Cowie

Date of Entry: 11/08/2016
Surname: Cowie
Christian Names: Wayne William
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Rockhampton
Service #: 1735654
Service: Army
Branch: Artillery
Commencement of service: 09 Jul 1969
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

Cowie 1

 

They say that the further North you get in Australia, the more relaxed the people are.

It is certainly true in this picture of a very relaxed Wayne Cowie, taken at a Vietnam Veterans commemorative service, in 2015, at the Cockscomb Veterans Bush Retreat, a nice 30 minute drive from Rockhampton in  Northern Queensland.

Cowie 2

 

Cowie served 277 days in Vietnam as part of the 4th Field Regiment, The Royal Regiment Australian Artillery, as the Vietnam War Service certificate shows.

The 4th Field Regiment was raised at Wacol on 3 May 1960, being the first major Regular Army unit to be raised in Queensland. The Regiment moved to Lavarack Barracks in 1968. As a complete unit, the Regiment served two tours of duty in South Vietnam, as well as sending individual batteries to South Vietnam, Singapore, Malaya and East Timor.

Why this little potted history, you ask? Cowie was part of an artillery unit, a point that will later to prove very important in his undoing.

Cowie 3

At the end of his official medals, Cowie has tacked on a commemorative abomination, this one known as the Front Line Medal. This piece of tin may look pretty, however, you do not fool your fellow veterans, who would recognise you had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

The Front Line Service Medal was issued by the 2/12 Infantry Battalion Association, based in Queensland, to identify those who took part in World War Two front line actions with the Infantry, differentiating them from other units. It was manufactured and sold by that Association as a funds raising exercise. They made a lot of money selling this tin trinket to gullible people, who had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever. You can add Cowie to that list of gullible people.

Defence Honours and Awards has this to say about such medals:

“Medals not listed in the order of wear may be worn officially, on an unrestricted basis, only with the express permission of the Governor-General. As a general rule, such permission is extended only to official awards of foreign governments. It has never been extended to private commemorative medals. Those medals should not be worn at all, and certainly never on the left hand side and mounted with officially issued medals”.

Have you picked up on the glaring inconsistency yet? That’s right, Cowie was attached to an artillery unit, yet he is wearing a thing designed to commemorate service in the infantry.

Yes, they certainly are more relaxed up North, and Wayne Cowie did not have to expend much energy to earn a permanent place on the ANZMI website.

Located in: Medal Cheats
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