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In the footsteps of the Dambusters:
Walking with ghosts in Lincolnshire
617 Squadron (Dambusters) At Scampton, Lincolnshire, 22 July
The 617 Squadron at Scampton CREDIT: GETTY
Chris Leadbeater, travel writer
16 MAY 2018 • 8:30AM
A bomb before dinner seems a lot to digest, but there it is anyway –
tucked beside the Twenties swimming pool, which has been turned into a
fountain. It looks, at first glance, like a heavy roller for a cricket
pitch, idle between innings. But a sign in front reveals the truth –
that this is a prototype of the famous “bouncing bomb” cleverly devised
by the British genius Barnes Wallis to target German dams in the heat
of the Second World War.
It looks oddly at home on the lawn of the Petwood Hotel, the evening
sun slanting across it. I have slipped out of the restaurant and across
the terrace to inspect it – and as I do so, I hear a cascade of
exuberant laughter from the lounge. Ghosts adrift on the early summer
breeze? In a property built in 1905, which became a hotel in 1933, this
seems almost within the realms of possibility.
The prototype of the famous “bouncing bomb” looks oddly at home on the
lawn of the Petwood Hotel CREDIT: DOUBLE RED/JAMES WRIGHT
The source of the mirth is a table of guests and a bottle of rosé – but
the idea of guffaws echoing down the years is not so far-fetched.
Petwood may have settled into a groove as a luxury retreat in the
Lincolnshire village of Woodhall Spa, but it is still revered for
having been the officers’ mess of the RAF’s 617 Squadron in 1944 and
1945. These dashing aviators called it “a splendid place remote from
battle”. And they had earned their refuge.
On the night of May 16-17 1943, 133 of them had flown 19 Lancaster
bombers towards Germany as part of Operation Chastise – a daring attack
on the Möhne, Edersee and Sorpe dams in the Ruhr valley, with Wallis’s
new bombs as a spear-tip. Largely a success, the raid made a celebrity
of the squadron’s commanding officer Guy Gibson, and landed his men the
joyful nickname “Dambusters”.
It is a word, and a mission, which has stuck fast to the British
consciousness. This week, its 75th anniversary will be marked with
everything from flyovers to nationwide screenings (Thursday) of the
1955 film that transported the derring-do to the cinema (with a DVD
re-release to come, on June 4).
Petwood remains a treasure trove of memories, the Squadron Bar
preserved as a salute. In a photo in one corner, Gibson stands on the
terrace, flashing the cocksure smile that characterised his existence;
above the fireplace, a frame of black and white shows the entire 617
Squadron at their home base, RAF Scampton – five long rows posed
formally in front of a Lancaster, amid the puddles of July 9 1943. The
sturdy tree limb above the bar apparently became wedged in the front of
one of the bombers on 617’s other fabled mission – to assist in the
destruction of the German battleship Tirpitz, on Nov 12 1944.
There are further echoes in the area: the memorial to the squadron on
Royal Square in Woodhall Spa, where 204 men are listed as dying on duty
in the Second World War, the words “Australia”, “Canada” and “New
Zealand” after some of the names re-emphasising the global nature of
the conflict; and Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby,
which has one of the three Lancasters still in operation.
Then there is the soul of the Dambusters, RAF Scampton – still a
functioning base, but one that lets civilians peek at infrastructure,
which sings of 1943. Upstairs in the RAF Scampton Heritage Centre,
Gibson’s office has been restored to its appearance in 1943 – a
dial-telephone on the desk, a pipe and ashtray, a pair of leather
gloves, a chalkboard detailing the personnel for the May 16 mission.
A still from The Dam Busters, a 1955 retelling of the mission
A still from The Dam Busters, a 1955 retelling of the mission CREDIT:
There is context, too, in the next room, where a board names all 133
airmen who flew that night, with a poppy – 53 in all – next to each who
did not return. And there is a frisson to entering the hangar behind,
and knowing that it was here where the Lancasters were readied.
The hangar is currently given over to Bastion in the Air, an exhibition
that examines Lincolnshire’s role in the air-defence of the realm
during the First World War, via artefacts as varied as a new-build
Sopwith Camel, and an officer’s cricket bat, taken to the Somme. It is
part of a drive to celebrate the county’s links to aviation – which
will bear further fruit in November with the unveiling of an art
installation, next to the A46 at Hill Holt Wood, which will mimic the
Angel of the North, but take the wing of a Lancaster as the core facet
of its design.
“Lincolnshire has been at the forefront of flight in this country for
more than a century,” says David Harrigan of Aviation Heritage
Lincolnshire – an RAF veteran who has been instrumental in the
exhibition’s creation. “It’s been that way since the first German
zeppelins came over, using the Humber as a navigational aid.”
Breaking Of The Möhne Dam
The breaking of the Möhne Dam CREDIT: GETTY
Bastion in the Air extends to The Collection, a museum at the heart of
Lincoln – a city that understands its heritage. Its cathedral marries
11th-century magnificence to 20th-century remembrance in its trio of
military chapels – including the Airmen’s Chapel, with stained-glass
tributes to the men who flew and died with Bomber Command. Its castle
manages a similar leap in time, visibly Norman in shape, but mighty
enough still for its Observatory Tower to be used as a lookout point in
The Guy Gibson Lancaster bomber
The Guy Gibson Lancaster bomber CREDIT: GETTY
From the tower, I can see the latest addition to the view.
International Bomber Command Centre opened on the outskirts of the city
in April, arranged around a spire of weathering steel which, at 102ft,
replicates the wingspan of a Lancaster. The curves of the same metal
that radiate out around this elongated epicentre are inscribed with the
identities of those who lost their lives in the war fighting for
UK-based bomber squadrons.
“That’s 57,861 people,” says the centre’s director Nicky Barr, “pretty
much the capacity of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.” She pauses, then
adds: “There are no honours or ranks on these walls. We decided that,
at the exact time of sacrifice, everyone was equal.”
"Petwood remains a treasure trove of memories, the Squadron Bar
preserved as a salute" CREDIT: GETTY
There is also equality within the centre, which balances honouring
wartime heroism and acknowledging the damage. A video introduction to
the main exhibition reminds the viewer that “almost a million people
across Europe died as a result of bombing”. Screens show interviews
with veterans – re-created by actors – which include the testimonies of
Luftwaffe pilots who had to face the Lancasters. Items such as an
Italian board game teaching children air-raid precautions underscore
the terror on the ground.
But then you emerge to images of British airmen, in their 90s, and you
are reminded that this era is slipping beyond living memory – George
“Johnny” Johnson, the final surviving Dambuster, is now 96 – and of the
human beings behind these legends.
Where to stay
Double rooms at Petwood Hotel (01526 352411; petwood.co.uk) cost from
£99, including breakfast.
lincsaviation.co.uk; rafscampton.co.uk; thecollectionmuseum.com;
lincolncathedral.com; lincolncastle.com; internationalbcc.co.uk
Vulcan bomber WILL have new home after hangar plans given thumbs up
new Vulcan Heritage Hangar and Visitor Centre is set to open in Spring
iconic Vulcan bomber will get her much-anticipated new home after plans
for a heritage hangar and visitor centre were given the thumbs up by
Vulcan to the Sky Trust revealed planning permission for their new
project has been approved after a decision taken just before Christmas.
means the Vulcan's adoring fans will be able to see her at a dedicated
base at Doncaster
Sheffield Airport at
Finningley once it is built.
on behalf of the Trust, Robert Pleming said: “This is a fundamental
milestone passed, with vital element of full funding for the build now
are talking with a number of interested potential individual investors
with regard to raising the total of £3million needed to complete the
project, with the hope of concluding negotiations by the spring.
business model is well-tested and will deliver an educational and
inspirational experience for over six million people within a one-hour
is believed that the detailed internal design and construction can be
completed within 12 months, enabling a spring 2019 opening date.
full approval comes with a few standard conditions for further surveys
and environmental reports that do not present any concerns to our
new Vulcan Heritage Hangar and Visitor Centre will house Avro Vulcan
XH558, the last aircraft of Britain’s mighty V-Force that ceased flying
vulcan, which was once based at RAF Waddington, was subject to a
restoration project supported mainly by public donations that gave a
further eight seasons of display flying beyond that achieved while she
was operated by the Royal Air Force.
aircraft gained millions of followers and generated what became known
as ‘The Vulcan Effect’ at airshows across the country and Europe.
is estimated over 25 million people saw the aircraft around the United
Kingdom and Northern Ireland, many of whom would not have been born
when the aircraft type was fully operational in its original role.
base project is spearheaded by the RG Group’s Doncaster office, under
the supervision of director Dave Dixon. The trust says he has been
driving forward with the support of local and national construction
companies and suppliers, many of whom are offering materials and
expertise at cost or below usual commercial rates to help the charity
secure its new home.
on behalf of Doncaster Sheffield Airport where the hangar is planned to
be built on land on the northern perimeter with access to the runway,
chief executive, Steve Gill, added: "This new development to house the
Vulcan can provide a truly outstanding visitor attraction that along
with other developments we are aiming to realise for the airport site,
will bring significant educational and tourism benefits to the
excellent motorway transport links including the soon-to-be finished
final section of the Great Yorkshire Way right to the main terminal
building, will allow people from all over the country to easily visit
look forward to working with the Vulcan team on making their vision a
Pleming added: "This is the first stage of an exciting plan the Trust
is developing for 2018 and over the next 10 years.
will use the undoubted attraction of Vulcan XH558 for the benefit of
all, and importantly future generations, both in what we can deliver
now in terms of inspirational experiences, and on what we can promise
through demonstrating, preserving and utilising examples of Britain’s
valuable aeronautical and engineering achievements.”
Trust plans that XH558 will be joined by working exhibits and
activities that will inspire youngsters of all ages to become involved
with aviation, engineering and technology, through showcasing British
design and innovation from its world-leading aeronautical industry.
you would like to help, email Michael Trotter on email@example.com
Northolt: Boris Johnson secures government pledge to put cap on the
number of commercial flights at RAF Northolt
Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP worked with cabinet colleagues to limit
flights to 12,000
London MP and Foreign Secretary Boris
negotiated with cabinet colleagues to cap the number of civilian
flights at RAF Northolt.
The Uxbridge and South
waded into the debate over the future of RAF Northolt by demanding a
limit to the number of non-army flights to 12,000.
within Boris Johnson's constituency and has been allowing thousands of
private planes to land and take off from the aerodrome every year.
residents are concerned that the airfield, which will close in spring
2018 for a £45 million renovation including runway improvements, is a
ploy to increase the number of civilian flights at the RAF site.
increase in the number of non-military flights at RAF Northolt over the
last decade has occurred without any local public consultations.
airline Flybe has made many public calls to RAF to allow commercial
flights to use the spare capacity at RAF Northolt, which generates
income for the MoD.
Johnson met with newly appointed Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and
Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood to warned against commercialisation at
to campaign group Stop Northolt, he said: "I am delighted to have
secured a firm commitment from the Government that the strict limits on
the type and number of commercial flights - 12,000 annual movements of
civil registered aircraft - will stay in place and that flights by
scheduled airlines will remain prohibited."
development came at the same time as Sadiq Khan hinted at regulating
growth of Northolt as a non-military airfield, in his draft London
Plan, which states:
significant shift in the mix of operations using an airport – for
example introduction of scheduled flights at airports not generally
offering such flights – should normally be refused."
Ministry of Defence has repeatedly maintained that the renovation is
part of regular maintenance works and that there are no plans to
commercialise RAF Northolt, and that it remains a key RAF site.
Veterans To Be 'Formally Recognised With Official
White Helmets: Going Out On A High After 90 Years
Fans of the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display team have until the autumn
to watch them before they disappear for good.
'The White Helmets' have opened their season with a performance for
family and friends at Blandford Camp in Dorset.
However, time is running out for fans - the axe has fallen on the White
Helmets – meaning this is their final season.
Some have considered that the show isn't a reflection of the modern
work of the Royal Signals.
unit was formed from dispatch riders, who ferried vital messages around
on battlefields - first on horseback, and then on two wheels.
stunts have become legendary: a popular recruiting tool for the British
Army, and a chance for signallers to do something very different for a
couple of years.
This season will be the last for the Royal
Signals riders as they focus on core skills with particular emphasis on
digital and cyber operations.
The three-year posting involved performing at shows every weekend from
May to October.
World War veteran to be presented with new medals at RAF Northolt
World War II Spitfire engineer will be proudly re-presented with his
medals today thanks to the work of an RAF Association befriender.
Northolt will be the venue for a special ceremony for Ted Rexter-Baker.
94 year-old, who kept the Spitfires of 72 Squadron flying during the
war, had been awarded the Africa Star, the Africa Clasp, the Defence
Medal and the 1935-1945 Star, but they were all stolen.
November 2016, Ted has been visited by Air Vice-Marshal Gary Waterfall
as part of the RAF Association’s nationwide befriending scheme.
scheme pairs RAF veterans with volunteers from their
Befrienders visit regularly to chat, keep an eye out for the veteran’s
welfare, talk about life in the RAF and to make sure their contribution
is not forgotten.
was clear to me from the start of my relationship with Ted, that the
loss of his medals had taken a part of him with them,” Gary said.
was the least I could do to help him try to get them replaced.
ceremony to re-present them to him will be very special – a proud
moment for him and for his friends and relations who will be there too.
is very fitting to hold it at RAF Northolt too, given its historical
association with Spitfires. I’m looking forward to chatting about the
medals with Ted when I next visit him at home. ”
his regular befriending visits, Gary discovered much of Ted’s service
had joined the RAF in September 1938 as a boy apprentice at RAF Halton.
graduation he was posted to RAF Sealand before moving on to become a
Spitfire engineer with 84 Squadron – being posted as far as Tunisia.
served for more than 10 years and left from RAF Hornchurch, having
become a Senior Technician. He now lives in north London.
more than half of the UK Armed Forces veteran population aged 75 or
over, relationship/isolation issues affect approximately 170,000 RAF
veterans, with 85,000 of them specifically experiencing loneliness.
O’Connor, Director of Welfare and Policy at the Royal Air Forces
is a critical issue to the Royal Air Forces Association, and this
service will ensure that more is done across the board to support our
service men and women.
befriending service is an important initiative which provides
invaluable welfare support for the 1.5 million strong RAF family.
you or someone you may know could benefit from befriending, we’d
encourage you to get in touch with us as no veteran should ever feel
lonely or isolated.
veteran’s service should be shared, celebrated, and never forgotten.”
who could benefit from this scheme can call 0800 0182 361 or visitwww.rafa.org.uk/befriending
is more than 50 years since there was an RAF station at Jurby, but its
legacy has made the parish what it is today.
Fayle (Sandra Kerrison's (nee Quaye) uncle) of the RAF Police
the right of the picture, pictured in front of the Guard Room, RAF
Jurby early 1940s.
the RAF, Jurby would have a tiny population, certainly not large enough
to support a school, shop, parish hall, industrial estate, motor
museum, motor sports and medical centre, as it does today.
Friends of Jurby Church are planning an exhibition about RAF Jurby, to
be shown in the church from August 17 - October 15, and they are asking
people to share their memories.
Sandra Kerrison said: ’Although the war years and the buildings are
quite well documented, we are especially looking for personal photos
and stories relating to RAF Jurby during the lifetime of the station
from 1939 to 1963. Anything relating to RAF Jurby is of interest. Many
of the people who lived in Jurby will have stories to tell as the RAF
station was such a big part of life in the parish’.
the 1930s, Jurby was a dying parish. The depression in agriculture
resulted in its population falling to fewer than 400 as people left to
war looming, the Air Ministry considered the flat low-lying farmlands
to be ideal for building an aerodrome and a bombing training station.
RAF Jurby opened in 1939, just after the outbreak of war as No. 5 Air
Observer School. Two months later it was renamed No. 5 Bombing and
Gunnery School. In the later war years it became No. 5 Air Navigation
and Bombing School.
the end of the war some 10,000 people had been trained at RAF Jurby and
RAF Andreas. Hundreds more were employed in the building of the
aerodrome and in staffing what was, in effect, a self-contained village
with its own cinema, church, shop and messes. There was employment not
just for the people of Jurby and the north but from across the island.
By 1951 the population had increased to over 900.
RAF station elevated Jurby to a new status, with visits by Air
Commodores, members of the royal family and the Lieutenant Governor.
Farmers became prosperous as they cultivated more land to meet the
increased demand. Station bands attended Tynwald Day and other civic
events as well as playing at local dances. Many local women married men
from the station.
the end of the war, RAF Jurby was an Air Navigation School and from
1946-47 an Air Gunnery School. From 1947-1949 it was under ’Care and
Maintenance’ and was re-opened in 1950 as an Initial Training School to
provide basic ground training to aircrew recruits.
1953 until the station closed in 1963 it was an Officer Cadet Training
Unit when children from the station attended local schools. This is the
period that many people today will remember.
of photos can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For those in the Isle
of Man photos etc can be collected for scanning and returned. For all
enquiries contact Sandra Kerrison on 898003 or email email@example.com
Majesty The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will attend a
Service of Dedication on Horse Guards Parade before formally unveiling
the new Iraq Afghanistan Memorial on Victoria Embankment Gardens,
London, on Thursday, 9th March.
Afghanistan Memorial Memorial honours
all UK Service personnel and civilians who took part in conflicts in
the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan between 1990 and 2015.
Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Duke of York, The Earl and Countess of
Wessex, The Princess Royal and Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Duke and
Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will
also attend the Service of Dedication, together with 2,500 invited
at the Service of Dedication will include current Service
veterans, representatives of departments and bodies including the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the National Health Service, and
representatives of various charities and aid organisations.
the Service of Dedication, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will
travel to Victoria Embankment Gardens, where Her Majesty will unveil
the Iraq Afghanistan Memorial in the presence of the Memorial Trustees,
together with individuals who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their
of the Royal Family, led by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of
Cornwall, will then attend a reception on Horse Guards Parade for those
who attended the Service of Dedication.
Further information about the Iraq Afghanistan
Memorial and the Service of Dedication can be found at www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/iraq-afghanistan-memorial.
1967 BSA RAF Police motorbike goes under the hammer
very rare 1967
BSA motorcycle, thought to be just one of three left in
the world, is going under the hammer.
The motorbike, which was used by the RAF Police,
is estimated to be worth £5,000
- 6,000, and
is marked with air force emblems.
bike will be sold at the Charterhouse
classic motorcycles on Sunday
ex-RAF Police motorcycle is believed to be just one of three known
survivors as the vast majority of these bikes have been civilianised or
scrapped over the past 50 years,” said valuer Matthew
certainly makes a different alternative to the civilian Police force Velocette
were affectionately known as Noddy bikes.”
by British manufacturer Birmingham Small Arms Company, the 1967 BSA B40
is fitted with a 350cc
engineand has been lovingly restored.
its peak, BSA, who also owned Triumph,
was the largest motorcycle producer in the world.
was bought as a retirement project by the owner and features its
correct and rare original fairing, blue light, higher handle bars and
RAF blue saddlebags, but sadly little is known its history in the RAF.
its current ownership, it was sympathetically restored and has been
much admired at classic
However, the owner prefers to ride his modern
its electric start and has decided to sell the bike.
is now accepting further entries for this specialist auction of classic
and vintage motorcycles on
Sunday February 5 which is held in conjunction with the hugely popular Bristol
Classic Motorcycle Show at The
Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet.
is also accepting entries of classic and vintage cars for the following
week also at The Royal Bath & West Showground.
Waddington's runway ready for take-off after £35m re-build
Ready for take off
Comments (0)RAF Waddington's runway is now fully open after a £35
It will extend its
operational life by at least another 25 years.
Work began in July 2014
and the original target date was November 2015 but the work meant the
2015 Waddington International Air Show, which would have attracted
140,000 people, was cancelled and subsequently axed for good, over
However, the discovery
of more than 1,000 historic underground cables and pipes at the base
and waterlogged earth is why the project was a year behind schedule.
Surveys had found most
of the ground under the airfield was made up of limestone, but large
areas of clay were found when the runway surface was removed.
This meant the new
runway needed to be redesigned otherwise it would have sunk when built.
And Second World War
practice bombs were discovered and removed during the project.
Waddington, home to
Reaper drone operators and the E-3D Sentry, Sentinel R1 and Boeing
RC-135V/W Rivet Joint intelligence and surveillance aircraft, will play
an increasing role in the war against the self-styled Islamic State
Planes have been flying
from other bases during the work but now they have all come home to
refurbishment, the operational tempo and demand for RAF Waddington's
intelligence gathering capabilities has remained extremely high with
flying squadrons almost constantly deployed.
This will remain the
case as RAF Waddington continues to play a critical role in the
coalition air campaign to defeat the so-called Islamic State and
elsewhere around the world.
RAF Waddington Station
Commander, Group Captain Al Marshall said: "This has been a major and
very challenging project, which has placed significant pressure on
personnel and their families.
challenges, we have managed to sustain operational output throughout
the resurfacing period owing to the outstanding dedication and
professionalism of RAF Waddington personnel and those who support us.
"It will give me great
pleasure to see many personnel return home and to have our aircraft
regularly flying in and out of RAF Waddington once again."
Conducted in several
phases the old runway has been dug up, levelled and resurfaced.
The upgrade which
significantly changed the profile of the existing runway includes the
provision of a new section of airside perimeter road, new visual
airfield approach aids, aeronautical lighting and signs, all of which
improves the overall safety of the airfield and operations.
back new ‘Walter Mitty’ medals law to criminalise ‘military imposters’
Medals worn by Simon Buckden, a genuine former soldier who was jailed
for for defrauding people out of thousands of pounds by pretending to
be a decorated war veteran with cancer
A new “Walter Mitty”
law should be introduced to make it a crime, punishable by up to six
months in jail, for anyone to pose as a military veteran by wearing
medals they have not earned themselves, MPs say.
The Commons Defence
Committee warned that the lack of any legal deterrent to imposters
wearing medals awarded for service and bravery is not only an “insult”
to genuine recipients but could threaten public trust in the military
honours system itself.
Although there are no
official figures to show the extent of the practice, because it is not
currently a crime, one survey found that almost two thirds of members
of the forces community had personally come across people wearing
medals or insignia awarded to someone else.
Anthony Church, a
former town crier who resigned abruptly after admitting his claims of
military heroics were untrue
The committee gave its
backing to a private member’s bill tabled by the Conservative MP Gareth
Johnson, creating a new criminal offence similar to bans in place in
other countries, carrying a maximum penalty of six months or a fine of
The proposal is due to
be debated by the Commons on Friday.
A Defence Committee
report into the proposal details how it used to be a crime to dress up
as a member of the Armed Forces or wear medals fraudulently, under
Victorian legislation updated by Winston Churchill as Secretary of War
But the ban, similar to
that preventing people impersonating police officers, was discontinued
in 2009 as part of a wider legislative tidying-up exercise relating to
the Armed Forces.
Roger Day, who posed as
a retired member of the SAS wearing 17 medals at a Remembrance parade
in Warwickshire in 2009. Charges of military deception against him were
dropped as the law changed a fortnight before the march.
Ministry of Defence
officials told the committee that the reasoning had been that it is
potentially possible to prosecute military imposters for other
offences, such as fraud.
They added that the law
as it previously stood did not include any exceptions for fancy dress
or theatrical productions.
In its report, entitled
"Exposing Walter Mitty" - after the character in the James Thurber
short story who lives in a fantasy world - the committee insists that
despite a lack of figures, anecdotal evidence suggests such deception
is a “continuing” problem.
Last year Anthony
Church who served as town crier in Oxford and a string of other towns
nearby resigned abruptly after admitting his claims to be a former
regimental Sergeant Major in the Coldstream Guards who had been awarded
the British Empire Medal, Imperial Service Medal and an MBE were all
One internet vigilante
group, known as the “Walter Mitty Hunters Club”, claims to have exposed
more than 200 imposters. On its Facebook group it also exposes people
it says have been collecting money for bogus military charities.
Crucially, Mr Johnson’s
bill would allow close family members of servicemen or women who have
died or been injured to wear their decorations at special
commemorations, effectively on their behalf, but within strict limits.
“Both the sponsor of
the Bill and the other witnesses took the view that the unauthorised
and deceitful use of military decorations and medals is a harm that is
worthy of specific criminal prohibition,” the report concludes.
“We support their
arguments that such behaviour is not only insulting to the rightful
recipients of these awards, but also damages the integrity of the
military honours system and the bond of trust and respect between the
public and the Armed Forces.
“The enactment of
criminal prohibitions should always merit the most serious
“We conclude that there
is a tangible and identifiable harm created by military imposters
against members of society who should rightly be held in its highest
“Therefore, we believe
that specific prohibitions to mitigate this harm are justified.”