Boulter is one of the worst of the worst. He is a "Big wheel” in the Northern Territory town of Tennant Creek. He has been involved in local Government for
many years and has been admired as a Returned Veteran.
These are the medals he is wearing:
Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)Not entitled
Korea Medal Not entitled
United Nations Korea Service Medal Not entitled
General Service Medal (Clasp Malaysia) Not entitled and worn in the wrong place
Australian Service Medal (Clasp PNG) Not entitled
Australia Defence Medal - Unlikely to be entitled
Commemoration of National Service Medal - Unlikely to be entitled
Papua New Guinea Independence Medal 1975. Entitlement unknown
Papua New Guinea Anniversary of Independence 1975 - 1985 - Entitlement unknown
Most of his medals are false.
We have a Statutory Declaration detailing what Boulter has said about his service:
"he has stood up stated his name number and rank with the Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (PNGVR) Korea," He further said:
"no there were only 4 or 5 of us that volunteered and we made our way up to Malaysia and worked with the Australians. I asked who were you attached to? his reply was. We just joined in with the Australian units and then went to Korea. He states he was in the Battle of Kapyong, He wears Korean medals/Malayan and PNG medals, I asked who issued the Australian medals he straight away said the Australian Government. He is not listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs Nominal Roll as being a Korea Veteran. When asked about this he stated it's because he was PNGVR and not registered with the Australian Army."
Boulter was born in July 1935. He could not have been serving with Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (PNGVR) "before making his way to Malaysia" as he would have been only Fifteen years of age and could not have enlisted in PNGVR . In any case PNGVR was disbanded after WW2 and reformed in March 1951. So at Fifteen years of age Boulter would have to joined PNGVR in March 1951, then did some fighting with Australian units in Malaysia before arriving in Korea to fight in the Battle of Kapyong in April 1951 one month later, aged Fifteen years.
He also said that "PNGVR personnel were not registered with the Australian Army" PNGVR was, and until again disbanded in 1973, a unit of the Australian Citizens Military Forces (CMF) and very much part of the Australian Army, Order of Battle. . It was disbanded in 1973 as a lead up to PNG Independence in 1975.
What Boulter says is simply "hogwash" and deceitful lies, these cheats are always way behind Australian Veterans and ANZMI in splicing their lies into actual military facts and history.
The writer had the pleasure of speaking to Boulter on the phone on the 31 January 2017.
Boulter was asked "what years he had served in PNGVR". He hummed and hawed and then said "from late 1968 to 1972 when he returned to Australia". He went back to PNG in 1975 when he claimed to again serve in PNGVR. The problem is that PNGVR was disbanded in 1973. What he said, completely disproves his service in Malaysia and Korea and proves the medals he wears are false. We have been advised that Boulter is listed with the PNGVR Association as having served with PNGVR, however they were unable to advise dates of service.
Over the years he has received much kudos from the falsehood that he is a Returned Serviceman who served in war zones in Malaysia and Korea and wears all the medals to prove it. Claiming to have been present at the famous Korea Battle of Kapyong where the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment brought great credit to the ANZAC spirit through their tenacious fighting is indeed an immoral act. Here is an official Australian War Memorial excerpt:
"3 RAR lost 32 killed in action. Along with its Canadian, British, New Zealand and United States allies, 3 RAR managed to hold the advancing Chinese divisions in the Kapyong River valley for 24 hours, allowing United Nations forces further south to shore up a defensive line. It then successfully conducted a fighting withdrawal to extricate itself from encirclement and rejoin its parent brigade, exemplifying the discipline, courage and skill required to succeed in its mission. For their courageous actions, both 3 RAR and 2nd PPCLI were awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation by the United States Government."
He has his name on the Tennant Creek Returned Services League (RSL) Honour Board. He is listed in the second row, fourth from the bottom. We anticipate the Tennant Creek RSL will remove him from their prestigious Honour Board.
Boulter was never in Korea and his persona in Tennant Creek for the past 30 years has been a complete sham. Because of his explanation of "making his way to Malaysia and working with the Australians" it is a sure certainty that he never served anywhere near an Australian Army unit in Malaysia or Korea.
There is a definitive Department of Veterans Affairs Nominal Roll that lists all servicemen who served with Australian units in Korea. Boulter is not listed.
A few years ago Tennant Creek, Northern Territory Police charged Mr Jooitson "Dutchy" Van Asson for falsely wearing Defence medals. He was found guilty and fined $1,000 and given a twenty four month good behaviour bond. See here: https://www.anzmi.net/index.php/cheats-thieves/list/alpha/v
Boulter has committed the same offence of falsely claiming to be a returned serviceman and wearing false medals. We have advised the Tennant Creek Police and will let events unfold.
See the Defence Act 1903 Section VII, Parts 80A and 80B.
80A. Falsely representing to be returned soldier, sailor or airman
80B. Improper use of service decorations
Boulter has had thirty years of false fame as a returned Serviceman. Doubt that he will enjoy his richly deserved future days as his Resume has turned very sour.
Welcome to the Hall of Shame William Charles (Tony) Boulter, you have used your false military service to gain favour in the Tennant Creek community and deserve your infamy.
Elwin Evans is British and now resides in Manitoba, Canada. He claims to have been attached to the Australian Army and fought in Vietnam. See what he said in the caption under this photograph.
Although Evans is a long way from home his lies and dishonour have not escaped the world wide web of Veterans.
Evans did not serve in Vietnam with Australian 2 Squadron, Special Air Service (2 SAS Sqn)
2 SAS Sqn were never involved in a pitched battle with 1600 enemy soldiers.
Here are the real facts about SAS operations in Vietnam:
SAS Operations - South Vietnam
580 SAS soldiers served in South Vietnam. There were 298 contacts with the enemy, inflicting 492 kills, 106 possible kills, 47 wounded, 10 possibly wounded and 11 taken as prisoners. 5366 enemy were sighted in 801 separate sightings. The Australia and New Zealand casualties were one(1) killed in action, one(1) died of wounds, one(1) killed in a grenade accident, two(2) accidentally shot on patrol, one(1) missing on a hot rope extraction and one(1) died of illness.
Australian SAS are an elite unit, consisting of expertly trained soldiers, who since 1957 have achieved outstanding results in all that they have done.
Notice in this photograph, that the first medal Evans is wearing is a Military Cross (MC). It is, like everything else about Evans, a fake. At the time he would have been awarded that medal, it was only awarded to Commissioned Officers and Warrant Officers. In addition, had it ever been awarded it would be promulgated in the London Gazette. He is not listed in that definitive publication.
Evans will not be strutting his war hero persona for quite a while. Since the newspaper article appeared he has been sentence to six years imprisonment, for manufacturing automatic weapons for Canadian Organised Crime. See the reports here:
Here is another photograph where Evans mixes with other genuine uniformed people:
Many who read the newspaper report about Evans being a Vietnam war hero would have believed it. He is no more than a disgusting fraud, liar and wannabe and now a convicted criminal who should be shunned by society and particularly ex service organisations.
A Canadian friend of ANZMI has described him as follows:
"This dude is filthy lying sack of $#** who has worn a pseudo-uniform adorned with bull$#** insignia and spews tales of his adventures in SE Asia for a most appreciative but gullible audience!"
Our world wide readership will now be aware that, no matter where they are, any person making false claims about Australian service will be exposed and spend the rest of time on our web site, in the same manner as Elwin Evans.
Richard John Robinson hales from Boulder in the Gold Fields of Western Australia.
Robinson was a National Serviceman who claims he served in Vietnam, hence the array of six medals.
The photograph is a bit "blurry" but we believe he is wearing:
Australian Active Service Medal - Not entitled, was never on active service.
Vietnam Medal - Not entitled never served in Vietnam
National Medal - Entitled for work with Fire Brigade
Australian Defence Medal - Entitled
Commemoration of National Service Medal - Entitled
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Not entitled never served in Vietnam.
For many years Robinson has been spinning his Vietnam yarns around the Gold Fields. From the quality of what he says most veterans realize that he is a liar, cheat and wannabe, however generally, citizens of the area believe he is a returned Serviceman, which he is not.
To prove his "story" he claims in the local paper that he met a now deceased Gold Fields man in Saigon whilst serving in Vietnam. There is no evidence in any official government nominal rolls to show that either Robinson or the person he has named ever served in Vietnam.
The newspaper article is of poor quality, but here is what was said:
"Long time friend Rich Robinson will be attending todays shoot to honour his mate who he first met in Saigon whilst on National Service. He was on leave and someone said there is a guy from Kalgoorlie over there."Robinson said he came over and introduced himself and we spoke for a while. One day I walked into the Boulder ex Servicemens Club and there he was. We have been mates ever since.""
We sent Robinson a letter requesting information about his service. We have not received a reply.
"Mr Richard John Robinson 9 May 2016
Boulder WA 6432Dear Mr RobinsonOur organisation works on behalf of Australian and New Zealand Defence Force Veterans.We have been advised that you are a well known Vietnam Veteran, however we have been unable to find any evidence of your service.We have no leanings one way or the other and therefore thought it best to ask you direct to advise about your service. This matter will be easily resolved on receipt of details from you.Please respond to the above email address before the 17th May 2016.Should you not answer we will proceed without your input.Sincerely
Robinson claims service with Army Small Ships, these ships worked in Vietnam waters and also carried supplies from Australia to Vietnam. See detailed information here:
We made and enquiry to 32 Small Ship Squadron Association and below is the reply we received.
Thank you for your enquiry. We have no record of Richard John Robinson as having served in 32 Small Ship Squadron or Vietnam.
I hope you nail him if he is an impostor (he is the second person you have identified who has claimed to have served in 32 and Vietnam).
All the best,
We will advise the Boulder police that Robinson is illegally wearing Defence medals which is an offence against the Defence Act 1903 and has a maximum penalty of a fine of $3,300 or six months imprisonment or both. Throughout Australia, State Police have successfully prosecuted many wannabes under this legislation
We ask Gold Fields Veterans to keep a watch for Robinson on commemorative occasions and if seen, tell him to remove the Vietnam medals and depart the event.
We however, are pleased to welcome Robinson to our website as another liar, cheat and wannabe. The ex Service community is very large and wide spread, if you are faking your military service it is most likely that you will be noticed and end up with Robinson and the hundreds of other guests reposing on our website.
This is the story of Ronald Frederick Holden.
It details how an individual can convince the Department of Defence, 42 years on, that he had qualifying active service in the Republic of South Vietnam, following an alleged tropical cruise to Vung Tau, for a few days, as a guest of the Commander of HMAS Derwent.
His story has only been published after careful deliberation, examination of current records, enquiries with Honours and Awards, Canberra, the Department of Defence and communicating with Ronald Frederick Holden himself on numerous occasions over the past couple of months.
It is complex, a little long, but we hope that our readers can understand the issues involved and the facts uncovered.
From Holden, we have been given the run around, stalling tactics, false information, and an incredible tall story of a 50 calibre machine gun manning, Australian Army 2nd Lieutenant, officially on deck, and officially on duty, in Vung Tau Harbour, South Vietnam, defending the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship HMAS Derwent, from enemy attack, whilst she lay at anchor.
Originally, ANZMI received information from concerned former servicemen, who reside in the Cairns area of North Queensland, Australia. Their concern was that a photograph of Holden had appeared on social media wearing Vietnam medals and the Returned from Active Service Badge, when he had no entitlement to do so. (Photo above.)
At the initial stage of our inquiries, we had been given advice from Mr Alex Garlin, President of the Queensland National Serviceman’s Association, (NSA), that Ronald Frederick Holden, who is on the “Nasho Roll” Queensland, as a Vietnam Veteran, was accredited on their records, with Vietnam War service awards.
The below document is the official National Serviceman’s roll, and is dated the 16 November 2016. It is compiled by administrative members of the National Serviceman’s Association, following information they receive from applicants, who have completed application forms, providing their particulars of military service and medals awarded.
In this case, former Australian Army 2nd Lieutenant Ronald Frederick Holden.
Name Holden , Ronald Frederick
Service Number 1736273
Rank 2nd Lieutenant
Date of Birth 20 06 1947
Place of Birth Cairns Qld
Date of Intake 28/1/1970
NS Training 3 T B
Follow Up Training 6 RAR Singapore Platoon Commander
Basic Training Singleton NSW
Next of Kin at time of Service Mr Holden
Operational Service Vietnam
Medals AASM 45-75 / Vietnam Medal / ADM /ANSM / Vietnamese Campaign Medal
On the application form, Holden has notified the National Serviceman’s Association, that he was a 2nd Lieutenant 6 RAR Singapore Platoon Commander. He also claims "Operational Service Vietnam".
In regards to medal entitlement, Holden then detailed in his application that he has been awarded the -;
AASM 1945 – 1975 Vietnam Medal/ ADM/ ANSM/ Vietnamese Campaign Medal. (Should be Vietnam Campaign Medal)
Note.- Vietnam Medal.
Qualifying service for the Vietnam Medal for the relevant period 29 May 1964 to 27 January 1973 includes:
• 28 days in ships or craft on inland waters or off the coast of Vietnam;
• one day or more on the posted strength of a unit or formation on land;
• one operational sortie over Vietnam or Vietnamese waters by air crew on the posted strength of a unit; or
• official visits either continuous or aggregate of 30 days.
Note - Vietnam Campaign Medal is awarded for 181 days or more service in the Republic of South Vietnam.
Following our initial contact with Alex Garlin, he informed us that he had then made inquiries from Holden’s service records and ascertained that Holden was not really a Vietnam Veteran at all, but must have had his name and medals placed on the roll by his staff in error.
Garlin stated that he then adjusted his records accordingly, and removed all reference of Holden’s Vietnam service and medal entitlements. Garlin has now told us however, that Holden is indeed a Vietnam Veteran and served for a short time in Vietnam. He has now re-adjusted his records again ! It is clear there has been communication between Garlin and Holden, following our initial contact.
Interestingly though, when we initially contacted Holden, regarding the particulars he supplied to the National Serviceman's Association, (NSA) he confirmed all the information, but stated that he may not be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal. (For 181 days service in South Vietnam or S.V waters.). He also claimed that they omitted to place on their records the fact that he attended Scheyville Officer Cadet Unit, information that he had also provided.
Ronald Frederick Holden was born on the 20 June, 1947. He completed an Engineering Degree at Queensland University. In 1970, at age 22, Holden was conscripted into the Australian Army under the provisions of the National Service Act. The normal age for conscription was 20 years. Holden was deferred for 2 years due to his studies. He attended 3 Recruit Training Battalion (3RTB) at Singleton, New South Wales. He extended his two year commitment by six months and was discharged on the 27th July, 1972.
During 1970, Holden attended Scheyville, an Officer Training Unit in New South Wales, where he underwent further training. He graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was then posted to 6 Battalion RAR , at Townsville, North Queensland.
In the above photograph Holden is wearing the following medals.
1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945 – 1975. With clasp Vietnam (AASM.) Not entitled
2. Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal. (VLSM.) Not entitled.
3. Australian Service Medal 1945 – 1975 with clasp South East Asia. Entitled.
4. Australian Defence Medal. (ADM.) Entitled.
5. Anniversary of National Service Medal. (NSM) Entitled.
He is also wearing the Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB) above his medal rack. He is not entitled to wear this badge.
The name of Ronald Frederick Holden does not appear, and has never appeared on the Vietnam Nominal Roll, Australian War Memorial, Canberra. This roll has been available for public knowledge since 1998.
We made inquiries with 6 Battalion RAR Association. We were informed that Holden was a 2nd Lieutenant, Platoon Commander in Singapore, during his time with the Battalion. However, he did not serve in an official capacity in Vietnam with 6 Battalion RAR, or any other Infantry Battalion during his time in the Australian Army.
We have been reliably informed that Holden has indicated to others that he served in Vietnam about May, 1972. He has also varied this story and indicated that he served for only 3 days in Vietnam. Even this statement flies in the face of his claim to the Vietnam Campaign Medal, which is awarded after serving a minimum 181 days or more, in South Vietnam.
In fairness, we contacted Holden and invited him to provide us with details of his Vietnam War service, dates, Unit, Commanding Officer etc. A simple request. He told us that he was on holidays in Vietnam at the current time and he could not provide any answers until he arrives home in late December, 2016.
Following a further request, he stated that whilst based in Singapore with 6 Battalion RAR, he volunteered for service in Vung Tau (Vietnam) for a "particular operation". He states that he then went to Vung Tau in May, 1972, from Singapore.
The problem with this “particular operation” in Vietnam, is that the last Battalion of Australian Infantry left Vietnam on the 7 November, 1971. A handful of Australian Army Advisors and Signallers of the Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam AAAGV, remained in Vietnam until late 1972. A few Infantry personnel also stayed on in Saigon as security for the Australian Embassy
Importantly though, 1 Australian Logistic Support Group Base (1ALSG) at Vung Tau, where Holden claims he went in May, 1972, was vacated and closed in late February - March, 1972. What was left of the Australian Army 1ALSG component had departed. They had boarded HMAS Sydney for home. This was two months before Holden claims he went there on a “particular operation", in May 1972.
FROM DVA WEBSITE. AUSTRALIAN MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN VIETNAM WAR - TIME FRAME.
5 March: The last units of 1ALSG depart Vung Tau. Australia’s commitment to South Vietnam is now limited to about 150 troops of the AATTV and Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam (AAAGV).
Holden’s name also does not appear on the Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam Roll - AAAGV, that remained in Vietnam from 6 March, 1972 until the 18 December, 1972. Also, he was never a member of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. AATTV
In a follow up email to ANZMI he stated -;
"If DoD (Department of Defence) have stuffed up in awarding me something I am not entitled to, let’s let them explain that to us both. From what you say, I may not be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal and if this is the case they will be able to confirm that. I need the file reference to be able to contact them and I do not have that with me".
Holden was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army. The Vietnam Roll has been available to the public on line now for almost 20 years. It is accurate. He would know that his name has never appeared on it in all that time. He now says that he MAY NOT be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal (181 days service in Vietnam) and he is now blaming the Department of Defence. He knows that he was never entitled to that award.
Holden must have been concerned about what he had told us, and he then sent another email to ANZMI claiming that -;
"The operation to which I was attached was the withdrawal of an RAE unit by the RAN. I was assigned to HMAS Derwent to provide assistance to the RAN through and under the command of its Captain, Cdr McNaught. My main duty on board was to man one of the 50 cal machine guns whilst we were in the war zone including in Vung Tau harbour and to assist the skipper in any other way that he directed. My service was later certified by Cdr McNaught. I do not have the dates with me but I recall that the operation is on the public record somewhere.
I have not committed my discharge date to memory but it was late July 1972. I have a record of this at home but I do not think that it mentions the above. Many years later someone advocated that I apply for my medal entitlements which I did and I believe that I allowed DoD to determine what my entitlements were, if any. That is how I ended up with what I have".
So here we have a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army - 6 Battalion RAR based in Singapore, seemingly ending up on HMAS Derwent in Vung Tau Harbour, whose main duty was manning a 50 calibre machine gun in May, 1972. Also, the last recorded visit to Vung Tau by HMAS Derwent was 6 - 8 November, 1971. It is also surprisingly apparent that there was no Derwent crew member qualified to man the ships 50 calibre machine gun, so Army 2nd Lieutenant Ron Holden was recruited from the Army in Singapore to travel with the ship to Vung Tau Harbour.
Another problem for Holden in his story is that there was indeed a Lieutenant Donald McNaught, (Vietnam Nominal Roll), Seaman Branch, who served on the Derwent from the 4 November, 1971 to the 8 November, 1971, (4 days) , calculated from the time Derwent left Singapore until it returned to Singapore. However, McNaught was not the Ship's Captain, and he certainly should not have signed anything to certify Holden's alleged operational Vietnam service. Holden's assertion that Lieutenant McNaught was the Commander of Derwent is a lie.
The Ship's Commander from 1971 until early June, 1972 was Commander Rory W. Burnett. He was replaced by Commander Malcolm D. Jackson about the 2nd June, 1972. (Derwent's Report of Proceedings.)
The below information is from Wikipedia.
- After spending the early part of 1971 on training exercises in Australian waters, Derwent sailed to South East Asia in June. In late September, Derwent met Sydney en route to Vietnam for the ship's twenty-second time, delivering a cargo of defence aid and recovering equipment and personnel from multiple units during 6 to 8 October. Derwent returned home late in the year, and visited multiple Australian ports before docking at Williamstown for refit. The refit continued until March 1972, and Derwent remained in Australian waters until August, when a four-month deployment to South East Asia commenced. In addition to port visits and SEATO exercises, Derwent and HMAS Brisbane took part in the first Australian-Indonesian naval exercise in November.
Note. The dates Wikipedia have detailed regarding Derwent's visit to Vung Tau Harbour from the 6 - 8 October 1971 are incorrect. Derwent did not visit Vung Tau in October, 1971. The last recorded visit to Vung Tau Harbour by Derwent was the 4 - 8 November, 1971. On this occasion the ship accompanied the HMAS Sydney. Derwent anchored in Vung Tau Harbour at 6.45am on the 6 November, 1971 and departed 16 hours later at 11pm that night.
Derwent was nowhere near Vietnam in May, 1972. Holden's assertions are lies.
*** If however, we accept the fact that Holden has his dates wrong, and he allegedly visited Vung Tau Harbour on Derwent’s last deployment between 4 - 8 November, 1971, (6 months earlier), the following information, some of which he provided to us, must be taken into consideration.
1. From Holden - He initially informed us by email that when he was on Derwent, it accompanied HMAS Melbourne to Vung Tau Harbour. That is false, the Melbourne never went to Vung Tau Harbour.
2. From Holden - As a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army, he was ordered to man a 50 calibre machine gun on Derwent, whilst the ship was in Vung Tau Harbour.
3.. FACT - He was never a crew member of this ship.
4. From Holden - He claims that another Army Officer was with him, but he cannot be contacted to verify anything, because he is suffering from PTSD over this visit.
5. From Holden - He knows two former Brigadier Generals who can verify his story, but they are in their eighties now. He cannot contact them as they deserve their quiet time.
6. From Holden - His Commanding Officer, who provided written confirmation to him of his Vietnam active service was Commander McNaught.
7. FACT - A Lieutenant McNaught served on the Derwent at the time. Commander Rory Burnett was the Commander, and Captain of the ship.
8. FACT - There are no official records available of Holden’s trip to Vung Tau, including his personal Service Record or Discharge Certificate, which he claims he has lost.
9. FACT - There is a “HMAS Derwent Record of Ships Proceedings for the month of November, 1971”, where Commander Rory Burnett indicates that several unnamed members of the Australian Army were on board his ship for the trip to Vung Tau as a “reciprocal gesture” for the Army, jungle training some of his sailors in Singapore. He states, that a small number of Army personnel were permitted to land briefly to visit Army installations.
FACT -This was not an official "Staff visit or inspection of Australian Forces or equipment in Vietnam" as required by Department of Defence for operational service. Any claim that it was, is false.
10. FACT - Holden was not “allotted for Duty” to a Unit, or as an individual to the operational theatre of South Vietnam. Any claim that he was, is also false.
11. FACT - At the most, he would be classified as a guest of Commander Burnett, due to the “reciprocal gesture”.
12. FACT - He was never posted to Vietnam for a “particular operation” as he has claimed. That is also a lie.
13. FACT - We asked Holden to provide us with evidence that should appear on his discharge certificate, detailing the number of active service days accredited to him on that certificate?
14 From Holden - inter alia, I do not have my discharge certificate. I have moved many times over the last 44 years, and it is the only thing that has gone missing.
15 FACT - Holden’s presence on a tropical voyage, if he did go at all , as a guest of Commander Burnett, was not known by the Department of Defence until 2013, following his application for the AASM 1945-1975, the VLSM, and the RASB.
16. FACT - These trips were commonly known and described by Army personnel during the Vietnam War as "Swannies" or "Junkets".
17. FACT - Therefore, 42 years later, Holden must have arranged some written documentation from "someone", that he was either force assigned or allotted for duty to South Vietnam as an individual, for his application to be accepted, and Vietnam medals awarded.
18. FACT - If this has occurred then one could conclude, that something has taken place, perhaps a conspiracy, by Holden and others, to falsify or embellish his role, e.g. to place him on official duty, in a War Zone, manning a HMAS Derwent 50 calibre machine gun, in order for him to receive those medals and the RASB, from Department of Defence, with all the ensuing Department of Veterans Affairs active service benefits, including service and disability pensions etc, that he will be now eligible to claim for life.
For example, his unnamed Army Officer colleague, who Holden cannot now contact because of his PTSD, caused by this "Swannie."
19. FACT Holden, on request, has failed to provide ANZMI with any supporting documentation from Lieutenant McNaught, or anyone else that confirms his alleged visit to Vung Tau Harbour, Vietnam.
On the 15 December, 2016, Holden sent the following email to ANZMI following his return from his overseas holiday -;
I am home and I have opened my file to be reminded that I have not been awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal or the Vietnam Medal. I do not have copies of them. I could therefore never have worn them. I have also checked my actual full size and miniature medals and they are correct.
Amazing! In December, 2016, Holden has finally realised that he was never awarded and has no entitlement to the Vietnam Campaign Medal or the Vietnam Medal. (As per the National Serviceman’s application information he provided).
However, he continues to claim operational Vietnam service.
On the 19 December, 2016, he sent the following email and attachment to ANZMI -;
I have never shared this letter before since I regard it as being private and personal to me. I have had to have it scanned since I got back to make this copy. I could not have sent it to you without the scan. Defence awarded these based on their own research but obviously failed to update the Nominal Roll. It is this information and that update that I am seeking from them.
Holden states that "Defence awarded these based on their own research but obviously failed to update the nominal roll" That statement is also not true. The Department of Defence awarded the medals and RASB, based on information that was provided to them by Holden. It was his responsibility to provide the proof, not the Department of Defence.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Repatriation Handbook specifies that -;
“Where the claimant contends that he was allotted for duty in an operational area , and this is not confirmed by his service documents, further information will need to be obtained from the relevant service”
As there was no confirmation of Vietnam service on the records of Holden, or his Discharge Certificate, Department of Defence have obviously awarded him the medals, and the RASB following false documentation submitted by Holden in the year 2013.
Holden by his actions, has contended that he was officially allotted for duty to Vietnam. If you disregard his ridiculous assertion, that his main duty was assignment to a 50 calibre machine gun for the entire time the ship was in harbour in the War Zone, then he had no other allotted duties to perform. He was not there for an official visit or inspection. He was not a HMAS Derwent crew member. He was there following an invitation by Commander Burnett as a good will gesture. Thats all.
ANZMI say documentation submitted by Holden is false and dishonest. He should not have been awarded the AASM 1945- 1975 and the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM) by Department of Defence.
In a previous email to ANZMI, Holden categorically denies ever having claimed to have been a Platoon Commander in 6 Battalion RAR in Vietnam.
However, we located the following current document. -;
The below resume is from a Health Care Action Group website named COUCH WELLNESS CENTRE, based in Cairns, North Queensland.
Holden, who is a Director of this organisation, also claims on the Directors section of the website that he served for two years as a Pioneer Platoon Commander in the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Singapore/Malaysia and South Vietnam.
Ron Holden – Director Since 2013
Ron Holden was born in Cairns and attended the University of Queensland and completed a Bachelor of Engineering. After earning a commission at the Officer Training Unit, Scheyville in 1970, Ron Served for two years as a Pioneer Platoon Commander in the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Singapore/Malaysia and South Vietnam.
Holden never served as a Platoon Commander 6 Battalion RAR in South Vietnam. That statement is also a lie.
We believe that Holden is entitled to wear the -;
1. Australian Service Medal 1945 – 1975 with clasp South East Asia, for 30 days or more peacetime service in Singapore.
2. The Australian Defence Force Medal,
3. Anniversary of National Service Medal.
He is not entitled to wear the rest, and if he has been officially awarded them, then he should hand them back. They were issued on false information provided by Holden to the Department of Defence.
In our last communication with Holden, he informed us that "one of the other 6RAR Officers who was on the same deployment has been awarded the same medals. He is being treated for PTSD and I will not be consulting with him either."
If you believe Holden, it must have been one traumatic trip. Manning machine guns in Vung Tau Harbour could cause all sorts of mental health problems. Especially when it was an in country Rest and Convalescence (R & C.) town for our genuine fighting troops.
We hope that the entire crew of Derwent, who were there at the same time, are not suffering identical effects as Holden's colleague from that traumatic visit.
Incidentally, Commander Rory Burnett in Derwent's Record of Proceedings, for that day, does not indicate that any traumatic incident occurred at all in the ships short 11 hour visit to Vung Tau Harbour.
We have notified Honours and Awards, Department of Defence, Canberra, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. They have advised us to also notify the Police with the factual evidence that we possess.
It is these Departments that should be commencing their own inquiries into investigating alleged evidence of outlandish false claims of "active service" by individuals or groups, We did it all on the public record.
So should they.
Holden is a shameless imposter, who has had the gall to apply for Vietnam Active Service Medals in 2013, that he knows he did not earn, 42 years beforehand.
As a former Commissioned Officer with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army, Holden should apologise to all his former colleagues in 6 Battalion RAR, the National Serviceman’s Association, Queensland, and everyone else he has treated with contempt, including his friends at COUCH WELLNESS CENTRE, for wearing unearned Vietnam campaign medals, the RASB, and claiming active service in South Vietnam, when, at the very most, he was a guest of Commander Burnett as a good will "gesture." His PTSD colleague should do the same.
Welcome to the site, former 2nd Lieutenant Ronald Frederick Holden, 6 Battalion RAR.
Kenneth Edward ENGLISH Update 19 Dec 16
English has now departed from the Sub Branch committee and the RSL Memorial Club Board of Directors.
In 2016, English was directed by NSW RSL State Branch to resign all positions he held at the Sub Branch, and to never stand again within the RSL movement in any capacity. He subsequently resigned as Junior Vice President.
As a consequence of this decision, members of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club, where English held the position of Senior Vice President, then put the Executive Directors on notice that they wished to hold an Extraordinary General meeting for English to explain his lies about his claimed Vietnam service to members.
When English was notified of this discontent, he resigned the position forthwith.
He is still an ordinary member of the RSL Memorial Club and Sub Branch.
Warren Thomas, close friend of English, and the President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch, tried to cover this matter up for a number of years. Thomas was reprimanded by NSW RSL State Branch, for the attempted cover up and inaction. Thomas continues in that role for the present time.
Both Thomas and English should hang their heads in shame for allowing this matter to continue for so long without notifying NSW RSL State Branch, the membership of the Sub Branch or the Memorial Club.
KENNETH EDWARD ENGLISH UPDATE. 17 June, 2016.
We exposed Kenneth Edward English, Senior Vice President, Cronulla RSL Memorial Club and Junior Vice President, Cronulla RSL Sub Branch, as a Vietnam Veteran imposter to the world in 2014. Over many years he persisted with his deceitful, immoral and illegal behaviour. On six known occasions, he claimed that he was a Vietnam veteran who had returned from active service in January, 1968.
In fact, he had not one day of active service, in Vietnam or anywhere else.
His abhorrent and disgraceful behaviour was overlooked and covered up by his close friend Warren Thomas, the current President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch. Thomas is also a Director of Cronulla RSL Memorial Club Ltd.
English was duly reported to the senior executive of the New South Wales Returned and Services League of Australia, State Branch, Sydney as an imposter by the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia. (VVFA) and others.
English finally resigned his membership of the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, Granville in 2015, due to their concerns regarding his fraudulent claims, and our last exposure where we provided conclusive evidence that he was, and is, a Vietnam veteran fraud who had joined that organisation by telling lies about his Royal Australian Navy Vietnam service. He also removed the three VVFA medal riband decal stickers that he had purchased and placed on his motor vehicle.
Following the report to the RSL NSW State Branch, an investigation concluded that English had falsely claimed Vietnam operational service in the Royal Australian Navy.
This was in contravention of the Defence Act 1903 Section 80A. (Falsely representing himself to be a returned sailor, soldier or airman)
As a consequence, English was summoned to RSL NSW State Branch, Sydney, on the 22 February, 2016. He was then directed by the State Branch Executive to, resign his Junior Vice President position of Cronulla RSL Sub Branch, and any other Sub Branch positions immediately, in lieu of such determination being enforced by State RSL.
This was on the basis that his false claims will bring further discredit upon the League and Cronulla RSL Sub Branch. He has been further instructed that "this is to be a permanent termination and he is to never again stand for any position within the RSL organisation".
His President and friend Warren Thomas, who attempted to cover this matter up for years has also received official notification of this direction.
Thomas, photo above, was officially reprimanded by RSL NSW State Branch for his part in the cover up, as was one other Committeeman. However, Thomas continues as President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch and Director of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club Ltd.
Thomas has no credibility and should also resign his positions for knowing that whilst English was holding an executive position on the Sub Branch committee, and Senior Vice President of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club Ltd., he was a Vietnam veteran imposter. Thomas did nothing about it. He then supported English and protected him for years after English was originally exposed as a fraud and a liar.
Like most imposters and their supporters, Thomas has threatened to sue ANZMI for our factual disclosures.
Sometimes the truth is difficult to accept.
Following his resignation from the VVFA Granville, English finally resigned from all positions on the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch committee on the 15 March, 2016 in accordance with the RSL NSW State Branch direction.
He still remains an ordinary RSL Sub Branch member, and incredibly Vice President of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club, a different entity,for the moment.
As the current Memorial Club Vice President, he still receives a generous yearly cash honorarium , free trips away, free meals, free drinks and other benefits. Benefits that ordinary members do not receive.
English was elected to the Memorial Club Board on the false premise that he was a "former Royal Australian Navy (RAN) rating, with active and emergency service". This false information was included in his resume for election to the Memorial Club Board. We have a copy. Just more lies.
The Cronulla RSL Memorial Club President and committee members should demand the resignation of English from their Board immediately, to save further embarrassment by bringing the Memorial Club into disrepute as well.
He is still the Secretary of the The Sutherland Shire Naval Association, Sydney. That body should also demand his resignation for his lies.
The new executive of RSL NSW State Branch have made an emphatic statement to those who desire to join that organisation and seek executive Sub Branch office by claiming false military service. If you falsify your service, you will be caught out, disciplined and/or expelled.
Mr Rod White, President of the RSL NSW State Branch and Mr Glenn Kolomeitz, CEO, RSL NSW State Branch have made it abundantly clear in their mission statement that core values of integrity and honour will be strictly adhered to.
These values will hopefully encourage younger veterans from Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, the fourth wave of veterans, to join their local RSL Sub Branches and participate in continuing the proud traditions of the RSL organisation.
It is their future and their families future as well.
We will gladly support Mr Rod White and Mr Glenn Kolomeitz in continuing with these ideals by weeding out imposters and their supporters at executive level or otherwise, who are detected within the League or other ex service organisations.
ENGLISH UPDATE - 17 Apr 15
Since our recent disclosure of imposter Kenneth Edward English, the Cronulla (Sydney) RSL Club Sub Branch Junior Vice President and RSL Memorial Club Senior Vice President, he surprisingly continues to hold both of these senior executive positions, even though he has been proven to be a Vietnam Veteran fraud.
We have received notification that members of the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia are amazed that English still retains both executive positions after records disclosed that he is an imposter. He has not contacted the VVFA and apologised for his lies or resigned his Vietnam veteran membership.
English not only lied about his Vietnam active service to the then Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, but also on his Cronulla RSL Sub Branch resume, to a local St George Leader newspaper Reporter, several other places including RSL Sub Branch members, but we have since been sent his original resume for the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club by concerned RSL Memorial Club members, where he holds the executive position of Senior Vice President and obtains substantial monetary benefits.
In this document, where RSL Memorial Club members are informed of the committee person's credentials, and vote accordingly, English again claims that he had "12 years RAN (Royal Australian Navy) with, "Active (service) and emergency reserve (service) capacities."
We remind the reader that English had no active service whatsoever.
Not one day.
He has deceitfully claimed active (operational) service again to enhance his standing within the membership and community to gain positions on both committees and attract votes to acquire generous benefits. His deceit has happened on at least six occasions that we know of, and have been mentioned above.
English is cunning.
Now that he is entrenched in his positions for another three years, he has altered his false Cronulla RSL Memorial Club resume and deleted the words "active and emergency reserve (service)capacities",following suspicions from RSL Memorial Club members and committee members. He has also altered his Cronulla RSL Sub Branch resume where he told blatant lies about his "active service in the Far East and New Guinea" whilst he was in the Australian Navy.
Frauds like English use every means to get themselves voted on RSL Club committees, but quickly remove any tell tale signs of deception once they are elected and established in their positions, where they then seek further advancement to an executive role and increased benefits.
Like English, they even stand for President.
When caught out, they just shrug their shoulders and hope life goes on just as before because of the support they gain along the way.
We have also been notified that English has continued to lie about his RAN Vietnam service since he was originally discovered as a fraud in 2011.
Following our original disclosure in 2014, he was subsequently reported to the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch President in writing by a highly respected local resident, that he falsely claimed to him that he went to Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney. This was three years after he had been originally reported for telling Sub Branch members lies about his false Vietnam service and bringing his RSL Sub Branch into disrepute.
We have received further reports from Memorial Club members of how he told them that he was a crew member of HMAS Sydney when it went to Vietnam, however he was "put off at Brisbane due to illness".
English is an incorrigible liar and has been for years. Medical experts may classify his condition as "mythomania or pseudoligia fantastica", a psychiatric condition where the person loses personal judgement and distorts reality. He considers himself a tall poppy.
Others might say he is just an imposter and a glory hunter chasing further recognition.
Members of all Ex Service Organisations (ESO's) expect their committee representatives to be scrupulously honest.
English is a proven imposter, yet he maintains his prestigious rewarded positions with support from his President and a few of his Sub Branch committee mates.
English has not been ordered to resign by his friend, the President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch committee Mr. Warren Thomas.
Our advice to Thomas is that if you protect an imposter, you can consider yourself an imposter. You are just one step away.
Thomas in an e mail he sent to Anzmi stated -;
"We at Cronulla share your concerns about anyone obtaining benefit or kudos by purporting service in our armed forces that is untrue."
This edict must only apply to others, but somehow not for his mate English.
Thomas should also resign for his double standards and lies. He lacks leadership. He has threatened ANZMI with legal action, but he knows that what ANZMI have published is the truth and is supported by documentation. That is difficult to get over. We welcome any legal action that he or English are willing to pay for. They know how to contact us.
We do not usually get involved in Club politics but when RSL Presidents defend blatant imposters and then threaten us with legal action, it behoves us to get the truth out there.
Particularly when they are disrespectful of other genuine Vietnam veterans as indicated below.
Another Executive Cronulla RSL Sub Branch Committee member, again defending English, recently sent an offensive e mail to Mr. Bill Hobson, of ANZMI regarding Bill Hobson stating, "all he did was cook baked beans on the Vampire." and denigrating his Naval Vietnam service.
Is it true that Bill Hobson claims to be a Vietnam Vet but all he did was cook Baked Beans on the Vampire"
Also, in 2014, Cattell posted the following message on a website called "Cav's Blog".
Cattell, oblivious to the fact that Bill Hobson is a pseudonym, lambasted him in another e mail posted on the internet, in that,
"This little pr-ck Bill Hobson was a Cook on the (HMAS) Vampire and spent 16 days in the South China Sea. Think he got a medal. Wounded by baked beans".
"Kerry Cattell May 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM
I agree wannabees need to be outed but ANZMI outs brothers. I wrote to Hobson about outing Keith Joyce. Now Joyce wears some medals incorrectly but this guy was THERE. MM and Army commendation Medal (US) for valour. This little prick, Bill Hobson, was a cook on the VAMPIRE and spent 16 days in the South China Sea. Think he got a medal , Wounded by Baked Beans.He would understand that some brothers have PTSD and if they want to wear a Sheriff's tin star with their medals it doesn't worry me."
Denigrating Royal Australian Navy Cooks on widely read social media is not a very smart comment to make from an RSL Executive Committee member. You could make a lot of enemies with that attitude.
There is a William Hobson who was a "Royal Australian Navy Cook" on the Vietnam Nominal Roll, and who served honorably on the HMAS Vampire, but we can assure you that it is not Bill Hobson Anzmi.
Importantly, William Hobson the Navy Cook went to Vietnam. English, who Thomas and Cattell are defending did not. English claims to have gone, but decided to go on holidays instead, knowing the ship was leaving for Vietnam in a few days. English is the imposter here. William Hobson, Royal Australian Navy Cook, HMAS Vampire IS NOT.
He is a genuine Vietnam veteran, who does not need the disrespect of Cattell denigrating his Naval active service on at least two occasions that we know of.
We are certain that every RAN cook who ever served in Vietnam waters or elsewhere, and was accredited with active service or not, would not be very impressed with Cattell's comments. When censured by ANZMI for these highly offensive remarks, Cattell later recanted and stated that "someone must have used his e mail address (to send these messages) without his knowledge". That excuse is like "The dog ate my homework."
We here at ANZMI respect all genuine servicemen and women who have contributed to this Nation. We do not discriminate as to what Branch of the Services or positions they hold or held in their honorable service. They all support each other.
We do however, have a problem with wannabees, frauds and all those who defend them. Cattell denigrates the Vietnam service of others to protect his mate.
Cattell also mentions, " If some brothers have PTSD and want to wear a Sheriff's tin star with their medals, it doesn't worry me". Cattell adopts the position that you can wear what you like and say what you like about your alleged military service. If Cattell ever becomes in charge of an RSL Branch, it will be open slather. All the imposters and wannabees will love him.
We get dozens of e mails from young Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor veterans who inform us that they decline to join the RSL movement due to wannabees holding controlling positions within the organisation. This situation is not helped by the likes of RSL Presidents and others we have exposed as imposters recently, who have gained their positions by deception.
Lance Mailer Smith, President, Glenroy RSL Victoria,
David Hugh Edwards, President, Leongatha RSL, Victoria,
John Malcolm Griffiths, President, Essendon RSL., Victoria,
Geoffrey Phillip Lyles, President, Kyneton RSL, Victoria,
Douglas Craig OLoughlan, President, Bright RSL Victoria,
Alexander Robert Fullarton, Former President/Secretary, Carnarvon RSL, Western Australia,
Graeme Rex Caesar, Interim National President, Submarines Association of Australia, Queensland,
and of course -;
Mr Kenneth Edward English, Vice President, Cronulla RSL, NSW.
However, in spite of what ANZMI does in exposing RSL and other ESO frauds, we encourage those younger veterans to join the respected RSL organisation, participate, stand for committees, and continue the fight against wannabees and medal cheats and report them to ANZMI, to safeguard the legacy of what has been handed down by genuine returned RSL veterans over decades.
Whilst they are out there, and whilst we have your support, we will continue our exposures and provide regular updates of all imposters who continue to hold ESO committee positions and those who defend them.
The truth is our ally
Being exposed by Anzmi as a military fraud and a wannabee has no time limitations. Some of the imposters we have placed on site here have lived the lie for years.
We try and correct that by exposing the truth. The truth is our aim and the truth is our motive.
We continually remind Ex Service Organisations and in particular RSL Clubs to monitor and regularly audit their members for claimed military service and medals entitlements. Without these protocols, an anything goes situation prevails.
One organisation that regularly audit their records and require stringent documentary proof of military service of applicants who apply to join their organisation is the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia. (VVFA)
Kenneth English is another example of how imposters get themselves elected into executive positions on Returned Services League (RSL) Club committees and enjoy the fruits of their deceit for years until they are caught out.
R95543 Kenneth Edward English, Born on the 9 October, 1950, joined the Royal Australian Navy on the 9 July 1966. He enlisted for 12 years as a junior recruit.
Following his training, he became an Ordinary Seaman, (Stores Assistant). He eventually served on HMAS Sydney from 29 June, 1967 to 10 December, 1967, when he took leave and was then posted to HMAS Moresby, following completion of his leave on the 1st January, 1968.
These dates are significant as you read on.
He is currently the Senior Vice President of the Cronulla Returned Services League Memorial Club (RSL), and the Junior Vice President of the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch located in Sydney. He is currently the Secretary of the Sutherland Shire Naval Association. He considers himself a "tall poppy".
English has claimed Vietnam Naval active service on the HMAS Sydney in December, 1967, but in fact he had none.
The integrity of Kenneth Edward English has come to the attention of ANZMI investigators that confirm that he is a long time imposter and fraud.
Members of the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, (VVFA), formerly Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, (VVAA), and others, are concerned that English is not who he claims to be.
On the 22 May, 2008, English completed details on an application form for membership of that organisation falsely claiming to be a Vietnam Veteran with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) service on the HMAS Sydney, on dates between the 29/6/67 to 2/1/1968.
This application was accepted on the basis that the information he provided was the truth. The Vietnam Nominal Roll was checked and his name appeared on it.
His application was approved on that basis.
He was then granted membership as a Vietnam Veteran of that organisation and as such, he applied for and purchased Vietnam War Ribands bumper bar stickers for his vehicle, and the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia Lapel badge.
A copy of his VVFA record disclosing the information he provided is shown below.
The document below is the erroneous Vietnam Nominal Roll entry from the Australian War Memorial records, that his application was checked against and approved.
The executive and members are not too impressed when imposters fraudulently misrepresent themselves to join their great long standing organisation and claim the honour of Vietnam veterans to gain benefits when in fact, they had no Vietnam service at all.
A spokesperson told us that -;
"When we came home from Vietnam a lot of military personnel would not even admit to being a Vietnam veteran because of the way we were treated. Now people falsely misrepresent themselves and cash in on it to get benefits and courtesies that they don't deserve and steal our honour. He slipped through the system somehow by telling lies."
His records at the VVFA still have him registered as a Vietnam veteran with HMAS Sydney, Royal Australian Naval Service as indicated above.
At the time English joined the VVFA in 2008, his name had been included on the Australian War Memorial, (AWM) Vietnam Nominal Roll, Canberra, in error since 1997.
He was aware at the time he joined the VVFA that his name had been placed on the Roll in error. He did nothing to correct the mistake. For years he then delicately tip toed and in fact crossed the line of ethics and integrity in respect to his alleged Royal Australian Navy “active service”, knowing his chances of being caught out were minimal.
Over the years, he managed to build up a false image that he is a Vietnam Veteran, including joining the VVFA. He has then used that misinformation to gain key positions on committees to gain undeserved financial benefits and increased standing in the community.
During his naval service, Ordinary Seaman Kenneth English served in the Far East Strategic Reserve in a non combatant peacetime capacity and also in New Guinea as a Stores Assistant. At the time English served, these areas were non war like and not classified as active duty.
In June, 1967, English was a crew member of HMAS Sydney.
HMAS Sydney was a retired Naval Aircraft Carrier, but due to Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, the ship had been re-commissioned in 1962 as a troop and transport ship. From May, 1965, the ship was engaged in the highly important role of transporting troops, supplies, ammunitions, vehicles and other war time necessities from Sydney to Vung Tau Harbour, Vietnam. It was affectionately known as the Vung Tau ferry.
On the 11 December, 1967, whilst a crew member of HMAS Sydney, Ordinary Seaman Kenneth English availed himself of 21 days annual leave. His leave record is shown below.
A few days later, HMAS Sydney commenced its voyage from Sydney via Fremantle, Western Australia, to Vung Tau, Vietnam with its necessary provisions for the war effort.
This was the HMAS Sydney’s 8th voyage to Vietnam.
English at this time was enjoying his annual leave, whilst his shipmates were training and readying themselves for whatever lay in front of them on active service in Vietnam waters.
The Ship's records indicate that on this particular voyage, HMAS Sydney was accredited with 15 days active service from the 20 December, 1967 to the 3 January, 1968. The ship transported 3 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment to Vietnam.
Every Naval crew member posted on the ship at the time was accredited with the equivalent active service days, and this was accrued from when the ship left the last Australian port of Fremantle to when it returned to Fremantle 15 days later.
In 1997, the records of all Australian servicemen and women, Army, Navy and Air Force, who had served in the Republic of Vietnam or Vietnam waters, were posted on the Australian War Memorial (AWM) Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans web site for public viewing.
In a massive task undertaken, some errors were made.
One particular error was the inclusion of naval rating R95543 Kenneth Edward English, Ordinary seaman, stores assistant, who was credited with 15 days active service on the HMAS Sydney from 20 December, 1967 to the 3 January, 1968 when the ship departed Fremantle for Vung Tau, Vietnam and returned to Fremantle.
He was in fact on annual leave during this time.
English became aware of this glaring error, but as stated, did nothing to correct it. In fact, some years later, he used the incorrect information to his own advantage when applying for positions on RSL Club executive positions.
Positions that reward him with cash honorariums, meals, drinks and trips away. Benefits that other normal members do not have access to.
In the document above , his Curriculum Vitae (C.V) for election at his local Cronulla RSL club indicated that he saw “active service” with the “Far East Strategic Reserve and P.N.G.”
The Far East Strategic Reserve was only classified by the Australian Government as “active service” if, in the case of the Royal Australian Navy, the ship had qualifying service in prescribed war like areas. His description would indicate to the reader/member that he had served in a war zone. The only prescribed war zone at the time English served in the Navy was Vietnam. He certainly did not go there.
He was on holidays!
As for performing "Active Service" in Papua New Guinea in the 1960's, no further comment is required. He would have known that, due to the fact that he would have been entitled to be awarded with the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM).
The above document is an extract of an article that appeared in the local Newspaper. In his role of Sub Branch Vice president, English was a Master of Ceremonies at Munro Park Memorial, Cronulla, in regards to the commemoration of the death of an Australian Soldier, who had been killed in action in Afghanistan. When interviewed, English told the reporter that he (English) was in fact a Vietnam War veteran. This was included in the local newspaper write up.
A Newspaper spokesperson has been contacted by ANZMI, who confirmed that the reporter would not have accredited English with being a Vietnam War veteran unless the reporter was told by English himself.
We were told, "How else would our Journalist know, you just don't fabricate things like that."
The above photograph is English wearing the Vietnam Veterans lapel badge he purchased from the VVFA.
English also placed the VVFA bumper bar "Vietnam war riband" sticker on his personal vehicle disclosing to all that he was a Vietnam veteran with active service.
He would have known that when the VVFA made inquiries to confirm the legitimacy of his claimed Vietnam service with the Australian War Memorial, they would have located his name on the Vietnam Nominal Roll. He knew that his particulars had been placed there in error, therefore, he had nothing to fear and he did nothing to correct it.
We have also ascertained that English directly told some Cronulla RSL Sub Branch members that he went to Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney in December, 1967.
ANZMI recently contacted the Cronulla RSL Sub Branch President to ascertain the outcome of a reported investigation initiated by concerned members that English was not who he purported to be and was not a Vietnam veteran at all.
However, the President, Warren Thomas reported in writing that the matter was finalised.
Thomas stated that "Some time ago it was reported that Mr English appeared incorrectly on the nominal roll of Vietnam Veterans along with some other "hear say" about his Vietnam service" Thomas stated that they are aware of the matter, but the investigation has been finalised. In other words, no further action. Thomas further responded in writing that,
"We at Cronulla share your concerns about anyone obtaining benefit or kudos by purporting service in our armed forces that is untrue."
If that is the case Mr. Warren Thomas, why did you allow English to carry on in executive positions within the RSL Memorial Club and Sub Branch after it had been brought to your attention and proven that English was an imposter claiming Vietnam service when he had none. Why would you do that?
By concealing the facts, Thomas is treating his fellow Memorial Club and as far as we know Sub Branch committee members with complete disrespect, arrogance and contempt.
Our inquiries have revealed that the New South Wales R.S.L. State Headquarters has not been notified by Thomas of any investigation into the fraudulent activities of English.
As a consequence, English continues to hold positions and gain benefits at Senior Executive level at both the Memorial Club and the Sub Branch as though nothing has happened. Recently, he was re-appointed as the Senior Vice President of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club for another three years. He had previously stood for President but was defeated.
He has never been reprimanded. We have been assured that he and Thomas have never revealed his deceptions or apologized to the RSL Memorial Club Committee and members or, as far as we know, the Sub Branch Committee and members. They are all unaware of his unethical behaviour and his “wannabee” status.
We recently contacted English. He stated that he apologised to the Sub Branch members who he told he was a Vietnam veteran, however after several requests, he refused to provide us with the names of these members and we are unable to confirm the truth of his statement. Why won't he tell us? You can make your own mind up about that.
Our investigation has revealed that as a result of him being reported to the Sub Branch President Thomas as an imposter , he finally organised the removal of his name from the Vietnam Nominal Roll, after he knew it was incorrectly listed there for 17 years.!!!
However, no one at either Club is the wiser and he still obtains the benefits.
When asked for any further conditions imposed upon him, both English and Thomas declined to respond.
English stated however, that "This is clearly a tall poppy syndrome attack and a witch hunt based on hearsay."
Well we do not consider English to be a "tall poppy" and we certainly do not think it is"hearsay". Far from it. He has acquired his so called "tall poppy" positions at the RSL Club by producing misleading documentation on his c.v. regarding his "active service" , untruths to members and deceit. He has also misled voting members who placed their trust in him by his behaviour. "That is not hearsay"
He lied to the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia in May 2008 by claiming false Vietnam Royal Australian Navy service when he had none. "That is not hearsay either."
English had every opportunity to travel to Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney. However, he took annual leave instead for his own reasons, knowing that the ship was leaving in a few days time. He subsequently became aware of the administrative error at the AWM and used this error to his own advantage to claim Vietnam active service for many years.
He has used the honour of his genuine shipmates who left for Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney in December 1967 and Vietnam Veterans in general, to enhance his own status in the community to gain undeserved substantial financial benefits and rewards for years.
He should write to the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia immediately and apologise for his deceitful conduct and resign his membership.
There was no misunderstanding. English claimed to that organisation that he was a Vietnam War Veteran with RAN service on the HMAS Sydney on the dates indicated when he applied for membership, and then purchased the war ribands sticker for his car and VVFA badge.
The Memorial and Sub Branch committees should also take action against wannabees lurking in their midst and not conceal the facts from their members.
English should resign from all his self described "tall poppy" positions at the Club immediately. If he does not, then he should be shown the door. He should also publicly apologise to all Vietnam veterans for stealing their honour.
It is an offence under the Defence Act 1903 to claim to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman.
DEFENCE ACT 1903 - SECT 80A - Falsely representing to be returned soldier, sailor or airman
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person represents himself or herself to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman; and
(b) the representation is false.
Penalty: 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months, or both.
(2) For the purposes of this section:
(a) returned soldier means a person who has served abroad during any war as a member of any Military Force raised in Australia or in any other part of the British Empire, or as a member of the Military Forces of any Ally of Great Britain.
The President who made the poor decision to cover up for English in this fiasco, knowing full well that he is a Vietnam veteran imposter, should also resign from his positions for the integrity of the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club, the Sub Branch and the NSW State RSL Headquarters.
Genuine Vietnam veterans have struggled with mental issues and other major disorders for years because of what they endured.
Those who steal their honour are not fit for executive office in the RSL organisation.
Joe Serre was born on the 27 August, 1947. He joined the Royal Australian Navy on the 21 September, 1964 for 9 years. Following training, and a number of Shore Base postings, he was deployed to HMAS Melbourne on the 11 January, 1965. He served on and off the ship for the following 7 months. Although he signed for 9 years, he was discharged on application after 5 years, for personal reasons in 1969.
Serre is a lily gilder, an attention seeker, and a glory hunter.
The above photograph, from the Cairns Post, shows a solemn Joe Serre posing for the camera, whilst reflecting back on his Vietnam service on HMAS Melbourne. This photograph was taken at the Cairns Esplanade Cenotaph on Vietnam Veterans Day.
HMAS Melbourne was a Royal Australian Navy Aircraft Carrier that conducted a number of good will tours around the Far East in the period Serre was a member of the crew. It also conducted South East Asia Treaty Organisation exercises and was a member of the Far East Strategic Reserve. (FESR.)
During February and May, 1965, Melbourne served in the Malay Peninsula area and Singapore.
In late May, 1965, whilst in the Singapore area, Melbourne joined company with HMAS Sydney. Sydney was a former Aircraft Carrier, but later converted into a troop and transport ship for purposes of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. At this time, Sydney was en route to Vung Tau, South Vietnam, with troops and supplies for the Australian War effort.
Melbourne accompanied the Sydney to a safe area just outside Vietnam territorial waters. Melbourne stayed in this safe haven for a period of about four days. It was never deployed into the prescribed war zone theatre, or anywhere near land.
FROM RAN RECORDS. – HMAS MELBOURNE.
On 27 March she contributed to Exercise SHOWPIECE off Singapore designed to impress upon the political and military leaders of the region the continued strength and readiness of the British Far East Fleet. She joined HMAS Sydney (III)’s escort force for four days during the troop carrier’s voyage to Vietnam in early June, and arrived back home in Sydney later in the month
However, although not assigned to the theatre, years down the track, and as a result of multiple submissions by Naval Associations, the crew of Melbourne were later accredited with 23 days active service for this escort voyage by Department of Defence. This period included from the date they sailed from the previous port (Singapore) until they reached the next one, which was Sydney, Australia.
Following the representations, in 1993 the crew were entitled to the new award of the Vietnam Logistic Support Medal for the Sydney escort voyage in May, 1965.
In 1997 the crew were entitled to the new award of Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975, and Return from Active Service Badge for the same escort voyage.
In 1995, the crew were entitled to apply for Australian Service Medal and clasp, for their time in the Malaysian Peninsula and Singapore. Prior to that, the General Service Medal was awarded for that conflict.
Following the commemoration of Vietnam Veterans Day at Cairns, in Northern Queensland, the below mentioned story with his photograph appeared in the The Cairns Post.
Serre was quoted in this article headed as follows -;
VIETNAM VETS STAND TALL TO ATTEND A CEREMONY AT THE CAIRNS ESPLANADE CENOTAPH
Joe Serre served in the Royal Australian Navy during the conflict and was one of the first troops to be involved in the struggle in 1965.
“It took me 30 years before I finally took pride in our country and of what we did, and learnt not to be ashamed of it,” he said.
“We were called a lot of bad things when we got back, but the main thing to remember is we live in a great country and we should be proud.”
In this article Serre claims he was one of the first troops to be involved in the struggle in 1965. Serre did not go anywhere near the coastline and it is doubtful he would have seen anything of a war like nature. He states that he“was called a lot of bad things when we got back”
When Serre returned to Sydney onboard Melbourne on the 22 June, 1965, the crew were not officially publicaly recognised as having served in the South Vietnam war zone for that 4 day escort voyage. They were also not eligible for any medals for that trip. That came later in 1993, when they were awarded 23 days active service for the 4 days outside South Vietnam territorial waters.
No one would have known whether Serre, or the Melbourne went anywhere near the vicinity of South Vietnam when he returned home.
Serre seized an opportunity for the above photograph and his war story to be placed in his local Cairns paper for his own self serving purposes. His story of being called "a lot of bad things when we got back is rubbish."
There were no anti war protests in 1965, and the majority of the Australian population were supportive of our military commitment to the problems facing the Government of South Vietnam at the time. The first Australian anti Vietnam war moratoriums did not take place until May, 1970. Serre was discharged early from the Navy in November, 1969. At that time, his Vietnam medals, (AASM and VLSM) had not been proclaimed.
Serre spent 4 days on a tropical voyage without facing any danger, and he expects us all to believe that he is some sort of trail blazer who was subjected to ridicule for his minimal service.
We get dozens of emails from former Australian soldiers who roughed it “in country”in Vietnam, and Australian sailors who served on the gun line for 6 months, who are disgusted with individuals who seek notoriety and public recognition for very basic service. In this case 4 days in a safe area outside the Territorial waters of the Republic of South Vietnam.
There is an old saying that those who saw the least tend to spruik the most. Serre falls into that category.
ANZMI are here to put things into their proper perspective.
We hope Joe Serre finally remembers his true military service, and leaves the glory to others who are far more qualified to speak about their Vietnam service to Journalists.