Entries with Surname (Title)s starting with 'S'

Surname: Southam
Christian Names: Kurt Ronald
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Caloundra
Service #: PMkeys 8120662
Service: RAN
Branch: Combat Systems Operator
Commencement of service: Nov 01
Completion of service: Aug 03
Case Notes:




Kurt Ronald Southam is 33 years of age. Residing in Caloundra on the picturesque Sunshine Coast, in the State of Queensland can be a very relaxing and rewarding experience. Particularly if you are a former Royal Australian Navy elite Clearance Diver who has experienced the horrors of war in Afghanistan.

It could not be a better place to live, to get away from the stressors and traumatic memories of military life on operational service from “Hawaii to Afghanistan”.

Kurt Southam, apparently discarded his wet suit, flippers, snorkel and goggles, his intricate knowledge of explosives and counter terrorist techniques to become a Business Development Manager for an employment firm in Maroochydore, also on the Sunshine Coast. He is also a strongman and claims the number 1 spot in Australia for the under 80 kilos weight division.

Southam just loves publicity. You only have to google his name and instantly before your eyes, he is pictured posing for the camera lifting everything from rocks to beer barrels and tractor tyres.

Southam may be strong at lifting tractor tyres, but he is weak in character. Very weak indeed.

He is a liar, a valour thief and an imposter, who has used his very mundane Royal Australian Navy service to convince people that he was a highly trained Australian Navy Clearance Diver in Afghanistan. The equivalent of our respected Special Air Service Regiment in the Australian Army. (SASR)

In a published Sunshine Coast Profile article, Southam claims that he was a Clearance Diver in the Royal Australian Navy “serving from Hawaii to Afghanistan”.

His claims also extend to his Linked in Page where he states he was a former elite Naval Clearance Diver.

All of these claims are lies. They are intentional fabrications that characterise Southam’s shallowness.

Southam’s Royal Australian Naval (RAN) career is totally opposite to what he claims.

He enlisted in the RAN in November, 2001. He followed normal procedures and completed his Recruit Training at HMAS Cerberus in Melbourne, Victoria. He was then posted to HMAS Watson in Sydney, New South Wales where he trained as a Seaman, Combat Systems Operator. Unfortunately for Southam, he was not cut out for the RAN and he was discharged in August, 2003 as “Retention not in the interests of the Navy”. In other words , his services were terminated. In the 20 months that he served in the RAN he had no sea time. His postings were at two shore bases in Australia.

About the closest he ever came to being a qualified Naval Clearance Diver was completing a basic swimming test in Recruit Training at HMAS Cerberus in 2002.

His services were terminated as his retention was not in the interests of the Navy. No shame in that. Not everyone is cut out for service life. However, to now claim to be one of their highly trained Navy Clearance Divers with operational service in Afghanistan just shows what a false pretender he is.

Southam never “moved up the ranks until he became a Navy clearance diver” as suggested in the above article. He left at the same rank he joined. A seaman. By his actions, he would not even have the moral or physical courage to pass the selection test of this fine body of service men and women.

Southam is an imposter who likes publicity. We are happy to provide some more.

We understand that Southam gains his motivation from another well known Naval strongman, whose photograph appears below.

Welcome to the site, Kurt Southam.

Another self proclaimed strongman named Ian Ronald Crowden also appears on this site.

Anzmi.net/Crowden. Link.

Crowden was arrested in 2013 for kicking a Customs dog at the Gold Coast, Queensland, Airport. In his defence, he falsely claimed to be a sniper and an Afghanistan Veteran as well. He had no military service and he was later convicted of Perverting the Course of Justice as well for his trouble.

Must be something in the water they drink

Surname: Sowter
Christian Names: John James
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Boyne Island
Service: Army
Branch: Armoured
Case Notes:
2782318 Trooper John James “Sooty” Sowter, 1 Armored Regiment, Royal Australian Armoured Corps, 1965 to 1967,  is a liar, a  fraud and a wannabee.

In the photograph, Sowter is wearing his Royal Australian Armoured Corps shoulder patches, Armoured Corps beret and badge, with a National Service medal and Defence Service Medal on his left breast.  He is also wearing possible next of kin medals on his right breast.

 As can be seen at the foot of the photograph, (below) he informed the reporter that he is a Vietnam veteran, serving in the Army from 1966-1967.

On Anzac day 2013, of all sacred days, Sowter,  a former Australian Army National Serviceman, who was conscripted in the State of New South Wales on the 27 September, 1965, decided to reveal himself  to the local newspaper, The Observer, Boyne Island Region,  Queensland as a Vietnam War suffering veteran.  He informed the reporter that he refuses to wear a Vietnam medal “as his own personal protest because of how we were treated when we returned.”   The only reason he is not wearing a “Vietnam medal”, is because he is not entitled to wear one.  He didn’t go there, he did not return, and consequently, he was not issued with a medal.  He has also been photographed talking to Tannum High School students and we are reliably informed that he relates his “first hand” accounts of driving tanks in Vietnam to the students.  These personal accounts appear in the “Tannum High Lights” school publications 1st and 8th May, 2013 editions.


Sowter’s official Army record indicates that following his conscription into the Army, he completed Recruit Training at Kapooka in 1965.  He was then posted to the Armoured Centre for Armored Corps training.  He was then posted to B Squadron, 1 Armoured Regiment where he served until his discharge on the 26 September, 1967.
The above documents are from Sowter's official Service Record and account for every day of his service.
Sowter did not seek Vietnam service and nor was he posted to Vietnam during his two years service.    In an uneventful two years, he served the entire time in Australia,  was discharged,  and then continued his civilian vocation.  Like everyone else who served in the Army at the time of the Vietnam War, he would have had opportunities to volunteer for operational service in Vietnam, as many did.    However, he chose to remain safe and close to home. 

Former servicemen who attempt to steal the honour of genuine veterans are a disgrace and are despised by the genuine returned servicemen and servicewomen community. 

By deliberately exposing themselves to local newspapers, being photographed for their own egos and glorification,  and relating their so called sufferings to the general public, these wannabees show absolute disrespect for the genuine veterans who have served and died for Australia in a theatre of war. 

Sowter claims that he does not wear his Vietnam medal because of “the way he was treated when he returned.”

In complete contrast to Sowter’s despicable lies, the vast majority of Vietnam veterans are proud to wear their awarded medals on Anzac Day.  They went there, they served honourably in tough conditions and they are proud.

Genuine veterans do not want to read this rubbish by “bogus Vietnam veterans not wanting to wear their medals because of the way they were treated when they came home”.

Sowter was contacted by telephone to ascertain his version of the story. He confessed to not having served in Vietnam.   He claims that he was misquoted by the reporter of the Gladstone Observer in regards to his Vietnam Service, but he has not done anything to correct the situation. We have also been informed that the reporter would not have included any information in the article unless she had been told personally by Sowter.    He also claims that he was misquoted in the Tannum High School magazine about his “first hand” Vietnam service, but again, he has also done nothing to rectify this situation.

 Sowter is a member of the Boyne Island-Tannum Sands, Queensland, RSL Club.  He is a chauvinistic idiot who should have more sense.  We hope that his genuine returned veteran colleagues at the Boyne Island-Tannum Sands RSL Club treat Sowter with the contempt that he deserves.

Sowter by his own admissions has committed an offence against the Defence Act 1903, Part V11, Section 80A, by “falsely representing to be a returned soldier.”

 “Sooty” Sowter; is an appropriate name for this wannabee, for he has blackened his name well and truly in the Veteran community.

Whenever you google John Sooty Sowter’s,name from now,  his true Army record will be revealed.

Welcome to the website forever, John James “Sooty” Sowter.


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 the private citizens are supported by statement of fact and statutory declarations.

Surname: Spark
Christian Names: Rodney
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Unknown
Service: Army
Branch: Medical
Case Notes:

Rodney Spark Fraudster Medic

In May 2009 Rodney SPARK made contact with a Victorian RSL Pensions Office seeking help to obtain, in his own words - a "Gold Card" 

We do not have a current photograph of Rodney Spark, if any of our readers can supply one it would be appreciated.

 Over the phone a DVA (Dept of Veterans' Affairs) recognised pensions officer queried SPARK as to what disabilities he desired to make which he could link to Vietnam "Operational Service" - SPARK indicated that he had no disabilities from his Vietnam service with the Australian Army, he only wanted to apply for a Service Pension which would qualify him for the Gold card. 

Pressing for more information, the pensions officer requested a brief history to assist SPARK and the following information (backed by Statutory Declaration) was provided: 

Conscripted to National Service (the draft) in June 1970 SPARK completed recruit training at the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion Puckapunyal Victoria and was allocated to the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps - he was then posted to the School; of Army Health at Healesville Victoria where he underwent corps training and qualified as a Medical Assistant. 

SPARK  states he then attended a Battle Efficiency Course at Canungra Queeensland and was posted to 11 Field Ambulance - 3rd Casualty Clearance Station and spent six months stationed in Vietnam posted to a United States of America Army hospital in Danang employed as a male nurse.  He stated that he worked under Australian medical staff consisting of a Sgt DUBINSKY and a Sgt WALLACE.  He recalls that his Australian Commanding Officer was a Major KELLY. 

After six months in Vietnam SPARK stated that Major KELLY paraded him and a few other National Servicemen (draftees) in the CO's office to formally advise the men that: "Due to the change of Government in Australia, the ruling party has decided that draftees like yourselves are required to sign on for a further six months active service in Vietnam - those that refuse to comply with this directive will be returned to Australia immediately and forfeit all rights to repatriation benefits"  SPARK stated that he refused to sign the required documentation and that he was returned to Australia soon after and discharged from the Army. 

SPARK is adamant that his discharge certificate clearly indicates that he has NO overseas "Active Service", and he understands that this is his punishment and a Government cover-up for him not complying with his orders and extending his tour of duty in Vietnam. 

The pension officer asked SPARK if he had been issued with his Vietnam medals and the reply was in the negative - SPARK is insistent that his time in Vietnam will never be recognised.  The pension officer offered to make enquiries to enable a proper service history check to be completed with the possible chance of his being issued his medal entitlement and SPARK agreed to this...........as would any deserving veteran! 

Service checks can take up to three months to complete so the assurance was given that this would occur, in the interim SPARK was given the details of the local Dept of Veterans' Affairs advisory office to attend to complete his application for the Service Pension..... he assured the pensions officer he would comply with making the appointment.  

Some three months later in the normal course of following up his work load, the pensions officer rang SPARK to check on the progress of his application for Service Pension only to have SPARK inform him that DVA had ceased all processing of his claim due to the fact that their investigations had shown SPARK held no veteran status..........in other words he had never left Australia during the Vietnam conflict.



It is obvious that SPARK has committed fraud against the Federal Government by attending their Veteran's Affairs office and completing documentation that is meant only for a veteran - to receive correspondence from DVA advising him he is NOT a Veteran confirms that he attempted to gain financial benefits he knew he had no rights to. 

Further checks and balances show spark was a financial member of the Epping RSL until 2005, he provided his service history as serving in Vietnam with 11 Field Ambulance and 8 Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment........absolute fraud...and falsehoods. 

With fraud against the Government in particular the DVA, a statement made by the Minister of Veteran's Affairs last year regarding a WW2 bogus veteran who has defrauded the system of over $400,000.00 leaned towards Federal Police clamping down on such offenders - it is hoped that justice will be felt by this offender - he has not personally gained financially from his attempt, but made the effort to do so.

ANZMI will not collectively hold our breaths for  charges to be laid and heard against  SPARK...we are attuned to constant inactivity in this arena as our website continually publishes. 

SPARK needs to be humiliated and shamed - firstly for disgracing the roles of the genuine medical orderlies and nurses who saved many lives, and held the hands of the dying in Vietnam.  - and secondly for wasting the valuable time of volunteer pensions officers who give their time and emotional expertise to those deserving veterans in need. 

The final words in this case go to a fitting adage provided to ANZMI this past week: 



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.

Surname: Spark
Christian Names: Neil
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Maiden Gully
Service #: 358375
Service: Army Reserve
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: Claims 1978
Completion of service: Claims 1996
Case Notes:




Neil Spark was born on the 2nd September, 1957. He is 56 years old. He has been a member of the Bendigo and District RSL Sub Branch since May, 2012. Prior to that he was a member of the Cohuna/Leitchville RSL Sub Branch in Northern Victoria.

Spark is a blatant liar, a wannabee and a Fraud.

Spark has enthralled his fellow Bendigo and District RSL Club colleagues over the past two years with stories of his unique service with the British Army Training Team in Rhodesia from 1979 until 1980, as a seconded Australian Regular Army soldier sniper.

Below is a recent photo of Spark at a memorial service wearing the following medals -;

1. The Australian Conspicuous Service Medal. (CSM)
2. The Australian Service Medal with clasp SE Asia. (ASM)
3. The Commonwealth Monitoring Force Rhodesia Medal.
4. The Australian Defence Force Long Service Medal. (DFLSM)
5. The National Medal.
6. The Australian Defence Medal. (ADM)
7. (Right chest) The Zimbabwe Independence Medal.

Spark has made the following claims to genuine returned and serving personnel at Bendigo and District RSL functions over the past two years.

In the late 1970's and early 1980's he claims to have been a sniper in 1 Royal Australian Regiment ( 1 RAR). As part of his Sniper Course he was sent to England to train with the Grenadier Guards. Four other 1 RAR Australians were then selected to travel to Rhodesia. He claims that he was sent to Rhodesia with a British Unit. He arrived in Rhodesia in October, 1979 and left in 1980. He was attached to the British Army Training Team (BATT). Spark claims that he was in Rhodesia with British Forces for 110 days.

Spark claims that he enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 1978 but he cannot remember his enlistment date. He has told colleagues that he served for 8 years Regular Army and 10 years a Regular Army Reserve soldier. He had such bad memories of Rhodesia that he did not tell his wife he went there for twenty years. He claims that because of this traumatic service, he was medically discharged from Army Reserves in 1996 with a service related psychiatric condition.

He claims that from 1983 to 1986, he was attached to the School of Infantry where he was a weapons instructor. In 1987, he states that he was transferred to the Military Police and was then discharged from the Army that year. He then states that from 1987 to 1996, he was a member of the Australian Reserve Forces attached to 8/7 Royal Victoria Regiment, Infantry, where he claims he was a Corporal.

During the past few years, Spark has also been observed on commemorative occasions wearing the Australian Infantry Combat Badge. (ICB)

When informed by other RSL members that he had no entitlement to this award, he commenced to wear the Army Combat Badge (ACB). He was then informed he had no entitlement to this award either. He then provided some bogus paper work to the Victorian State RSL H.Q. in the hope that they would approve his entitlements to wear one of these awards. His requests were eventually declined. He then admitted that Honours and Awards had sent these awards, (ICB and ACB) to him by mistake.

He then continued his deceit for a further period of time even though he must have known that he was being suspected as a fraud. He continued to add the post nominals of CSM (Conspicuous Service Medal) after his name in E mails and letters that he sent to individuals and organisations to further his deceit.

To be a good liar, you need to have a good memory. Over the past couple of years, Spark's stories of his unique military service started to waver and his stories became inconsistent.

As a result of this, Spark's RSL Club colleagues became more suspicious, instigated their own inquiries and eventually requested ANZMI to follow up their suspicions.

Inquiries were made at It's an Honour website and it was ascertained that Spark is not listed as a recipient of the Conspicuous Service Medal or the National Medal.

There is also no evidence of Spark being awarded the Australian Service Medal (ASM), let alone a clasp for SE Asia.

Inquiries were then made with lists of Australian Service personnel who served with the British Forces in Rhodesia. Spark's name does not appear on any pay records of personnel engaged in that theatre of operations. His name also does not appear in the book, "Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers," Alexander Palmer, 1996. This publication names the 152 members of the Australian Army who were awarded the CMF Rhodesia Medal.

As there was a distinct lack of evidence supporting Spark's assertions, he was contacted by ANZMI and asked if he could support his claims with documentation.

Lo and behold, Spark responded with the standard reply. One which nearly every wannabee clings to when they are caught out. Ill health.
Spark responded claiming that he was suffering ill health and was housebound most of the time due to back problems, constant pain, blood pressure, constant medication etc etc. However, we are aware that only two weeks ago he attended an RSL function where he was in jovial spirits extrapolating more Rhodesian war stories to whoever listened over a few of drinks.

He then went on to say in his response to ANZMI, that he was never awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal, The Australian Service Medal with clasp SE Asia or the Commonwealth Monitoring Force Rhodesia Medal. He also mentioned that he has no entitlement to the Zimbabwe Independence Medal.

He did claim however that he is entitled to the National Medal for his service to the Victorian CFA in 1994. He also claims entitlement to the DFLSM and ADM as he claims he joined the Army twice. We doubt that he can provide evidence for any military service. He was given the opportunity to provide a copy of his Certificate of Service or Discharge Certificate, but none was forthcoming.

He claims that his deceit started three years ago when-; "I was standing at the side of a road in a small Victorian country town on Anzac Day and someone asked me to carry their flag in the Anzac Day march. Even though I was in great pain, I joined the march and felt 10' (feet) high. I then moved to a larger City and embellished what I already had" (done).

Spark has purchased his non awarded medals from a Medal Shop or the Internet. He has then had them court mounted at a Medals Shop and worn them brazenly to commemorative services.

He has continued the facade for at least three years that we know of. He has lied to his genuine RSL colleagues and shown them the ultimate disrespect by treating them like fools. He should be summoned before the next Bendigo and District RSL general meeting and requested to apologise to all the members present for his deception, arrogance, disrespect and outright lies. Then his association with the Victorian RSL State Headquarters should be terminated for good.

Bendigo and District RSL Sub Branch Club members are to be congratulated for their diligence and awareness of a medal cheat within their midst and exposing Spark's fraudulent activities.

They have set an example that every other RSL Sub Branch Club in this country should follow. If you have a wannabe wearing non awarded medals or embellishing their service for their self gratification, they should be exposed and shamed for stealing the honour of those military personnel who served and/or died in all conflicts.

For his actions, the not so bright Spark has earned his place on this website for evermore.

Surname: Spencer
Christian Names: Elwyn Ronald
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Campbelltown
Service #: 29643
Service: Army
Branch: RAAOC
Commencement of service: Mar 1964
Completion of service: Not Known
Case Notes:

Spencer1 2 3


Here we have yet another example of a former Australian serviceman with a very impressive medal rack, who seemingly can't resist making it look just a little bigger by the addition of a commemorative medal which has no official recognition.

Elwyn Spencer served his country well as a member of the Australian Army, with operational postings to both Malaya and South Vietnam. Later in life he joined the RSL where he held positions of Sub-branch president and welfare/pensions officer. Spencer is to be commended for this.

Spencer2 2

So why on earth would he ruin his good work by wearing the Vietnam Veteran's Medal which is not an official award and can be purchased on-line for $84?

Spencer3 2

But as if this isn't bad enough, Elwyn has also been photographed at official ceremonies wearing the United States of America Purple Heart Medal.

Spencer4 2


The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed.

The criterion for the awarding of this US medal is quite specific when it comes to defining what a 'wound' is.  It also states ' The Purple Heart is not awarded for non-combat injuries.'  There are also a number of injuries and wounds which do not qualify for the awarding of the Purple Heart and one of these is injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident '... not related to or caused by enemy action.'

We have examined the Australian Vietnam Casualty list at http://www.thecasualtylist.com/ and find that Mr Spencer was indeed recorded as a casualty during the Vietnam War.  However, this was the result of a motor vehicle accident between Nui Dat and Hoa Long on 3 March 1968.  The accident is recorded as a 'NBCAS' (non-battle casualty)

Spencer5 2


In any event, even if Spencer had satisfied the requirements, for the award of the US Purple Heart, he is not permitted to wear it. The Purple Heart is not listed amongst those UnitedStates of America awards, that are approved, by the Australian Government.


For many years the ANZMI has implored the RSL, at local, State and National levels, to crack down on its members, including many who hold executive positions, who insist on wearing non-official tin junk.  Unfortunately, most of our pleas have gone unheeded and this deplorable and dishonourable situation still persists. We feel confident in saying that former Campbelltown NSW RSL Sub-branch president, Elwyn Spencer, was well aware of medal protocols when he attended commemorative services wearing a valueless trinket and a foreign medal he had no right to wear.  His behaviour has earned him a place on our website.

Christian Names: Terrence
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Cairns
Service #: Nil
Service: Merchant Navy
Case Notes:


Terrence Spurrier is the North Queensland (NQ) Commodore of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard.


Before moving to Australia, Spurrier served with the United Kingdom (UK) Merchant Navy:


As a UK citizen, he had no UK Defence service, and has had no Australian Defence service.

As shown in the above photograph Spurrier wears four medal ribbons and one badge on his left breast, which is no place for self purchased "Tin" UK commemorative medals.

The general public, and members from the NQ Coast Coast Guard would be puzzled by the ribbons and badge, and knowing he is from the UK, would assume that he has been presented with official UK medals and the badge.. That assumption is correct, except that the medals and badge have been purchased and presented, to himself by himself.

He wears:

UK Commemorative Maritime medal. Worn in both first and fourth place.
The Queen's Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal 2002.
The Commemoraive General Service Cross.
UK Commemorative Maritime medal. Also worn in first place.



Armed Forces Veteran Badge.


Eligibility to be presented the badge. You can apply for it, from UK Government, if you served with any of these UK Forces:

Royal Navy
Royal Marines
Royal Air Force (RAF)

Spurrier served in none of those

Spurrier was contacted and asked about the medal ribbons and badge, and here are the reasons given by Spurrier.

"Dear Mr xxxxxx

In these days of scams and spam emails, I had decided to ignore your first email due to grammar issues, formality in which you addressed me and if your were truly an interested researcher you would have addressed the association, I am connect with by its full title and given it the due respect it deserves.

That being said your second email shows that you have done some research, but failed to recognise my Grandfathers WWII medals , but you did recognise the veterans badge I wear to honour my Father who served in the Korean war.

With regards to the ribbons I wore on Remembrance day, let me provide you with two possible reasons for you to decide:-

1. In my younger days I did work for the MOD and US DOD that was listed as National Security and as such I got no recognition for. So maybe as years have passed I have purchased the ribbons as a self gratification of the work I did for the Government.?
2. Together with other members of our association we purchase the ribbons so that the other 3 services wouldn’t look down on us as the poor cousin at Remembrance services?
I will leave it at that and do not expect a response as your email address is now blocked and been listed on our Governments cyber security organisation group.


Note that Spurrier says. "Together with other members of the Association we purchase the ribbons so other 3 services wouldn't look down on us"

ANZMI has a copy of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Dress Manual, and apart from an error in allowing the Year of the Volunteer medal to be worn on the left breast, (that medal is not approved by the Australian Governor General) it complies with National Rules and protocols for the wearing of medals. There is no mention of allowing the wearing of self purchased UK Commemorative Medals on the left breast.

It is difficult to believe that the most senior Coast Guard Officer in Far North Queensland would make such a self pitying statement. It is also suggested that "the other members of the Association, who also purchased commemorative ribbons" get them off, before their very prestigious organisation becomes a laughing stock, and his medal cheating associates appear on the ANZMI site.

Spurrier lacks integrity and honour. His explanation is imbecilic. He has thumbed his nose at long standing Australia Governor General's Medal wearing protocols. He may get away with wearing worthless tin medals in the United Kingdom, but in Australia and New Zealand, he will be thought of by the Veteran Community as a fraud.

Spurrier should stand down from his current position or be sacked. He brings discredit upon himself and the Volunteer Coast Guard.

Have no doubt that the Australian Coast Guard is an organization that saves lives in difficult circumstances, and it would be a pity if Commodores like Spurrier bring it into disrepute.

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