveigle themselves into veteran communities are the instances of unknown genuine veterans who appear at vets gatherings and are eyed with suspicion and unease until they can prove their bone fides. This is a very sad state of affairs for the brotherhood of veterans to have to go through.

The actions of Simpson and other bogus "wannabe" veterans are an insult to all veterans of all conflicts. When the topic of suitable punishment is discussed among Vietnam Veterans some of the suggestions are unprintable - but a popular consensus (apart from a very stiff fine and/or imprisonment) shows support for a term of community service in a veterans psychiatric ward so that they can come face to face with veterans still suffering the real horrors of war. If you are a veteran, or a genuine supporter of veterans and feel that the penalties imposed (if any) are too lenient for the offenders (refer back to the above AFP letter) please inform your local VVAA, R&SL or local member to have the penalties increased. CPMH has a poll area on this site. Voice your opinion there, have a look at the suggested penalties and then write your local member, VVAA or R&SL with your views as to what you think the penalties should be.

The general consensus is that this charlatan is still earning an income, trading on the goodwill of genuine  veterans in the business community, from the money invested by veterans to set him up in the printing trade. If he was to have worn a police uniform or had carried a police identification he would have been charged with that offence immediately. In memory of our brothers who did not return from all the world's conflicts alive, should not the same treatment be dealt to those that impersonate us, the veterans of Australia and New Zealand?

EDITORS NOTE: To protect the innocent from very real threats voiced by the types of people exposed on these pages, non-required names and addresses have been removed by CPMH from documents on this site.

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.

Located in: Stolen Valour
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